The Realist: trenchant, beautifully surreal Israeli comics about a sweet and complicated existence
Asaf Hanuka is a celebrated Israeli cartoonist whose astonishing, surreal illustrations serve as counterpoint to sweet (sometimes too-sweet) depictions of his family life, his complicated existence as a member of a visible minority in Israel, the fear he and his family live with, and his own pleasures and secret shames -- a heady, confessional, autobiographical brew that has just been collected into The Realist: Plug and Play, the second volume of Hanuka's comics.
Hanuka is a Mizrahi Jew -- a member of an ethnic minority of Arab-passing, Middle-Eastern-descended, Jewish-identifying Jews who have a fraught relationship with the Israeli Euro-Ashkenazi majority and the other minority groups, such as the Iberian/North African Sephardim.
Married to a (rather long-suffering and good-humored) Ashkenazi woman, Hanuka is the father of two small children, whose high spirits, mischievous antics, and pure, innocent Id make up the bulk of the collection, a kind of Family-Circus-by-way-of-Art Spiegelman riff that almost always stays on right side of the sweet/treacly divide.
These serve as light counterpoint to the much heavier material about Israeli politics and living in a conflict zone, with the special complications of being mistaken for an Arab by enraged and Islamophobic Israelis in the midst of social unrest, occupation, rocket attacks and the stabbing intifada.
Running through this very broad emotional spectrum are Hanukah's astounding illustrations, beautiful, grotesque, surreal -- pitiless portraits of Hanukah himself, sentimental drawings of his family, pictures of his history as a student in France, of the minutae of his daily life. These are extraordinary and quite unlike anything else in the field, with a jovial palette and an often serious or even wrenching subject. Hanukah's literary storytelling is good and sometimes great, but his ability to tell tales with visuals -- especially the full-page, wordless spreads -- is unparalleled.
The Realist: Plug and Play [Asaf Hanukah/Archaia]
(Images ganked with thanks from CBR)
Jeff writes, “7 years after ‘grassroots mapping’ the BP spill when journalists were denied access, the open source community Public Lab is back with an even more accessible Do-It-Yourself way to take aerial photos: the Mini Balloon and Kite Mapping Kits.”
The Kaonashi No-Face Piggy Bank makes the most out of one of the coolest characters in Studio Ghibli’s storied history — but getting one exported to you from Japan costs an astounding $164. (via Kadrey)
I have a feeling Donald Trump (and most of the rest of the human race) would be happier if he were starring in the sitcom suggested by this photo insteading of serving the American people as a federal bureaucrat. In actuality, it’s a photo of Nikos Giannopoulos, Rhode Island’s teacher of the year, who said […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]