200610260233§ Jewish Week examines how Batman embodies Jewish values as explained by Rabbi Cary Freidman:

Friedman argues that Batman instills in his audience some of Judaism’s most important moral values, using supporting examples from Torah, Talmud and other rabbinic commentary, and offers insight on how to incorporate those same values into their own lives.

One of Batman’s most concretely Jewish values is tikkun olam, repairing the world, and sacrificing for one’s ideals.

“In one of the first chapters, ‘How to Triumph over Adversity,’ Bruce Wayne watches his parents get killed,â€? Friedman said. “He has two choices: wallow in self-indulgence or confront the pain and choose a life of saving others.â€? Wayne ultimately chooses the latter, giving up his playboy life for secrecy and crime fighting, also showing his (Jewish) values of hard work and family.

§ Manga flourishes in Budapest!

Manga – a very popular comic style in Japan and abroad – highly affects our visual culture today. Both Toulouse-Lautrec and Gauguin were very much inspired by the Japanese woodblocks, the roots of Manga. But what is the connection between Pokemon and 18th century Japanese woodblock printing? Find out at the Iparmuvészeti Múzeum (Museum of Applied Arts) Anime Day on Oct 28, which is also connected to the World of Kabuki Stars exhibition currently running there.

§ JoongAng Daily profiles the brother/sister manga writing duo known as Tadashi Agi (best known for Kindaichi Case Files, who write a comic about WINE which has apparently become a big hit in KOREA.

Following two Japanese authors down to the wine cellar beneath their house in the city of Musashino in Tokyo, this writer was surprised to find the Tadashi Agi siblings to be as enthusiastic about wine in real life as in their books. (Tadashi Agi is one of many pennames the siblings work under when creating their comic books.)

The brother and sister, who insisted on anonymity, are authors of the bestselling foreign comic book in Korea ― “Les Gouttes de Dieu” or “Drops from God” ― which enthuse about wine drinking. As the books became popular in Korea, so did many of the 70 different wines mentioned in the comic series, such as the 1988 Chateau Margaux and the 2000 Chateau Mouton Rothschild. But surely the authors can’t own them all, can they?

§ Meanwhile, in Arizona, local boy James Owen continues to talk about the success of Here, There Be Dragons his fantasy novel, already on its way to its fourth printing.

Owen started selling books and comics in a mail order business he began at the age of 14. “Mythworld,â€? one of his first series, was sold only in Germany and France, and award winning “Starchildâ€? is a graphic novel series that he has been writing for 12 years. Owen has produced more than half a million comic books.

He had a literary and arts magazine recently, but Owen said, “The distributor botched them.â€? He used his own money, borrowed from partners, friends and supporters. and lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. There was no way to rebuild that without a lot more cash. Owen recalled that an editor looked at the magazine, saw how much he lost and asked, “How are you going to get out of this?â€? As a joke, Owen replied, “The only solution is write a best selling novel and sell the movie rights.â€?