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September 10, 1993 - Image 102

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1993-09-10

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

News

Wishing Our
Customers & Friends
Cartoonists
The
Hold Convention
Healthiest and
I
Happiest New Year!

GEORGE POROCHNIK SPECIAL TO THE JEWISH NEWS

CARE
iin CUTER
isita &oks .L

in the West Bloomfield Plaza

626-5511 • 626-1173
6672 Orchard Lake Rd.

REG. HOURS M-SAT. 9-5:30
TUES. & THURS. 9-8:30

Best Wishes
To All Our Customers & Friends,
For A
Healthy, Happy and Prosperous
New Year

BUICK rillaZDa

H ISE'

Imm Pool

Vol

kswagen

LOTUS

NISSAN

Grand River at 10 Mile • Farmington Hills • 471-0800

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Rita Jerome and Staff
Extends Best Wishes For A
Joyous And healthy New Year

magine seeing Yitzhak
Rabin, Saddam Hussein,
Bill and Hilary Clinton,
Moses, Isaac and
Shulamit Aloni all together
in a single room. Sound like
a dream or a nightmare?
Well, in Jerusalem between
the Ides of March and the end
of Passover, such a thing was
actually possible. This con-
vention occurred not in the
flesh, but rather, as it were,
the caricature. The Israeli
Cartoonist Association was
holding its first ever exhibi-
tion, "Shpitz (Point) '93."
For almost a month the
walls of the venerable old
Jerusalem Artists House
were filled with some 300 in-
ked images of newsmakers —
recent and ancient, hallowed
and hellish — and the result
was without doubt one of the
most powerful collective vi-
sions to come out of the con-
temporary Israeli arts scene.
Much of the motivation for
mounting the show at this
time, was to inform the public
of the newly formed Associa-
tion. Thirty-two Israeli car-
toonists already belong to the
organization, and Nissim
Yehizkiyahu, the current
chairman, says he expects all
Israel's cartoonists to join
eventually.
Initial resistance came
mostly from the older genera-
tion of cartoonists like Ya-
qakov Kirschen, author and
artist of the internationally
syndicated cartoon "Dry
Bones." Mr. Kirschen admit-
ted quite frankly that his in-
itial reaction to the associa-
tion was that it was a waste
of time. "I felt the younger
caroonists were overly con-
cerned with keeping up with
their American and continen-
tal counterparts," he said.
A reluctant Mr. Kirschen,
however, attended the in-
augural meeting and has
since gone from receptive to
downright enthusiastic. "It's
fun — getting together
around one table to drink cof-
fee and talk with other people
working in your field. There
was never anything like it
before in Israel. And if we can
get the occasional exhibition
or magazine together, that's
just great."
Works by 30 of the associa-
tion's 32 members were ex-
hibited at this first showing.
Given license to choose 10
caricatures from any phase of
their work, the overwhelming

majority chose work from the
past two or three years.
Despite the preponderance of
works with an overtly
political message, says Mr.
Yehizkiyahu, the main idea is
to show the range of topics
tackled by Israel's cartoonists
and their respective
perspectives.
Many of the cartoonists
themselves arrived at their
chosen profession by paths no
less diverse than the topics
they cover. American-born
political caricaturist Avi
Katz, for example, took notes
in comic strip form in his high
school Talmud class. One day
the teacher spotted the in-
criminiating drawings and
furiously snatched them
away. He examined Mr. Katz's
fledgling artworks more
closely, began to smile, then
to chuckle, then to laugh out
loud. Finally he Xeroxed the
cartoons and passed them
round to the whole class.
Ido Amin, an Israeli-born
cartoonist recalls starting a
comic journal at 17 that
resulted in his arrest and im-

Cartoons have the
power to damn or
apotheosize.

prisonment. To this day he re-
mains unsure as to the
precise reason for the
virulence of the reaction he
produced, but the experience
was enough to make him
abandon cartooning for many
years: "I guess I knew that
what I did was too harsh for
the times," he says. Though
his present work does not ap-
pear political, Mr. Amin
himself feels it is. "Of course
it's political," he says.
"Everything in Israel is
political. It's also a little
vicious, but we live in such a
harsh and vicious world."
Caricaturist Ya'akov
Farkash (Ze'ev) won this
year's Israel Prize. Ze'ev
began drawing as a means of
avoiding the censor in the
Hungarian labor camp where
he was imprisoned during
World War II. After arriving
in Israel in 1947, he began
working as a caricaturist for
the daily Ma'ariv and since
1962 has been with the daily
Ha'aretz.
Mr. Kirschen, who began
work as a cartoonist for

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