How Spider-Man's Non-Jewish Co-Creator Helped Me Rediscover My Faith

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Although New York’s Capital District has held plenty of pleasant bar and bat mitzvahs, mine was epic. A comic artist sketched for guests during cocktail hour and every attendee left with a copy of X-Men #30: the wedding of Cyclops and Phoenix. The yentas couldn’t stop talking about how great it was.

But after becoming a man, I distanced myself from comics and Judaism. It wasn’t until after college that I rediscovered my passion for sequential art. At the same time, I learned of the Jewish background of many creators. Superman was imagined by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, both members of the tribe. Stan Lee celebrated Passover. So did his uncle, the owner of Marvel comics, who gave him a job. Adam Sandler could have written a Hanukkah song about the industry. While I once felt shame over my heritage, attending middle and high school as one of the only Jews in Voorheesville, New York, I took pride after recognizing the large role we played in the genesis of my favorite art form.

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