Consider Your Audience

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In her last posts, Miriam Libicki blogged on taking Egged buses across Israel and on her process of drawing comic books. She has been blogging here all week for Jewish Book Council and MyJewishLearning’s Author Blog series.

I love exhibiting at comic book conventions. Without a big publisher — and, maybe more importantly, as a memoirist — the best way to introduce



readers to my comics is to introduce myself to them, one at a time.

From my first comics, ripped out of my army diaries & turned in as assignments in art school, a year & a half after my discharge, my subject matter was controversial. My very first writing professor was dissatisfied with my examination of the social politics of burning the classified papers of a military infirmary, & implored me to address the politics of Israel’s existence instead. His critique, “It might be worth you considering who you feel is your intended audience — would it be your peers at Emily Carr, a community that is more familiar with the military situation in Israel, or some other group (or combination)?” led to the creation of the Jobnik manifesto.



(detail from the first page of the Jobnik Manifesto. To view the complete comic, go here.)

The manifesto was exactly what I didn’t want to write when I began putting my very personal, very small stories to pictures. I thought I could reveal Israeli life & humanize Israeli soldiers without being the spokeswoman for Israeli policy & the latest news story out of the Middle East. But if I was being forced into that role, I might as well own it. The four-page manifesto is now the flier I give away at cons, and a cornerstone of my booth setup.

This is my booth setup:



I wear my Jewiness & Israelitude not only on my sleeve, but across my chest and on a giant banner behind me. I have definitely become a magnet for everyone’s feelings about Israel & Judaism. Some people have really… interesting feelings. What follows are the parts of my table that get the most comment, & some adventures I’ve had trying to stay on everyone’s good side while being true to myself & not delivering a free two-hour lecture on the state of modern Zionism.

Posted on May 27, 2010

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