"From Krakow to Krypton": Unmask the Jewish Writers behind the World’s Most Famous Comic Book Heroes…
Submitted to: Books 
Posted: September 30 2008


“Arie Kaplan … has written a miracle of a book, as comprehensive as it is entertaining; a virtual Jew's Who of the comic book universe.”

—Larry Gelbart, legendary TV writer/screenwriter (M*A*S*H, Tootsie)

"In From Krakow to Krypton, Arie Kaplan threads together the disparate elements of comicdom—Jewish culture, geek culture, fandom, sci-fi, adolescent power fantasies, outsider art, and the New York City of reality and myth--and ties them all together … A smart, fun book.”

—Danny Fingeroth, author of Disguised as Clark Kent: Jews, Comics, and the Creation of the Superhero.

“…A new and fascinating look at the history of comic books… Extremely well documented and profusely illustrated. You really don’t have to be Jewish to thoroughly enjoy this trip down comic book memory lane.”

—Al Jaffee, long time MAD Magazine contributor and author of the forthcoming TALLTALES.

Since their creation in the 1930’s, comic books have become a part of our nation’s vocabulary, forever changing the way Americans think about stories, pictures, and what makes a hero. Jews have been at the forefront of this medium from the beginning: they created the first comic book, the first graphic novel, the first comic book convention, the first comic book specialty store, and they helped create the underground comics (or “Comix”) movement of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s. Many of the creators of the most famous comic books, such as Superman, Spiderman, X-Men, and Batman, as well as the founders of MAD Magazine, were Jewish.

In "From Krakow to Krypton" industry insider Arie Kaplan uncovers the Jewish subtexts of these popular stories and showcases the unique contributions Jews have made to this American art form. From Krakow to Krypton features original interviews with legendary figures such as Will Eisner, Stan Lee, Jack Kirby, Al Jaffee, Neil Gaiman, Jerry Robinson, and Art Spiegelman, giving fans an inside look at the story behind their favorite stories.

The book includes over 100 full-color illustrations, including never-before published images, and a lively narrative describing how Jews have profoundly influenced the comic book industry.

Arie Kaplan is a comedian, MAD Magazine writer, and author of the new comic book miniseries Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer for IDW Publishing. His other comic book credits include the DC title Cartoon Network Action Pack and the Papercutz series Tales From the Crypt. Arie lectures all over the country about comic books, comedians, and popular culture. He is the author of Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed! (Chicago Review Press) and he's also written for MTV, Cartoon Network, and PBS Kids. Please check out his website, www.ariekaplan.com.

ISBN: 978-08276-0843-6

Paper: 240 pages; 8 ½”x11”, Full Color


September 2008

For more information contact Anita Bihovsky (800)-234-3151 ext. 50601or email:


The Jewish Publication Society is a nonprofit educational organization formed to enhance the Jewish culture by promoting the dissemination of religious and secular works, in the United States and abroad, to all individuals and institutions interested in past and contemporary Jewish life.


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    The Jewish Publication Society
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