cover image Superman Isn’t Jewish (But I Am... Kinda)

Superman Isn’t Jewish (But I Am... Kinda)

Jimmy Bemon and Émilie Boudet, trans. from the French by Nanette McGuinness. Life Drawn, $14.95 trade paper (112p) ISBN : 978-1-59465-598-2

Pop culture and ancient religious icons get mashed up to humorous and heartwarming effect in this charming graphic memoir of a boy trying to reconcile the identity he was born with and the identity he’s built for himself. “You are and will always remain Jewish,” little Jimmy’s father tells him the day his parents separate. What’s more, according to Jimmy’s dad, all great men are Jewish­—even Superman. (Well, his creators were, anyway.) That’s enough for Jimmy, who comes to believe that being Jewish is a superpower and starts telling everyone about his amazing birthright. Then while at the urinal in the school bathroom, he discovers how he’s not like the other boys. Desperate to fit in, he adopts a secret identity of sorts, becoming one self to his family and another to everyone else. This internal conflict informs his friendship with a Palestinian schoolmate (who harbors a secret of his own), his love life with the out-of-his-league Jasmine, and his burgeoning career as a filmmaker. Boudet’s illustrations bring a sense of whimsy to Bemon’s life story, rendering his grandfather Yoda as a Muppet and perfectly capturing the prurient POV of a hormone-addled teenager. Together, the dynamic duo of Bemon and Boudet have brought to the page an intimate, entertaining, and truly universal exploration of personal identity. [em](Oct.) [/em]