Graphic Details: Confessional Comics by Jewish Women, currently on display at the Washington DC Jewish Community Center’s Ann Brofman Gallery, should almost be too specific to fully work. After all, how much is there on this one specific topic?
You’d actually be surprised. This traveling exhibit (it originated in New York at the Yeshiva University Museum) may seem a little small at first, but as soon as visitors begin to explore it, does it richness and diversity become apparent.
It may not cover the depth of comics being created by women (even Jewish women) but that’s not the point — it’s meant to be about Jewish women and their stories and why they’ve chosen to tell them in the form of comics. There’s a delightful range, from legends like Aline Kominsky-Crumb, Diane Noomin and Trina Robbins to the younger generation of artists like Sarah Glidden and Miss Lask0-Gross. Some have specific stories to tell about their lives while others just seek to capture moments.
I was awed at the different styles and techniques of the artists on display. Some have loose, open styles that are then reduced down to the printed page. Others draw in tiny refinement. Blue pencil marks can still be seen, as well as sections of White-Out and other corrections. I love looking at original art anyway because hidden process behind creating comics becomes much clearer. It’s fascinating and beautiful to see these pages as they are.
No, it’s not a huge exhibit, but I don’t think it needs to be. After spending quite a bit of time feeling jealous that my New York friends had this and I wasn’t going to get to see it, I was more than excited to see it was going to be in D.C. I was not at all disappointed. I’m only sad it’s only up through Sept. 2, which means that people in the area for Small Press Expo won’t get a chance to check it out.
I am, however, sending everyone I know in the area to it. It’s absolutely worth seeing and I’m quite proud D.C. is one of the places that gets to have it.