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November 30, 1984 - Image 77

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1984-11-30

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS Friday, November 30, 1984

I

LIGHT SIDE

- Wonder Woman

2 For $6

Thru Dec. 8 with this ad

c.1"---
; •



Actually, the one character
she has always found a special
affinity for has no real special
power other than the ability to
consume hamburgers at a fan-
tastic clip. "I always identified
with Jughead," she says of the
Archie comic-book character.
"He's a pure individualist."
It is a word others use to
characterize Kahn. Through
rugged determination, Kahn
— with the help of the Caped
Crusader, Colossal Boy and a
legion of other superheroes —
has helped make the Daily
Planet spin on its axis. DC
Comics is 'a moneymaker for a
parent company that has faced
some red-ink days in the re-
cent past.
She has done this by concen-
trating on each comic char-
acter's audience. Our audi- •
ence is predominantly male,"
she says. "Males age 10 to 15
buy comics on newsstands;
males 18 to 24 buy them at
specialty shops."
DC Comics, with Kahn at
the helm, has diversified
through licensing. There is
now Superman peanut butter.
Super Heroes yogurt and even
a DC Comics Super Healthy
Cookbook.
There have been other
changes as well. Female comic
characters "are more indepen-
dent — with minds of their
own. Often the woman is
stronger than the male in a re-

lationship. The male heroes
are less perfect; those char-
acters who have flaws are
more readily embraced by
readers."
And a character being
socked and pummelled is al-
most as likely to let loose with
an "Oy!" as an "Aarrgh!" Com-
ics have gone ethnic. Indeed,
one DC character, Colossal
Boy, is a young Jewish hero
whose mother agonizes over
the prospects of an intergalac-
tic intermarriage when he
brings home a non-Jewish girl
— from another planet.
Though she did not embrace
Wonder Woman as a youngs-
ter, Kahn certainly has done
so in recent years. Her Wonder
Woman Foundation, created
in honor of the comic char-
acter's 40th birthday, allots
grants for women of 40 and
older who demonstrate prom-
ise and talent.
Kahn is also proud of her






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Continued from Page 96

boyfriend at the Harvard Uni-
versity School of Education,
who wanted her help on a,proj-
ect for children.
The magazine Kids was the
result. Though the publication
earned positive publicity,
Kahn and her friend lost
$100,000 on the project. "Im-
agine," she says, "being that
much in debt at the age of 23."
But there were other
planets to discover. Kahn
moved on to Scholastic Maga-
zines, where she came up with
another children's magazine,
Dynamite.
This time, the chemistry
worked. Though Dynamite
exploded with success, Kahn
left when she felt she wasn't
sharing sufficiently in the
project's profits.
On to Xerox Education Pub-
lications, where she put to-
gether another children's
magazine, Smash, which pro-
ved to be her breakthrough.
Some time after doing an ar-
ticle on a young entrepreneur,
Kahn received a visit from the
youngster's father. The father,
impressed by Kahn's talents
and initiative, had one ques-
tion.
"Would you like to become
publisher of DC Comics?"
asked William Sarnoff,
chairman of Warner Com-
munications, DC's parent
company.
Since 1976, when she took
over as the comic company's
publisher, and since sub-
sequently becoming its
president, Kahn has dis-
covered that being more pow-
erful than a speeding locomo-
tive, faster than a speeding
bullet and able to leap tall
buildings in a single bound
aren't nearly as important as
being able to balance the
bo6ks.
She also has discovered that
Superman, who has weath-
ered nearly 50 years of devious
attacks by the most evil of vil-
lains such as Lex Luthor and
Brainiac has finally met his
archest enemy: Father Time.
The years have made Super-
man sag in areas Kryptonite
couldn't even reach.
"Superman is the most dif-
ficult character to embrace;
he's too perfect," Kahn says of
the character who arrived on
this planet from Krypton in
1938. "Thank goodness for
Clark Kent," Kahn says of his
klutzy alter ego.
"I always preferred Batman
because his stories were more
real. I see myself more in the
Batman mold — although I
would not like to be as neurotic
as Batman."

TH!

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