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Lisa Schwarthaum, ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY
Joel Siege , GOOD MORNING AMERICA
From The Golem Factory
Michael Wilmington, CHICAGO TRIBUNE
JUST ASK ANYONE WHO'S SEEN IT.
New comic book boasts Orthodox *Jewish stars —
Mendy and Rivkie -- and is light on blood and gore.
FotRatiog Reasons. go to:
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Goldberg and colorist Barry
Grossman, both of Archie comic fame,
as well as Ernie Colon, illustrator of
ove over, Batman. Make
Richie Rich and Casper.
room, Richie Rich.
The creators work out of a loft in
There's a new comic in
Brooklyn they call "the Golem factory."
To write Mendy and the Golem,
And instead of featuring the typical
Pinson recruited longtime friend Matt
leather bustier-wearing heroines or
Brandstein, who had previously
blood-dripping creatures, it stars two
worked in the.music industry.
Orthodox Jewish children, 12-year-old
"I am a proud Jew, and I felt that I
Mendy and his 11-year-old sister,
was involved in the opposite extreme.
Rivkie. They're going to fight the
I was working in the entertainment
forces of evil using their wits and the
industry conceptualizing hip-hop
music videos. I felt like I was destroy-
According to Editor-In-Chief Tani
ing culture," said Brandstein.
Pinson, the characters of
"I went to New
Mendy and the Golem —
York University film
Mendy and Rivkie, and
school. I have always
their parents, Joe and
been aware of my
Elka Klein — made their
Jewish identity. I felt
debut in "Mendy's Fun
that, especially as I
Page;" a weekly newspa-
grew older, I somehow
per column. The charac-
wanted to incorporate
ters were continued in a
Jewish themes into my
graphic novel in 1999.
Pinson is carrying on a
When the opportu-
family tradition. His father,
nity to work on Mendy
Yankel, published a comic
came along, "I
series from 1982 to 1985.
thought, 'What a way
"It had the same title,
to change my life and
but it had more of a reli-
hopefully, tell a com-
gious twist to it. Each
issue was themed with a
The music video
Twelve-year-old Mendy and
his 11-year-old sister, Rivkie,
explained Pinson. "It had
are the main characters in
a small following [and]
Wendy and the Golem."
didn't last for long.
"I'm a big comic-book
are basically "limited
fan and I read comic books all the
to 3 1/2 minutes of something I
time. I structured this series as a real
wouldn't even call content. I love sto-
comic book, focusing strictly on the
rytelling. I think kids are pretty
adventure side of the story," he said.
sophisticated [and] want something
"The characters happen to be
that's narrative-driven, that's exciting,"
Jewish, traditional practicing Jews. It
may come up in different parts of the
Although Brandstein had no comic
story, but it's not the main concern."
book-writing experience, like Pinson
he has a long history of reading them.
"I grew up reading Archie comics.
Comic Book Veterans
I've met Mariah Carey; I've met Sting.
What the comic focuses on is the story. I was not at all star-struck. When I
In Book One: The Key, Joe Klein is
met Stan Goldberg, I was speechless; it
kidnapped while visiting Prague to
was a dream come true," he said.
deliver a lecture. The children find
their own way to the Czech Republic
to help save the day.
Pinson said he's been trying to
While the children in the comic are
launch the comic since 1997. The
Orthodox, Mendy is designed to
project features comic-book artist Stan
appeal to Jewish children of all