Reproduced from Kubert's raw pencil work, this is a tale of inspiring triumph -- of how people deprived of everything rise above the horror and degradation that is their existence and, in a final acto fo defiance and humanity, turn on their oppressors and launch the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising of 1943. His name is Yossel. In another time, in another place, this fifteen-year-old boy could have grown to be a great artist, but in Nazi-occupied Poland Yossel, a Jew, is an untermensch and thus has no rights and no future. When the Nazis confiscate his family's home and force them to live in the overcrowded tenements of the Warsaw ghetto, it appears that Yossel's artistic gift will be shattered. Instead, the awful suffering of his family, the terrible conditions of the ghetto, and the increasingly barbaric treatment inspire him. Yossel: April 19, 1943 is this boy's story, told through his sketches. It is a compelling account of increasing horror depicted by an artist whose soul drives him to bear witness through his art.
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Joe Kubert has produced countless stories for countless characters including Hawkman, Tarzan, Enemy Ace, Batman and The Flash. Kubert also edited, wrote and illustrated Sgt. Rock, which he contributed to for thirty years.From Publishers Weekly:
Kubert explores what might have been in this gripping account of WWII's Warsaw ghetto uprising. In the text introduction, Kubert recalls how his Polish family attempted to emigrate to the U.S. in 1926, but they were denied because his mother was pregnant with him. Luckily, they succeeded a few months later, and Kubert went on to become one of the most honored artists in comics history. But what if his family hadn't gotten away? In an immediate, sketchy pencil style, Kubert imagines an alternate version of his family history. Yossel is a teenaged boy with a gift for art. Uprooted and stripped of their possessions, the family is sent to the Warsaw ghetto with other Jews and undesirables, where conditions deteriorate as the Final Solution is put into action. Yossel's gift for artwork amuses the German guards and they give him special favors. Thus, when his family is sent off to a concentration camp, he is spared. He joins other young men in the underground resistance, however, including Mordechai, based on real-life ringleader Mordechai Anielewicz. An escapee from one of the camps makes his way to the ghetto and tells of the unimaginable horrors taking place, leading the resistance to stand up against the Nazis in an ultimately futile but memorable uprising. Kubert's loose pencil art excels at catching character and setting in a few lines, although the layouts are sometimes plain. A straightforward take on the events of the Holocaust, Yossel tells its tragic story with both emotion and dignity.
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