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Diaspora Boy: Comics on Crisis in America and Israel Paperback – 2017
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From the back cover: Oversized collection at just over a foot tall. Eli Valley's comic strips are intricate fever dreams employing noir, horror, slapstick and science fiction to expose the outlandish hypocrisies at play in the American/Israeli relationship. Sometimes banned, often controversial and always hilarious, Valley's work has helped to energize a generation exasperated by American complicity in an Israeli occupation now entering its fiftieth year. This, the first full-scale anthology of Valley's art, provides an essential retrospective of America and Israel at a turning point. With meticulously detailed line work and a richly satirical palette peppered with perseverating turtles, xenophobic Jedi knights, sputtering superheroes, mutating golems and zombie billionaires, Valley's comics unmask the hypocrisy and horror behind the headlines. This collection supplements the satires with historical background and contexts, insights into the creative process, selected reactions to the works, and behind-the-scenes tales of tensions over what was permissible for publication. Brutally riotous and irreverent, the comics in this volume are a vital contribution to a centuries-old tradition of graphic protest and polemics.
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Valley’s ability to take the contradictions, discord, weirdness, of how Israel impacts US Jews is marvelous. He states it plainly and true: “…the Zionist lens has become the single unifying characteristic of Jewish identification throughout the world. It’s no longer just ideology; it’s theology.” The devices he uses, hideous mutated characters, talking turtles, aliens, is both entertaining and elevates the shock of truthful recognition.
Before many cartoons, Valley writes about his conversations with editorial staff, revisions, his thought process, historical background, allowing the reader entry to the more esoteric elements of the art. Bravo!