Sunday, October 16, 2016

You May Kiss the Groom – Both of You!

Mazal tov to Meir Bargeron and Jon Tam! I am so pleased to share with you the Bargeron-Tam ketubah, which I created for them — and they just signed it and got married this past weekend!

According to Kabbalah the four days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot are especially holy days, and excellent for a wedding — and Jon and Meir got married during that auspicious time. For that reason, their ketubah is a hupah and a sukkah. The sukkah has many parallels with the hupah, after all: both represent dwellings, and are places of peace and comfort. We invite guests to join us for both, and we celebrate with food and drink. The top of the ketubah is the sukkah’s lattice roof, filled with texts about marriage taken from comic books and the ketubah text.

The lattice incorporates texts from comic books and from traditional texts referenced in the ketubah text – here, from the book of Bereshit (Genesis).
Overflowing with promises!

Here's where the ketubah gets its name from – text from X-Men #51 (August 2012). Also, text from the book of Hosea, referenced in the ketubah text.

Grapes and pomegranates climb alongside the English text: symbols of joy and family, and a reference to the wine Meir and Jon share under the hupah.

The section in between the English and Hebrew texts is made of tea leaves, specifically those used to make dong ding oolong tea, which the couple had in a tea ceremony prior to entering into the hupah. Blazing beside the Hebrew is a havdalah candle with two wicks joining into one flame; this represents the Havdalah service Jon and Meir included as part of their wedding, and the colors are those of the silk hupah under which they make their vows. The candle is also a reference to these words from the Baal Shem Tov:

From every human being there rises a light that reaches straight to heaven, and when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, the streams of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from that united being.

The ketubah is made of cut-up comic books, in particular wedding-themed issues — and many pieces are from mainstream superhero comics’ first same-sex wedding, in Astonishing X-Men #51. Comics in the ketubah include:
  • Astonishing X-Men #51 (August 2012) — wedding of Jean-Paul Beaubier (Northstar) and Kyle Jinadu
  • The Justice League of America #121 (August 1975) — wedding of Adam and Alanna Strange
  • The Legion of Super-Heroes Annual #2 (1983) — wedding of Val Armorr (Karate Kid) and Princess Projectra
  • Superman: The Wedding Album #1 (December 1996) — wedding of Clark Kent (Superman) and Lois Lane
  • Ultimate Comics X-Men #22 (April 2013)
  • The Wedding of Deadpool #1 (March 2016)
  • X-Men Legacy #255 (November 2011)

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Place of the Cure of the Soul:
A Commission for Robert Kirkman and Skybound

This is “The Place of the Cure of the Soul,” a papercut I was commissioned to create for Skybound Entertainment (Robert Kirkman! The Walking Dead! Yeah, those guys.)

The papercut is a representation of the Ancient Library of Alexandria, one of the largest libraries of the ancient world and dedicated to the Muses. According to legend, an inscription above the library’s shelves of papyrus scrolls read, “The Place of the Cure of the Soul” — and what better way to represent Skybound Entertainment, whose work serves that same goal — with its body of work encompassing comic books, television shows, merchandise, games and more.

This papercut is made of a single sheet of cold press watercolor stock, thematic selections from the Oxford English Dictionary, and cut-up comic books from Skybound Entertainment including:
Birthright #8 (Jun 2015), #12 (Dec 2015), #13 (Jan 2016), #16 (Jun 2016)
Invincible #121 (Jul 2015), #123 (Sep 2015), #126 (Dec 2015), #128 (May 2016)
Manifest Destiny #14 (Apr 2016), #15 (Jun 2015), #18 (Oct 2015), #19 (May 2016), #20 (Jun 2016)
Outcast #12 (Sep 2015), #15 – #17 (Jan – Mar 2016)
Techjacket #10 (Jun 2015), #11 (Sep 2015), #12 (Dec 2015)
Thief of Thieves #28 (May 2015), #30 (Aug 2015), #31 (Sep 2015)
The Walking Dead #142 (Jun 2015), #149 (Dec 2015), #150 (Jan 2016), #151 (Feb 2016), #153 – #156 (Apr – July 2016)