comic books in Israel #1

Israel is small.
That’s one of the things kids here learn when they begin their geography classes.
You can cross the country in less then a day and still have time to sit around with friends and eat dinner before getting a good night sleep.
However we do not suffer for this, our cities are as beautiful as any city in the states, our countryside is breathtaking and our desert is stunning.
More importantly then that – there isn’t much we don’t have here or we can’t get.
People who think of Israel think of f###### camels, old cities and of course – soldiers fighting, bombs in the streets etc.
Well I’m here to show you a different kind of Israel, one that has more in common with the rest of the western world.
At least on the comics books front.

I began reading comics when I was 10 years old or so, back then we had tarzan, superman and some funnies coming in from several sources, for me it was a news stand close to my parents store.
I loved visiting the stand, the guy didn’t understand a thing about comics books but he knew what I liked and brought it – he was always nice and although looking back at this memory I get the sensation that he was probably a perv that got off from looking at me smiling I still feel these where good times.

My romance with comics ended a year later when he stopped bringing new things and it got renewed with the opening of the first order-by-phone company – comics express.
These guys where great and through them I learned about sandman, alan moore’s watchmen, transmetropolitan and more.
I think I blow my whole salary on these damn books – I couldn’t’ get enough.
Unfortunately the company was shutdown but a new one opened their gates and so I was able to get my smack from them.
Man, getting those deliveries was better then drugs and I admit – I am hooked and I CAN’T stop whenever I want.

Although fun, ordering by phone is not like going into a store and looking at the books, thumb through them, getting the feel of it – being in a temple dedicated to comics and owe at the wonder of it.
I was lucky enough to experience this when I was in England and I think most of you understand what I’m talking about.
I mean, it’s one thing to get anything you want by order but it’s a different thing to get to a store.

Anyways, almost two years ago the first comics store opened up in Israel and it’s just great.
The guy that runs the store makes sure to give alternative comics their space even though most people here like the mainstream.
The shelves are stocked with Vertigo lines, they are stocked with indis. You can get strangers in paradise, Cerebus, bone…whatever. All the companies are represented and you can always order whatever you want.
What makes this store great is the fact that the variety is amazing and the store owner knows his shit. Many times I will get to the store and with my order I will get a stack of books that he thinks I would like (after all he knows what I order).
This makes buying comics books so much fun then just browsing through the preview and calling in the place an order.
Not sure how it is for regular costumers of comics stores in the states or other places but its just great to have people that are involved and also run the a store like this.

Anyways, the reason I wrote all of this is to make it clear that Israel is not that different from other places and we got everything here.
Kitaro’s sideshow is a podcasting about comic books, movies, sci-fi and more and what we do is talk about the industries, give reviews and more.
At the moment our podcasting is in Hebrew only, but who knows 

I will use this space to talk about Israel and about comics in Israel, the numbers and of course my own view on the industry.

Hope you enjoy it.

Ziv

4 thoughts on “comic books in Israel #1

  1. Hey Ziv,
    Just had to comment on the great post that you put up. I’m glad you took the time to share your comic stories with everyone. Comics are a great form of art and storytelling that clearly crosses the global landscape. While I don’t know Hebrew, I’ll be interested in seeing more of your posts here at the Comics Podcasts Network!

  2. Hey man.
    Thanks for taking the time to comment.
    Comics books are amazing and I believe that my little story just hints on the power they have as a bridge between people from all around the world.

    Regarding your last comment, I am planning on writing more and I hope people will like it 🙂

  3. It is a refreshing thing, to know Israel has entertainment as well as fun stuff to do……I really do appreciate this article, Thanks again

  4. Thanks Shannon.
    Israel has her down sides – like any country – and many great and interesting stuff and I should do a followup to this article.

    Ziv

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