Barry's new online comic: Hereville

Hey there!

For those of you wondering why I’m blogging less, my new online comic at Girlamatic is the reason. The comic is called “Hereville” – I’ve posted about it before.

hereville_medium.png

Here’s a bit of how the series was described in the Hereville proposal:

Hereville is about the adventures of Mirka, a twelve-year-old Hasidic girl living in the isolated town of Aherville. (“Aher” is Yiddish for “here.”) The stories told in Hereville will follow Mirka as she faces fairy-tale figures such as demons, ogres, dragons and witches; and also as she faces growing older in a joyful, but extremely cloistered, Hasidic town.

There will be a new Hereville page posted in Girlamatic every week, always on Thursday. As I understand it, you can see each new page for free for the week of its release, but to be able to read the archives you’d have to subscribe to Girlamatic (which gives you access to all the Girlamatic comics, not just mine).

If you do subscribe, please consider selecting “Hereville” when you’re asked “what convinced you?” – it’ll make me look good to my editor, and put a few extra cents in my pocket.

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25 Responses to Barry's new online comic: Hereville

  1. 1
    acm says:

    great! glad they picked up your proposal. looking forward to Mirka’s inventures!!

    acm

  2. 2
    Comicguy says:

    My yiddish may be a little rusty, but I believe “Fruma” means “religious/observant one” and “Mirka” means “bitter little one”. One can only hope that the early mention of proboscis length will be a relevant plot point, and will not merely be a pattern of applying more standard Jewish stereotypes to the more religiously Jewish characters.

    “she faces fairy-tale figures such as demons, ogres, dragons and witches”

    No golems?

  3. 3
    kevin says:

    Very cool.

    Congratulations, Barry

  4. 4
    Ampersand says:

    Comicguy:

    You know, of the three big-nosed characters, one is Jewish, one (the troll) is definitely NOT Jewish, and one is ambiguous. In contrast, there are literally DOZENS of Jewish characters in “Hereville” who don’t have enormous noses – including the protagonist and her brother. I think if you consider context, it’s ridiculous to infer that Hereville is supporting the “Jews all have enourmous noses” stereotype.

    Big noses have been a used by cartoonists for as long as cartooning has existed. Sometimes that’s been anti-semitic (as in Nazi cartoons), but more often it’s just a fun cartooning device.

    As for golems, I’ve thought about it, but so far I haven’t thought of the right storyline to bring a golem in. Traditionally, golems are created by very holy men in times of utter disastor for the community; I’m not sure I want anything that bad to happen to the town in Hereville.

    The other thing is, Hereville is partly an immigration story. The idea is, the Jews have immigrated to a non-Jewish area, and so many of the monsters they encounter are from non-Jewish mythologies. That may sound silly, but it makes sense to me. :-)

    Thanks, Kevin and ACM.

  5. 5
    acm says:

    in defense of Comicguy, since the actual cartoon (as opposed to the proposal) has only had one installment, and from that, only one adult character, a reader encountering it for the first time could easily wonder about the stereotype. it will become obvious _over_time_ that no such norm is being established, but right now it’s the second sentence in the first frame that we’ve ever seen. I saw the proposal and know better, but still had a flash of thinking it was unfortunate…

    (obviously, you have constraints of length and thus have to jump right into the set-ups for the whole story, but there it is.)

    also made me think of the wicked stepmother trope, although it’s usually the witches in movies that have long noses…

    just another penny in the pond,
    acm

  6. 6
    acm says:

    oh, and in my first note, I of course meant “adventures” not “inventures” (whatever that might be; help!) . . .

  7. 7
    Ampersand says:

    Good point.

    Comic Book Guy, I apologize for the over-defensive and harsh tone of my previous post. I can understand why you’re concerned, but I’m confident that over time Hereville won’t seem anti-Semitic.

  8. 8
    ScottM says:

    I like the first page and am eagerly looking forward to next thursday.

  9. 9
    Comicguy says:

    Good enough. It was not framed as an accusation. Just something that seems to jump out.

  10. 10
    kevin says:

    “The idea is, the Jews have immigrated to a non-Jewish area, and so many of the monsters they encounter are from non-Jewish mythologies. That may sound silly, but it makes sense to me. :-)”

    Actually, thats sounds interesting — see how two different mythological structures react to each other.

  11. 11
    Raznor says:

    I like the little (I’m assuming) self-caricature at the bottom of the page.

    I look forward to future installments.

  12. 12
    Echidne says:

    I like her braids! Mine used to look just like that for about two minutes until they (or more often just one of them) disintegrated in the usual daily activities.

  13. 13
    Gar Lipow says:

    In terms of getting a golem going – how about created by a very holy man who is somewhat narrow minded in response to a positive change he sees as disasterour? For example the Rabbi gets sick and they need a temporary replacement and Fruma take over as a subsiute Rabbi. At any rate, there is no reason a golem can’t be created due to a misreading of a situation.

    ====
    real email is garlpublic followed by at sign and then comcast followed by a dot, followed by the extension net.

  14. 14
    Jake says:

    I’m looking very forward to reading this comic. Given my neighbourhood (Hasidim central), it will be particularly relevant to me. I only have one comment:

    Fruma is showing *way* too much collar bone.

  15. 15
    kStyle says:

    What’s a golem, exactly? Color me curious. And add my congratulations to the pile. Mazeltov! I think the comic will be great.

  16. 16
    Raznor says:

    kStyle, in answer to your question, take a look at this site that gives you instructions on making golems.

  17. 17
    Nick Kiddle says:

    It looks fascinating. Is there any chance at all of it appearing in printed form? I would happily pay to curl up in bed with it.

  18. 18
    lucia says:

    I like her braids! Mine used to look just like that for about two minutes until they (or more often just one of them) disintegrated in the usual daily activities.

    My mom used to make me wear braids like that. when I was 10-14. I protested the style was old fashioned. I undid them as soon as I got to school ane rebraided loosely and made the hair cover my ears! ( I suspect I wanted to look more like a hippy.)

    I do think those are the right braids for the cartoon and they do look cute.

  19. 19
    kStyle says:

    Thanks, Raznor. Looks fascinating. I can’t wait to dig in.

  20. 20
    bean says:

    I see you did not take my advice on the knitting scene. I still don’t what she’s doing — but it’s definitely not knitting.

  21. 21
    Ampersand says:

    I’ll take your advice on future knitting scenes, but I just got too close to the deadline on this one – it came down to a choice of printing the page as it was, or missing the deadline, and I chose to be on time.

  22. 22
    Ampersand says:

    Nick – I hope it will eventually appear in printed form.

    Echidne and Lucia, glad you like the braids, because she’ll be wearing them a long, long time. :-)

    Jake: Now that’s an easy correction to make, and so it’s been made.

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