Veteran underground comic creator and historian Trina Robbins is literally turning to her roots with her latest graphic novel project "A Minyen Yidn (Un Andere Zakhn)." Her source text is a collection of funny short stories and vignettes about Jewish life in Belarus and Brooklyn in the early 20th century written by her father, Max Person.
Originally published in Yiddish in the late 1930s, Robbins will be translating "A Minyen Yidn (Un Andere Zakhn)," which means, "A Bunch of Jews (and other stuff)," into English, as well as turning the text in to scripts to create a roughly 100-page black and white softcover book. To illustrate the tales she has enlisted the talents of a host of comics artists from across the industry, including Michael Netzer, Shary Flenniken, Ken Steacy, Steve Leialoha, Terry Laban and Miriam Libicki. The cover art will be provided by L.A.-based artist Barbara "Willy" Mendes.
The project is to be edited by Robbins and Hope Nicholson, the Canadian publisher behind Bedside Press. To pay the artists and fund production and shipping, the pair are launching a Kickstarter campaign.
In addition to digital and/or print copies of the finished book, potential rewards include scripts signed by Robbins, pages of the original comic art from some of the projects' many illustrators and an original artwork commission from veteran Marvel and DC artist Michael Netzer.
This is not Robbins' first book to adapt an early 20th century text to the comics form - in the 1980s she adapted the scandalous 1919 novel "Dope" by Sax Rohmer, the pulp writer best remember for his creation "Fu Manchu," into a comic strip. The result, "Sax Rhomer's Dope, adapted and illustrated by Trina Robbins" is set to see publication as a graphic novel in 2017 through IDW's It's Alive! imprint.
For more information, including art and script samples, and to back the project, check out the "A Minyen Yidn" Kickstarter page. The campaign runs through to October 31, 2016.