I did a little bit of research for today’s column just to make sure I had my facts right, Googling “Jewish influence on comic books” in honor of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. There were 509,000 hits, from Den of Geek’s Mensch of Steel: Superman’s Jewish Roots to the Daily Beast’s Superman is Jewish?: The Hebrew Roots of America’s Greatest Superhero to Stormfront’s How and Why the Jews Stole the Comic Book Industry.
Stormfront is a white supremacist site whose “welcome” page reads:
“We are a community of racial realists and idealists. We are White Nationalists who support true diversity and a homeland for all peoples. Thousands of organizations promote the interests, values and heritage of non-White (sic) minorities. We promote ours.
“We are the voice of the new, embattled white minority!
“Tell the truth and fear no one!”
The article is a mixture of facts, lies, and innuendos. It starts off introducing one-time pulp magazine writer Major Malcolm Wheeler-Nicholson (1890 – 1968), who, according to the site, lived an “extraordinary” life, rising to become the youngest major in Army history – or was that in the U.S. Cavalry, or was that “one of the youngest majors” in the U.S. Cavalry? He also “chased bandits on the Mexican border, fought fevers and played polo in the Philippines, led a battalion of infantry against the Bolsheviks in Siberia, helped straighten out the affairs of the army in France [and] commanded the headquarters cavalry of the American force in the Rhine”. His Cavalry unit was among those under John J. Pershing’s command that in 1916 hunted the Mexican revolutionary Pancho Villa. The following year, he served under Pershing fighting the Muslim Moros in the Philippines, and with a Cossack troop in Siberia. Subsequent outposts included Japan; London, England; and Germany.”
But all these daring-do activities were according to Wheeler-Nicholson’s own accounts. So I looked him up on Wikipedia. The article included the above paragraph. But it also had this:
“Following his public criticism of Army command in a New York Times open letter to President Warren G. Harding, as well as accusations by the major against senior officers, plus countercharges, hearings, a lawsuit against West Point Superintendent General Fred W. Sladen, and what the family calls an Army-sanctioned assassination attempt that left Wheeler-Nicholson hospitalized with a bullet wound. Wheeler-Nicholson In June 1922 was convicted in a court-martial trial of violating the 96th Article of War in publishing the open letter. Although he was not demoted, his career was dead-ended. He resigned his commission in 1923. His $100,000 lawsuit against Sladen was dismissed by the New York State Supreme Court the following year.”
Just the facts, ma’am.
In 1934 he formed National Allied Publications, which later evolved into National Periodicals and then DC Comics and now DC Entertainment. His comics were the first to print original stories, which included “Yellow Peril” (sic) adventure “Barry O’Neill”, featuring a Fu Manchu-styled villain, Fang Gow.”
Here’s where the innuendos start.
When Wheeler-Nicholson brought on Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster (pre-Superman) in 1935, the innuendo is that it was the hiring of these two men, i.e., Jews, which caused profits to start sliding because, according to Stormfront, “newsstands refused to stock his magazine.”
By 1937, the company was in debt to printing plant owner and magazine distributor Romanian Jew [sic] Harry Donenfeld, and in order to keep publishing Wheeler-Nicholson was compelled [sic] to take on Donenfeld as a partner. Evidently Donenfeld was no saint – he was a fast-talking and slick businessman with ties to the gangster Frank Costello and other members of the underworld. He allegedly helped Costello smuggle alcohol into the States from Canada during Prohibition, and acquired the rights for his company, Martin Press, to “print six million subscription leaflets for Hearst magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping…due to Donenfeld’s…underworld contacts having close connections with Hearst newspaper salesman Moe Annenberg.”
Also according to Stormfront, Wheeler-Nicholson was forced to form a partnership with Donenfeld and Jack (Jacob) S. Liebowitz, Donenfeld’s accountant, in order to keep Detective Comics, Inc. (pre-Batman) in business. And then, quoting the white supremacist website, “things went from bad to worse with Wheeler-Nicholson having to sell his publishing business to Donenfield and Liebowtiz in 1937,” thought the website neglects to mention that the Great Depression of the 1930s forced many publishing houses out of the business.
Those conniving Jews did a further disservice to Wheeler-Nicholson when – and here Stormfront decides to quote comic books historian Gerard Jones:
“In early 1938, Harry Donenfeld sends him and his wife on a cruise to Cuba to ‘work up new ideas.’ When they came home, the Major found the lock to his office door changed. In his absence, Harry had sued him for non-payment and pushed Detective Comics, Inc. into bankruptcy…where a judge named Abe Mennen, one of Harry’s old Tammany buddies, had been appointed interim president of the firm and arranged a quick sale of its assets to Independent News.”
Stormfront adds that Wheeler-Nicholson was given a percentage of More Fun Comics as a “shut-up” token, and essentially told him not to let the back door hit him on the ass on the way out.
And then Stormfront says: This is how the Jews stole the comics books.”
Yeah. Those stinkin’ Jews.
In 1938, as you and me and the world knows, Siegel and Shuster created Superman, whose first appearance was in Action Comics #1, and heralded in what is known as the Golden Age of comics, with the introduction of many of our most-beloved comics heroes. And although there was nothing “inherently Jewish” about the heroes, Stormfront makes special note that Captain America was created by two more Jewish creators, Joe Simon and Jack Kirby, nee Jacob Kurtzberg; Cap dared – my word, not theirs, although the innuendo is certainly apparent – to go after the Red Skull, the special agent of the Nazis. The site also makes sure that it’s readers know that Steve Rogers, Caps’ alter-ego, “could be seen as a symbol for the way Jews were frail and passive. That is, until he took a serum that transformed him into the robust Captain America,” and that “The serum was created by ‘Professor Reinstein,’ an obvious nod to famed Jewish physicist Albert Einstein.
Oh, and the white supremacists and yearning – again, my word, not theirs – Nazis also make note of the story, possibly apocryphal, that “Superman gave such a pounding to Nazi agents from 1941 – 1945 that Nazi Minister of Propaganda Joseph Goebbels jumped up in the midst of a Reichstag meeting and denounced the Man of Steel as a Jew.”
Huh? But Jews were, according to the Nazi line, were “frail and passive.” So naming Superman as an indefatigable and unbeatable warrior against the Aryan super race would be an oxymoron, isn’t that true, Herr Goebbels? Go snort some more cocaine and finish fucking editing Leni Riefenstahl.
Stormfront goes on tally up all the Jewish creators of the comic books industry, being sure to make snarky – and incredibly offensive – remarks. The creators include everybody from Bill Gaines, Harvey Kurtzman, Stan Lee – of whom they make sure to make mention of his birth name, Stanley Martin Lieber – and the aforementioned Jack Kirby, again making sure that their readers are aware that the King’s “real” name is Jacob Kurtzberg to Art Spiegelman, Harvey Pekar, Will Eisner, Joe Kubert, and current graphic novel authors James Sturm (The Golem’s Mighty Swing), Miriam Katin (We Are On Our Own) and Ben Katchor (The Jew of New York).
And it makes special mention of Chris Claremont, who created the “openly Jewish” X-Man Kitty Pryde, who “wore a Star of David necklace,” and Lee and Kirby’s Fantastic Four member Ben Grimm, i.e., the Thing, who has a bar mitzvah in an early story.
Some of the article reads as very “respectful” and “appreciative,” until you get to the end, which…well, I’m just going to quote it in its entirety, though I have to warn you that the author also takes an extreme and out of nowhere jump in what I can only call an attempt to compare apples and oranges, a false equivalency, by suddenly inserting what is called “modern music” – and I left the misspelling and grammatical errors in to show what a, uh, brilliant writer this person is:
“The real aim modern music is to destroy the Male “SUPEREGO.” (American Nazi party founder) George Lincoln Rockwell explains this in an old article of the 1960s he wrote. Though not mentioning the SUPEREGO it is this I now believe he means.
“To destroy the SUPEREGO the JEWS first needed to create a gap between young and old. Once they achieved this the SUPEREGO (which is passed down from father to his kids) was attacked by feminised rock bands. Infact, the music from that day on fuelled the id (pleasure principle) and not the EGO (reality principle) and SUPEREGO (conscience). Children were no longer listening to their parents, but instead to defective “artists” and “lyrics” that were destructive to behavioural development. Freudian Psychoanalysis is being used to destroy OUR people via modern music.
Now the same could be said about the Superheroes. Like Rockwell said, “Kids’ need “heroes”. They must have them to grow emotionally and spiritually.” But Superheroes are abstract fantasy, and not real heroes. The Superheroes then replaced REAL fighting heroes of the likes Rockwell mentions. Kids now wanted to be like Superman and fly through the air. But kids can’t fly through the air, can they? Not being an expert in this field, and I’m only guessing, but would this must have some effect on the ego?”
Jesus H. Fucking Joosevelt Christ.
L’shana tovah, everybody! That’s Hebrew for Happy New Year. Have some honey on an apple or challah to bring in a sweet, healthy, and happy New Year.
(EDITOR’S NOTE: Major Wheeler-Nicholson’s granddaughter Nicky Wheeler-Nicholson Brown has been working with the aforementioned Gerard Jones on a meticulously researched biography of the Major titled Lost Hero: The Adventurous and Tragic Life of the Man Who Invented Comic Books. A swell interview with Nicky can be found here.)