Arie Kaplan

Arie Kaplan is an American writer and comedian. He is the author of the book Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!, and a writer for Mad magazine. He lives in New York City.

Arie Kaplan
Kaplan at the New School University Center in New York City.
Spouse(s)Nadine Graham (m. 2004)


Although he is also a comedian and a cartoonist, Arie Kaplan is best known as a writer. Kaplan has written for Teen Beat, Tiger Beat, Entertainment Weekly, Time Out New York, the Utne Reader, and other publications. He has also won acclaim for exploring the role Jews have played in the history of both comedy writing and the comic book industry. Several years ago, Kaplan wrote a three-part series called "Kings of Comics"[1] about Jews in comics for Reform Judaism Magazine. In that series, he interviewed such comics luminaries as Al Jaffee, Stan Lee, Will Eisner, Art Spiegelman, Jerry Robinson, Paul Kupperberg, Trina Robbins, Drew Friedman, Judd Winick, Chris Claremont, Jon Bogdanove, and Joe Kubert. In his role as an entertainment journalist, Kaplan has also interviewed recording artists, comedians, filmmakers, and cartoonists, including R. Kelly, 'N Sync, Carl Reiner, Susie Essman, Larry Gelbart, Sam Gross, Tom Leopold, Nora Ephron, and Lewis Black.

Apart from being a journalist, he is also an in-demand public speaker, lecturing all over the world about various pop culture-related subjects. These include, but are not limited to, the history of comic books, comedy history, film history, the history of television, and the history of science fiction. He has lectured and performed stand-up comedy at resorts, synagogues, comedy clubs, and academic institutions worldwide, including the Nevele Grand Resort in the Catskills, Stand-Up New York in Manhattan, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, the Koffler Centre of the Arts in Toronto, the Kislak Vacation Center in the Poconos, the Jewish Culture Festival in Kraków, Poland, and the Jewish Cultural Festival in Trondheim, Norway.

In 2008 Kaplan wrote a Speed Racer comic book mini-series called Speed Racer: Chronicles of the Racer for IDW Publishing.[2] He has also written two Ben 10 comic book scripts for the DC Comics title Cartoon Network Action Pack. He is the writer/creator of the children's comic strip "Dave Danger, Action Kid" which ran in Reform Judaism Magazine from 2005-2007. In 2010, he wrote "Disney Club Penguin: Shadow Guy & Gamma Gal: Heroes Unite" for Grosset & Dunlap. He is currently working on a new graphic novel "The New Kid From Planet Glorf" for Capstone.

Kaplan can also be credited with writing for a various number of comic book series. These include the DC comics title "DC Universe Holiday Special", the DC series "Cartoon Network Action Pack", Bongo Comics anthology "Bart Simpson", Archie Comics title "Archie & Friends" and Papercutz horror series "Tales From the Crypt".

A writer for Mad magazine since 2000, Kaplan has described it as a dream to work for pioneering satire publication. Some of his best-known MAD pieces are the "Gulf Wars Episode 2: Clone of the Attacks"[3] poster, "What if Chris Rock Performed At A Bar Mitzvah?" and "MAD's New 'Sesame Street' Characters That Better Reflect Today's World." [4]

In Masters, Kaplan profiles the lives and careers of a diverse range of icons of the comic book genre, including Stan Lee (Spider-Man); Neil Gaiman (The Sandman); Marjane Satrapi (Persepolis, Art Spiegelman (Maus); Dwayne McDuffie (Static Shock); and Will Eisner (The Spirit).[5] At an event at MoCCA celebrating the release of the book Kaplan was asked what the comic artists he interviewed—such as Eisner, Spiegelman, and Gaiman—have in common. He said that they were "elevating the art" and showing comics to be "art with a capital A."[6] On the panel to discuss Kaplan's work was Jerry Robinson, legendary creator of The Joker, Robert Sikoryak, who does comic adaptations of literature, and Danny Fingeroth, former Spider-Man editor at Marvel Comics and author of "Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society."

Kaplan's book, From Krakow to Krypton: The history of Jews in Comics, came out in Sept 2008 from JPS, with a foreword by American Splendor creator Harvey Pekar[5] and quickly became a National Jewish Book Award finalist that same year. In 2009 it won the Booklist Editors' Choice: Books for Youth, the Sophie Brody Honor Book and was a finalist in the National "Best Books 2009" Award competition. His newest release, "American Pop: Hit Makers, Superstars, and Dance Revolutionaries" was published by Lerner Publishing Group's Twenty-First Century Books imprint in November 2012.

In addition to the above work, Kaplan has also had his hands in the creation of various video games such as Episode 2: Home to Roost of "Law & Order: Legacies" by Telltale Games. This episode is now available for PC and Mac, including the iPad, iPhone and iPod touch. He wrote the storyline and dialogue for all five episodes of "House M.D." for Legacy Interactive, which can now be purchased for PC and Nintendo DSiWare platforms. Together with Legacy Interactive, Kaplan is currently working on the storyline and dialogue for the upcoming game "Disaster Hero", an educational children's game.


  • "Jews built the comic book industry from the ground up, and the influence of Jewish writers, artists, and editors continues to be felt to this day."[7]

Personal life

On May 30, 2004, Kaplan married playwright Nadine Graham.[8] "I'm very goal-oriented. I pursue something until I've worn it down to a nub. That's what I did with Nadine."


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-27. Retrieved 2007-10-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ Newsarama Interview with IDW Publishing's Chris Ryall Archived August 26, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-30. Retrieved 2007-10-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-08-31. Retrieved 2007-10-14.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ a b xx
  6. ^ Gary Shapiro, "In Comics, Villains Needed", The New York Sun, August 31, 2006; Page 13.
  7. ^ A Brief History of Jews in Comic Books Archived July 8, 2006, at the Wayback Machine on
  8. ^ Anna Jane Grossman, Countdown to Bliss, New York Observer, March 22, 2004; Page 12.

Further reading

  • Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed! ISBN 1-55652-633-4

External links


Arie is a masculine given name.

As a Dutch name, Arie (pronounced /ˈaːri/) is generally a short form of Adrianus, but sometimes also of Arend or Arent, Arnout or Arnoud, or even Aaron.As a Hebrew, Jewish, or Israeli name, Arie (pronounced /ariˈE/) is a transliteration of the Hebrew word or name אריה, which means lion. Other transliterations include Arieh, Aryeh, and Ari.

People with the name include:

Arie Alter (born 1961), Israeli footballer

Arie Altman (1902–1982), Israeli politician (Aryeh)

Arie den Arend (1903–1982), Dutch composer

Arie Aroch (1908–1974), Israeli painter

Arie van Beek (born 1951), Dutch music teacher and conductor

Arie Belldegrun (born 1949), Israeli-American urologic oncologist (Aryeh)

Arie Bieshaar (1899–1965), Dutch footballer (Adrianus)

Arie Bijl (1908–1945), Dutch theoretical physicist and resistance member

Arie Bijvoet (1891–1976), Dutch footballer

Arie Bodek (born 1947), American experimental particle physicist and professor

Arie van den Brand (born 1951), Dutch GreenLeft politician

Arie van de Bunt (born 1969), Dutch water polo player (Arend)

Arie Carpenter or "Aunt Arie" (1885–1978), American woman portrayed in the play Firefox

Arie Deri (born 1959), Israeli politician (Aryeh)

Arie van Deursen (1931–2011), Dutch historian

Arie Duijvestijn (1927–1998), Dutch computer scientist (Adrianus)

Arie Dvoretzky (1918–2008), Russian-born Israeli mathematician (Aryeh)

Arie Eldad (born 1950), Israeli politician (Aryeh)

Arie Evegroen (1905–1988), Dutch schipper who prevented a flood in 1953

Arie Freiberg (born 1949), Australian legal academic

Arie Gamliel (born 1957), Israeli Olympic long distance runner

Arie van Gemert (born 1929), Dutch football referee

Arie de Geus (born 1930), Dutch business executive at Royal Dutch/Shell

Arie Gluck (1930–2016), Israeli Olympic middle distance runner (also known as Arie Gill-Glick)

Arie Lev Gruzman (born 1970), Israeli chemist

Arie de Graaf (1939–1995), Dutch track cyclist

Arie de Graaf (born 1947), Dutch politician

Arie Gur'el (1918–2017), Polish-born mayor of Haifa, Israel (Aryeh)

Arie Jan Haagen-Smit (1900–1977), Dutch chemist (Adrianus)

Arie Haan (born 1948), Dutch football player and coach (Arend)

Arie Nicolaas Habermann (1932–1993), Dutch computer scientist

Arie den Hartog (born 1941), Dutch road bicycle racer

Arie Hassink (born 1950), Dutch road bicycle racer (Arend)

Arie Haviv (born 1956), Israeli footballer

Arie Heijkoop (1883–1929), Dutch politician

Arie Hershkowitz (born ca. 1960), Israeli urban planner

Arie van Houwelingen (born 1931), Dutch bicycle racer

Arie Irawan (born 1990), Malaysian golfer

Arie Itman, Canadian heavy metal singer and guitarist

Arie de Jong (1865-1957), Dutch physician, linguist and Volapük enthusiast

Arie de Jong (fencer) (1882–1966), Dutch fencer (Adrianus)

Arie Kaan (1901–1991), Dutch hurdler

Arie Kaplan, American writer and comedian

Arie E. Kaufman (born 1948), American computer scientist

Arie Klaase (1903–1983), Dutch long-distance runner

Arie L. Kopelman (born 1938), American businessman and philanthropist

Arie Kosto (born 1938), Dutch State Secretary for Justice

Arie Kouandjio (born 1992), American football player

Arie W. Kruglanski (born 1939), American social psychologist

Arie Andries Kruithof (1909–1993), Dutch physicist

Arie Frederik Lasut (1909–1993), Indonesian geologist and revolutionary

Arie Lamme (1748–1801), Dutch landscape painter and poet

Arie Johannes Lamme (1812–1900), Dutch painter and museum director

Arie van Leeuwen (1910–2000), Dutch hurdlerrend

Arie van Lent (born 1970), Dutch footballer active in Germany

Arie Loef (born 1969), Dutch speed skater

Arie Luyendyk (born 1953), Dutch auto racing driver

Arie Luyendyk, Jr. (born 1981), Dutch-American auto racing driver; son of the above

Arie Machnes (born 1921), Israeli footballer

Arie Maliniak (born 1949), Israeli basketball player and coach

Arie Nehemkin (born 1925), Israeli Minister of Agriculture (Aryeh)

Arie van Os (born 1937), Dutch businessman and financial director

Arie Pais (born 1930), Dutch politician and economist (Aäron)

Arie van der Pluym (1906–1934), Dutch motorcycle racer

Arie Posin (born ca. 1972), Israeli-born American film director and screenwriter

Arie Priyatna (born 1982), Indonesian footballer

Arie Radler (born 1943), Israeli footballer and manager

Arie Zeev Raskin (born 1976), Chief Rabbi of Cyprus

Arie Reich (born 1959), Israeli legal scholar

Arie Rip (born 1941), Dutch social scientist

Arie Schans (born 1953), Dutch football manager

Arie Selinger (born 1937), Israeli volleyball coach (Aryeh)

Arie Shapira (born 1943), Israeli composer and music researcher

Arie Slob (born 1961), Dutch politician

Arie Smit (born 1916), Dutch-born Indonesian painter (Adrianus)

Arie van der Stel (1894–1986), Dutch cyclist

Arie Supriyatna (born 1984), Indonesian footballer

Arie Van de Moortel (1918–1976), Belgian violist and composer

Arie Vardi (born 1937), Israeli classical pianist

Arie van der Velden (1881–1967), Dutch sailor

Arie Vermeer (1922–2013), Dutch footballer (Adrianus)

Arie Verveen (born 1976), Irish actor

Arie van Vliet (1916–2001), Dutch cyclist and 1936 Olympic champion

Arie de Vois (1632–1680), Dutch Golden Age painter

Arie Vooren (1923–1988), Dutch racing cyclist

Arie Vos (born 1976), Dutch motorcycle racer

Arie Vosbergen (1882–1918), Dutch middle and long-distance runner

Arie de Vroet (1918–1999), Dutch footballer

Arie Wilner, nom de guerre of Izrael Chaim Wilner (1916–1943), Polish-Jewish resistance fighter

Arie de Winter (born 1915), Dutch footballer (Arend)

Arie Zwart (1903–1981), Dutch painter (Adrianus)

Comics Arts Conference

The Comics Arts Conference (CAC), also known as the Comic Arts Conference, is an academic conference held in conjunction with both the annual Comic-Con International in San Diego, California, and WonderCon in San Francisco. Founded in 1992 by Henderson State University communications professor Randy Duncan and Michigan State University graduate student Peter Coogan (author of the book Superhero: The Secret Origin of a Genre), the Comic(s) Arts Conference brings together scholars, professionals, critics, industry professionals, and historians who study comics seriously as a medium.

Danny Fingeroth

Daniel Fingeroth (; born 1953) is an American comic book writer and editor, best known for a long stint as group editor of the Spider-Man books at Marvel Comics.

Flash Gordon

Flash Gordon is the hero of a space opera adventure comic strip created by and originally drawn by Alex Raymond. First published January 7, 1934, the strip was inspired by, and created to compete with the already established Buck Rogers adventure strip.The Flash Gordon comic strip has been translated into a wide variety of media, including motion pictures, television, and animated series. The latest version, a Flash Gordon television series, appeared on the Syfy channel in the United States in 2007–2008.


The Hulk is a fictional superhero appearing in publications by the American publisher Marvel Comics. Created by writer Stan Lee and artist Jack Kirby, the character first appeared in the debut issue of The Incredible Hulk (May 1962). In his comic book appearances, the character is both the Hulk, a green-skinned, hulking and muscular humanoid possessing a vast degree of physical strength, and his alter ego Dr. Robert Bruce Banner, a physically weak, socially withdrawn, and emotionally reserved physicist, the two existing as independent personalities and resenting of the other.

Following his accidental exposure to gamma rays during the detonation of an experimental bomb, Banner is physically transformed into the Hulk when subjected to emotional stress, at or against his will, often leading to destructive rampages and conflicts that complicate Banner's civilian life. The Hulk's level of strength is normally conveyed as proportionate to his level of anger. Commonly portrayed as a raging savage, the Hulk has been represented with other personalities based on Banner's fractured psyche, from a mindless, destructive force, to a brilliant warrior, or genius scientist in his own right. Despite both Hulk and Banner's desire for solitude, the character has a large supporting cast, including Banner's lover Betty Ross, his friend Rick Jones, his cousin She-Hulk, sons Hiro-Kala and Skaar, and his co-founders of the superhero team the Avengers. However, his uncontrollable power has brought him into conflict with his fellow heroes and others.

Lee stated that the Hulk's creation was inspired by a combination of Frankenstein and Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although the Hulk's coloration has varied throughout the character's publication history, the most usual color is green. He has two main catchphrases: "Hulk is strongest one there is!" and the better-known "Hulk smash!", which has founded the basis for numerous pop culture memes.

One of the most iconic characters in popular culture, the character has appeared on a variety of merchandise, such as clothing and collectable items, inspired real-world structures (such as theme park attractions), and been referenced in a number of media. Banner and the Hulk have been adapted in live-action, animated, and video game incarnations. The most notable of these were the 1970s The Incredible Hulk television series, in which the character was portrayed by Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno. The character was first played in a live-action feature film by Eric Bana, with Edward Norton and Mark Ruffalo portraying the character in the films The Incredible Hulk, The Avengers, Iron Man 3, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Thor: Ragnarok, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

It Ain't Me, Babe (comics)

It Ain't Me Babe Comix is a one-shot underground comic book published in 1970. It is the first comic book produced entirely by women. It was co-produced by Trina Robbins and Barbara "Willy" Mendes, and published by Last Gasp. Robbins and other staff members from a feminist newspaper in Berkeley, California, also called It Ain't Me, Babe, contributed. Many of the creators from the It Ain't Me Babe comic went on to contribute to the long-running series Wimmen's Comix.

Jewish Publication Society

The Jewish Publication Society (JPS), originally known as the Jewish Publication Society of America, is the oldest nonprofit, nondenominational publisher of Jewish works in English. Founded in Philadelphia in 1888, by reform Rabbi Joseph Krauskopf among others, JPS is especially well known for its English translation of the Hebrew Bible, the JPS Tanakh.

The JPS Bible translation is used in Jewish and Christian seminaries, on hundreds of college campuses, in informal adult study settings, in synagogues, and in Jewish day schools and supplementary programs. It has been licensed in a wide variety of books as well as in electronic media.

As a nonprofit publisher, JPS continues to develop projects that for-profit publishers will not invest in, significant projects that may take years to complete. Other core JPS projects include the ongoing JPS Bible commentary series; books on Jewish tradition, holidays and customs, history, theology, ethics and philosophy; midrash and Rabbinics; and its many Bible editions and Bible study resources.Since 2012, JPS publications have been distributed by the University of Nebraska Press.

Kaplan (surname)

Kaplan is a surname that is of ultimately Latin origins. There is also a historically unrelated surname in modern Turkey.

Koffler Centre of the Arts

The Koffler Centre of the Arts is a broad-based cultural institution established in 1977 by Murray and Marvelle Koffler and based at Artscape Youngplace in the West Queen West area of downtown Toronto, Ontario.

List of Jewish American cartoonists

This is an alphabetized list of notable Jewish American cartoonists. Jewish Americans took the lead role in creating the comics industry.

Little Golden Books

Little Golden Books is a popular series of children's books. The eighth book in the series, The Poky Little Puppy, is the top-selling children's book of all time. Many of the Little Golden Books have become bestsellers, including The Poky Little Puppy, Tootle, Scuffy the Tugboat, and The Little Red Hen. Several of the illustrators for the Little Golden Books later became key figures within the children's book industry, including Corinne Malvern, Tibor Gergely, Gustaf Tenggren, Feodor Rojankovsky, Richard Scarry, Eloise Wilkin, and Garth Williams.

Many books in the Little Golden Books series deal with nature and science, Bible stories, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales. Christmas titles are published every year. Some Little Golden Books and related products have featured children's characters from other media, e.g. Sesame Street, The Muppets, Disney, Looney Tunes, Barbie, Power Rangers, etc. Television and movie tie-ins have been particularly popular. Over the years Hopalong Cassidy, Cheyenne, Lassie, Rin Tin Tin, Captain Kangaroo, Mister Rogers, and even Donny and Marie Osmond have appeared in Little Golden Books. That many old titles remain in print shows the strong nostalgia appeal of the series.

The series originated with Simon & Schuster; Western Printing and Lithographing Company in Racine, Wisconsin was Simon & Schuster's partner in the Little Golden Books venture, with Western handling the actual printing. Ownership and control of the series has changed several times since; Little Golden Books are currently published by Penguin Random House.

Although the details have changed over the years, the Little Golden Books have maintained a distinctive appearance. A copy of The Poky Little Puppy bought today is essentially the same as one printed in 1942. Both are readily recognizable as Little Golden Books. At the time of the series' golden anniversary in 1992, Golden Books claimed that a billion and a half Little Golden Books had been sold.Although the Little Golden Books have remained the backbone of the product line, the enterprise that produced the Little Golden Books has created a variety of children's books in various formats, including records, tapes, videos, and even toys and games. Some titles have appeared in several different formats (including "A Golden Book").


Maus is a graphic novel by American cartoonist Art Spiegelman, serialized from 1980 to 1991. It depicts Spiegelman interviewing his father about his experiences as a Polish Jew and Holocaust survivor. The work employs postmodernist techniques and represents Jews as mice, Germans as cats, and Poles as pigs. Critics have classified Maus as memoir, biography, history, fiction, autobiography, or a mix of genres. In 1992, it became the first graphic novel to win a Pulitzer Prize (the Special Award in Letters).

In the frame-tale timeline in the narrative present that begins in 1978 in New York City, Spiegelman talks with his father Vladek about his Holocaust experiences, gathering material for the Maus project he is preparing. In the narrative past, Spiegelman depicts these experiences, from the years leading up to World War II to his parents' liberation from the Nazi concentration camps. Much of the story revolves around Spiegelman's troubled relationship with his father, and the absence of his mother, who committed suicide when he was 20. Her grief-stricken husband destroyed her written accounts of Auschwitz. The book uses a minimalist drawing style and displays innovation in its pacing, structure, and page layouts.

A three-page strip also called "Maus" that he made in 1972 gave Spiegelman an opportunity to interview his father about his life during World War II. The recorded interviews became the basis for the graphic novel, which Spiegelman began in 1978. He serialized Maus from 1980 until 1991 as an insert in Raw, an avant-garde comics and graphics magazine published by Spiegelman and his wife, Françoise Mouly, who also appears in Maus. A collected volume of the first six chapters that appeared in 1986 brought the book mainstream attention; a second volume collected the remaining chapters in 1991. Maus was one of the first graphic novels to receive significant academic attention in the English-speaking world.

Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art

The Museum of Comic and Cartoon Art (MoCCA) is a not-for-profit arts organization and former museum in New York, devoted to comic books, comic strips and other forms of cartoon art. MoCCA sponsored events ranging from book openings to educational programs in New York City schools, and hosted classes, workshops and lectures. MoCCA was perhaps best known for its annual small-press comic convention, known as MoCCA Fest, first held in 2002.

Papercutz (publisher)

Papercutz Graphic Novels is an American publisher of family-friendly comic books and graphic novels, mostly based on licensed properties such as Nancy Drew, the Hardy Boys, and Lego Ninjago. Papercutz has also published new volumes of the Golden Age-era comics series Classics Illustrated and Tales from the Crypt. In recent years they have begun publishing English translations of European (mostly French) all-ages comics, including The Smurfs.

Ragman (comics)

Ragman (Rory Regan) is a fictional character, a superhero and mystic vigilante who appears in American comic books published by DC Comics.

Ragman was a recurring character on the Arrowverse television series Arrow played by actor Joe Dinicol. This version was part of Team Arrow until his magical rags stopped working. He left the team to fix his bond with the rags.

Robert Sikoryak

Robert Sikoryak (born 1964) is an American artist whose work is usually signed R. Sikoryak. He specializes in making comic adaptations of literature classics. Under the series title Masterpiece Comics, these include Crime and Punishment rendered in Bob Kane–era Batman style, becoming Dostoyevsky Comics, starring Raskol; and Waiting for Godot mixed with Beavis and Butt-Head, becoming Waiting to Go.

Sophie Brody Award

The Sophie Brody Award is an annual award of the American Library Association, administered by the Reference and User Services Association RUSA. It is given for outstanding achievement in Jewish literature, for works published the previous year, in the US.

The award is named after Sophie Brody and was established by her husband, Arthur Brody, and the Brodart Foundation.

Static Shock

Static Shock is an American animated television series based on the Milestone Media/DC Comics superhero Static. It premiered on September 23, 2000, on The WB Television Network's Kids' WB programming block. Static Shock ran for four seasons, with 52 half-hour episodes in total. The show revolves around Virgil Hawkins, an African-American boy, who uses the secret identity of 'Static' after exposure to a mutagen gas during a gang fight which gave him electromagnetic powers. Part of the DC animated universe, the series was produced by Warner Bros. Animation from a crew composed mostly of people from the company's past shows, but also with the involvement of two of the comic's creators, Dwayne McDuffie and Denys Cowan.

Static Shock had some alterations from the original comic book because it was oriented to a pre-teen audience. Nevertheless, the show approached several social issues, which was positively received by most television critics. Static Shock was nominated for numerous awards, including the Daytime Emmy. Some criticism was directed towards its jokes—which were said to be stale and too similar to Spider-Man style—and animation, which was said to be unnatural and outdated. The series also produced some related merchandise, which sold poorly; McDuffie cited the low sales as one of the main factors behind the series' cancellation. In spite of this, its popularity revived interest in the original Milestone comic and introduced McDuffie to the animation industry, and it maintains a dedicated fanbase to this day.

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