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The Alternatives | 15 MINUTES WITH ...

Oy vay! What a hero

November 13, 2003|Carolyn Patricia Scott

Around 1980, Al Wiesner first produced his superhero comic book featuring Shaloman, who had everything that Superman had -- muscles, heroism, a cape -- plus values that young Jewish readers could relate to. Shaloman will participate in the Jewish Children's Bookfest (for info see Page 3).

Shaloman's world: "Shaloman is only a person when he's a superhero. When he isn't saving the world, he's a rock at the top of a mountain. Three wise men -- Justice, Equity and Wisdom -- decided to create someone to help man deal with man. If it was a Jewish person, he would have to follow Jewish religious traditions -- prayers three times a day. So, Shaloman waits as a rock on top of the mountain until someone calls for help.

A comic history: I began reading comics around 1938. Though many of the artists were Jewish, the characters weren't. As Jewish children, whenever we played "goody" and "baddy" we would take our white T-shirts and mark on them. I put all of these ideas in a blender and came up with Shaloman.

Wearing the cape: I don't have the physique for it. You need strength to have peace. So Shaloman has great muscles.

'S' marks the spot: You'll know him by the shin on his chest -- shin is the Hebrew letter that begins the word shalom.

Calling Shaloman: Just cry out: Oy vay! The sound carries around the world and then the rock will become Shaloman!

-- Carolyn Patricia Scott

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