Only a few years ago, in Jewish Experience in the Art of the Twentieth Century, Avram Kampf noted that the acceptance and understanding of a “Jewish art” with a distinct history is recent, the very phrase still vague and elusive. The same could be said, with more painful accuracy, of the Jewish contributions to the visual art that enjoys the vast majority of appreciative observers: the comics.

But wait. Even as the daily newspaper—long the chief source of public access to comics—goes into a slow fade, postmodernism has surprises in store. The boundaries between genres in the art world, already under stress for half a century or more, blur and almost lose their meaning. . .. The idea of a comic novel, historically about as elusive as the “great American novel,” suddenly comes to life. A Holocaust survivor’s story by Art Spiegelman,...

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