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The Old City of Jerusalem is crowded. In a relatively small space surrounded by walls there are three major religions, their sects and subsets. There is tourism and noise, garbage and sacred things, ideology, conflict and competing ideas. And, in early March of 2007, there was also me, standing in a narrow street with a notebook thinking to myself: “How the hell am I going to write about all of this?”
After finally getting to page 195, it was time to go all the way back to page one again and start coloring and inking. Like I said before, I hadn’t known how I was going to color the book when I first started out. Making the book full-color hadn’t even been my idea, rather, Vertigo had asked me if I wanted to make it in color. I told them that I wasn’t sure I could color a whole book, as I had never even attempted to make a comic in color. But they had liked the covers of my minicomics, for which I had colored a panel in Photoshop and made it into a sticker:
I had already completed two chapters of HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS when Jon Vankin asked me if I would consider publishing the book with Vertigo. Jon had picked up those two chapters at MoCCA, where I was selling them as minicomics. I couldn’t wait to get started on the book. Although my editors told me that I didn’t have to redraw the first two chapters, I decided that I would scrap them anyway and treat the minicomics versions like rough drafts.
Last month we unveiled the final version of Sarah Glidden’s cover painting for her graphic novel, HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS (well, final for now anyway). The book comes out in November. This one is really something special, both for Vertigo and for me as an editor -- a deeply affecting, charming and fascinating memoir of Sarah’s “Birthright” tour of Israel, a trip on which she found herself undergoing some unexpected personal, political and (dare I say) spiritual transformations.
Like many bright, young Jewish Americans, Sarah Glidden participated in a Birthright trip to Israel. HOW TO UNDERSTAND ISRAEL IN 60 DAYS OR LESS by Glidden is her first person account of that journey. Here, she questions everything she knows, or thinks she knows, about Israel and being Jewish and everything her tour guides tell her about Israel and being Jewish. Check out the cover [Please note: The cover is not final]: