Dry Bones at 40

Yaakov Kirschen, creator of Israel’s longest-running comic strip — four decades and going strong — was honored by the Israel Cartoonists Association (ICA) at Animix, the Festival for Animation, Comics and Caricature which took place in Arad last week.

For 40 years running now, political cartoonist Yaakov “Dry Bones” Kirschen has been commenting on Israel and Israelis, society, culture, politics — local, regional and international — and anything else that deserves a poke in the side.

As creator of Israel’s longest-running comic strip, Kirschen was recognized for a lifetime of achievement by the Israel Cartoonists Association (ICA) at Animix, the Festival for Animation, Comics and Caricature which took place in Arad last week.

Another award, the Israel Museum of Caricature and Comics’ “Golden Pencil” was given to him earlier this year, closer to the actual 40th anniversary of his joining The Jerusalem Post on January 1, 1973.

Here’s a link to a story that includes Kirschen’s recollection of how he came to work at The Post under legendary editor Ted Lurie — and here’s that first cartoon:

And another cartoon, also from 1973. Things haven’t changed that much.

Kirschen, who is a personal friend, had nothing but praise for Animix, which he says gets better from year to year as a gathering place for artists engaged in all forms of cartooning, caricature, comics, graphic novelization and animation. A few days before the Festival, he published his his take on newspaper cartooning in today’s new media environment.

In addition to “Dry Bones”, Kirschen is working on a variety of projects including The Dry Bones Blog where he posts current cartoons and beloved Golden Oldies, the Dry Bones Project, an educational outreach effort that is producing comic books about Israel and Jewish nationhood for the Chinese market, as well as Secret Codes, Hidden War, a study conducted by Kirschen while he was Artist in Residence at the Yale Initiative for the Interdisciplinary Study of Antisemitism that examined the role of political cartoons in promulgating new antisemitic memes.

There is also the Dry Bones Haggadah — the first draft of which was funded successfully on Kickstarter — which he envisions as becoming a Passover household staple and family favorite.

You can help make that vision come true by visiting the Dry Bones Project page and, of course, by visiting the The Dry Bones Blog.

About Rachel Neiman

A veteran media professional who has lived in Israel since 1984, Rachel has been part of the ISRAEL21c organization since 2008. Prior to that, she served as managing editor of Globes Online, the English-language edition of Israel’s leading business daily, and before that, at The Jerusalem Post, as a business reporter, feature writer, and consumer columnist. Rachel began writing about Israeli technology companies at LINK Israel’s Business and Technology Magazine and is a professional Hebrew to English translator. In her spare time, she is an active member of the Havurat Tel Aviv congregation, and the Holyland Hash House Harriers, part of an international running and drinking disorganization.
  • AbiGezunt

    I remember vividly the first Dry Bones cartoons in 1973. I was hooked and have been reading them ever since. No one captures the beauty, truth, trials, tribulations, and ironies of Israel as well as Yaakov Kirschen. May he continue to produce these gems, in good health naturally, for many years to come, with his LSW at his side.

  • John Tate

    Shalom Yaakov, congratulations on your award. It is well deserved.

  • Daniel Ben-Sefer

    Well done Yaakov!
    I enjoy your cartoons as much today as back in the seventies!