In three recent “shorts,” the Israeli cartoonist Shay Charka turns his gaze to Europe and the Ashkenazi Jewish past. Michael Weingrad, who has translated the pieces into English, introduces the artist and his work:
Shay Charka is one of Israel’s most talented comic-book artists and political cartoonists. Dara Horn . . . called From Foe to Friend, Charka’s pictorial versions of stories by the Nobel prize-winning author S.Y. Agnon, “miraculous” and “so breathtaking that I almost thought I dreamed it.” Born in 1967, Charka has published twenty graphic novels and cartoon collections, his work drawing playfully and profoundly on Jewish sources such as the Bible and Talmud. His Jewdyssey, a graphic-novel retelling of Homer’s “Odyssey” as a Holocaust story, has recently been prepared in English translation. He is the political cartoonist for the Israeli paper Makor Rishon, where his deft and brilliant visual commentary on current events is relished by thousands.