We have experienced an insane week: the United States elections and the many, many rallies against (and for) the results. Reports of increasing prejudiced attacks against Jews, Muslims, Gays, Latinos, women, African-Americans and others. The death of Jewish singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The Supermoon might even be driving us into more of a frenzy, if you are so inclined to believe. Where do we find solace? escape or escapism?

That is why I say that the very first ever Brooklyn Jewish Comic Con came to the rescue of some of us. A one-and-a-half-day event, this fun, educational, ethnic-pride and creative culture fest was held at Congregation Kol Israel. This is a modest sized, 92 year old synagogue that straddles the Prospect Heights and Crown Heights neighborhoods of Brooklyn. You can hear the occasional clack-clack of an outdoor subway train beside the property (the Franklin Avenue Shuttle train).

Not long after I first heard about this event I decided to attend. In early October I had attended the New York City Comic Con, a huge four-day event held at Manhattan's Javits Center (named for the late Jewish US Senator Jacob Javits). (And note that I only attended one day, the last day, with my two daughters.) This Jewish Comic Con was tiny and humble in comparison, but it was fascinating and full of ruach.

The Jewish Comic Con consisted of several panel discussion that centered on comics, super heroes, Jewish themes, humor, graphic novels and related topics. These were held in the lower level social hall, while the main sanctuary and front lobby featured over a dozen cartoon artists and writers who sold their materials, created art on the spot, and chatted with visitors. Morning and afternoon religious services were also held, and for lunch there was a kosher Barbecue cart outside on the sidewalk. (I bought and ate a tasty hotdog with smoked pastrami there.)

The Comic Con was introduced by the shul president, Fred Polaniecki, and featured writers and artists such as Julian Voloj, Arie Kaplan, Danny Fingeroth, Fabric Sapolsky, Jordan Gorfinkel, and others. I was especially entertained by the panel talk given by noted cartoonist (and native Brooklynite) Mort Gerberg.

Overall it was a very entertaining as well as intriguing and somewhat humbling way to spend a Sunday. It was also a way to focus on something other than the craziness and ache that so many of us are experiencing this week in the United States.

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