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Harvey Pekar's mother was a Zionist by way of politics. His father was a Zionist by way of faith. Whether Pekar was going to daily Hebrew classes or attending Zionist picnics, he grew up a staunch supporter of Israel. But, attuned to the wider world, the freethinking Pekar began to question his parents' ideals.In Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me, one of the final graphic memoirs from the man who defined the genre, Pekar explores what it means to be Jewish and what Israel means to the Jews. Over the course of a single day in his hometown of Cleveland, Ohio, Pekar and the illustrator JT Waldman wrestle with the mythologies passed down to them. Combining his increasing disillusionment with Israel with an account of the Jewish people since biblical times, Pekar, aided by Waldman's protean art, weaves a personal and historical odyssey of uncommon power. Plainspoken and empathetic, Pekar had no patience for injustice and prejudice, and he arrives at the firm belief that all peoples should be held to the same universal standards of decency, fairness, and democracy.With an epilogue written by Joyce Brabner, Not the Israel My Parents Promised Me is an essential book for fans of Pekar and anyone interested in the past and future of the Jewish state.
Harvey Pekar is best known for his graphic autobiography, American Splendor, which was based on his long-running comic-book series and was adapted into a film of the same name. He died in 2010. JT Waldman is an artist, interactive designer, and comic-book creator. He is the author and illustrator of the graphic novel Megillat Esther. He lives in Philadelphia. Joyce Brabner is an award-winning author of graphic books. She frequently collaborated with her late husband, Harvey Pekar, on his American Splendor series. She lives in Cleveland.