The Seder in a Graphic Novel
Passover Haggadah Graphic Novel (English and Hebrew Edition) By Jordan B. Gorfinkel. Illustrated by Erez Zadok. (Koren Publishing, 169 pp. $19.95)
As befits a night that is “different from all other nights,” this illustrated Haggadah is different from all other Haggadot. It retells the Passover narrative through the style of comic books, including sequential panels and speech balloons presented alongside the traditional seder text. Intermingled are cartoon caricatures and realistic drawings of actual people, both contemporary and historical.
The Haggadah features racially diverse guests at a modern seder table earnestly discussing the rescue from Egypt as Martin Luther King Jr., Abraham Joshua Heschel, Holocaust survivors and migrants soar in the margins above them. The message is the continued relevance of the Passover narrative as a journey to freedom.
The drama and terror of the drawings of the plagues are mitigated by the cheerful cartoon characters who explain them. A sober drawing of Adolf Eichmann is offset by the bright promise of “Dayenu.”
Indeed, this book is enough—in fact, more than enough—to keep young and old absorbed in the seder. Pass it around the festive table every year and let drops of wine stain its pages.
Gloria Goldreich’s new novel, After Melanie, will be published in May by Severn House.