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When she set out for Israel, Sarah Glidden was carrying some baggage — strong opinions about the country and some suspicion about the sponsor of her tour, Birthright, which provides all-expenses-paid trips to Israel for young Jewish people. “How shall I put it? … When there is an expensive trip offered for free, there is always bound to be a downside to it,” she told the magazine Haaretz.
To keep her skeptical eye, Glidden decided to make a graphic novel about her trip, and the result is How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less, which came out this week. Glidden shares her experiences in Israel, and discusses how she turned that into a graphic novel, in the Haaretz article, which is well worth a read. But this Horatio Alger aspect is what caught my eye:
Like many independent cartoonists, she rented a booth with several other cartoonists at the MoCCA Festival at the Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art in New York, and sat down to sell her mini-comics to passersby. When a man wearing a badge identifying him as representing DC Comics, one of the giants of American comic-book publishing (owned by Time Warner ), showed interest in her mini-comics, she didn’t get excited.
“I thought there was no way DC Comics was going to be interested in someone like me. I’m a beginner; [I thought] they only publish comics about superheroes and fantasy. But I told him what it was all about and he bought a book and went away. Two days later, I got an e-mail saying that he was an editor at Vertigo publications [a division of DC specializing in comics for adults], and that they wanted to publish it. Only then did I realize that Vertigo does many things that are political. It was a dream come true.”
Tagged for greatness at her table at MoCCA. Who knew?
(PWCW just ran a preview, so you can see what all the fuss is about.)