Tag Archives: Miriam Libicki

Come meet Miriam Libicki in Tel Aviv

The artist behind the brilliant Jobnik! series, about her service in the IDF during the Al Aqsa Intifada, will be signing her new graphic novel in Tel Aviv this coming Friday, September 12.

Location: Comix ‘n Vegetables, 40 King George Street (around the corner from the Dizengoff Center).

Time: We are going to kick things off at 11.00 a.m. with a little Q&A session (I’ll do the Q; Miriam will do the A).

Miriam moved to Israel when she was 17, served in the army and then ended up studying art in Vancouver, Canada – which is my home town.

I, on the other hand, ran away from left Vancouver when I was 17 in order to move to Israel, but did not serve in the army. Instead, I went to study Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures at Columbia. A decade later, I moved back to Israel. Also, we both attended Orthodox day schools. She is still observant; I am not.

We think the bizarre overlaps in our respective backgrounds are amusing, and that they will make the Q&A session amusing, too.

Special note to all you foreign journos languishing up on the hill (a.k.a. Jerusalem), bored because it’s Ramadan and there’s nothing to write about: come on down to TLV this Friday. We can go for beers on the beach afterward, and you’ll have a nice little human interest story to file for the weekend edition.

More about Miriam and the Jobnik! series:

The story of a nice Jewish girl serving in the IDF during an undeclared war

Miriam is a different kind of comic heroine. She also presents a rather different – certainly less glam – image of female IDF soldiers than the one presented in this much-publicized photo essay. (By the way, if you have not read Idan Gazit’s comment in response to the BoingBoing post about the photo essay, you really should. For those who know little about how mandatory IDF service affects new recruits, it’ll be an education. Click here to read, and scroll down for more interesting comments).

With her charming ineptitude, her body issues, and her naïve romanticism, Miriam bears more resemblance to Bridget Jones (albeit a Bridget Jones on an Israeli army base during wartime) than Wonder Woman. Now, her story, in the form of a 160-page graphic novel titled jobnik! from Real Gone Girl Studios, is available to a mass audience for the first time.

The story begins when Miriam, an American-Jewish girl from a religious home, enlists in the Israeli army (IDF) in the summer of 2000, against everyone’s better judgment. Many qualities seem to make her unsuited for IDF life: her Hebrew isn’t great, she is shy and passive, and she has a tendency to fall in love with anything that moves. If that weren’t enough, the Al Aqsa uprising, a.k.a. the second Palestinian intifada, erupts one month into her tour of duty.

jobnik! is a sexy, tragic, and comic graphic memoir, written and drawn by Miriam Libicki, an American-born, Canada-based IDF veteran. “I moved to Israel in 1998, after seventeen years growing up as an Orthodox girl in Columbus, Ohio.” Miriam says. “I only went on a year program, but I fell so hard for all the Israelis I met, that I realized my destiny was to dedicate myself to the country, and do whatever it took to be a real Israeli. I spent a year lobbying for citizenship, and afterwards promptly enlisted in the Israel Defense Force. My enthusiasm for army service was not exactly reciprocated by the people in charge, though… and I spent the next two years as a totally superfluous secretary on a training base in the middle of the Arava desert.

“A month after I enlisted, the Camp David peace accords broke down, Ariel Sharon walked on the Temple Mount, and the second Intifada broke out. The next two years were some of the most violent in the history of Israel, not to mention the worldwide aftershocks of September 11th, halfway through my tour of duty. The graphic novel covers August 2000 to February 2001, but the saga of my entire army service, up until May 2002, will be told in further volumes.

Excerpts from the Jobnik! series: