Hanoch Piven
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Golem
posted: January 31, 2007
For the non initiated, the head is a 'paellera'...that's the wide flat...uhm..paellera where you can make a paella....
The Golem is a story I have been playing with for some years now since Dalit Lev my editor in Am Oved, Israel, suggested I llustrate it. The original legend seemed so dark and sad and violent that I had an immediate urge to slightly change it. (as a matter of fact there isn't really AN original Golem story but many many versions so what the hell..one more coming)
What I really like about the subject is that it is about  'dead matter coming to life through magic...'  well..isn't that what happens when we do a good collage?

So that's is a project I am working on nowadays. (even though the 'nowadays' word can be extended to the last 3 years..) Yes it is going slow but when Vicente Ferrer the editor of Media Vaca in Valencia called me to participate in an Illustrated Diccionary in which I could choose my own word to illustrate I chose Golem and therefore finally made a first early prototype. Above is what I sent him (it is a 2 color page) and below you can see the full body one laying on the floor of my studio waiting to come to life as a children book hopefully in the next couple of years. Israeli writer Ran Sarig is working on the text and storyline with me.
More to come on this subject!
early full body Golem in process......
15 comments
Jon Berkeley January 31, 2007
Magic as ever, Hanoch. Remind me to offload some junk on you next time you come over - we're ankle-deep in the stuff, but unlike you we're not smart enough to make it work for us!
Roberto Parada January 31, 2007
Terrific work!! genius really. Hanoch, you are one of a kind. Are you taking the photo of the finished art?
Hanoch Piven January 31, 2007
Hi there Jon, you guys are welcome to drop by with some stuff call before. Roberto I only take the 'sketch picture', as the one at the bottom is, but the final one is taken by a real photographer. And I think you can see the difference.
Nancy Stahl January 31, 2007
Does this mean you'll be stepping over your Golem until the book is finished??
Robert Saunders January 31, 2007
Hanoch, it occurs to me on reading the first comment above that you must be some kind of serious pack rat. I wouldn't wish that compulsion on anybody, having a touch of it myself—can't throwout newspapers until I've read them, and so on. My mind wonders how in hell you organize your "source material." I read about the golem for the first time in Michael Chabon's bestseller called, if I remember correctly, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay. That legend stuck with me. Do you know if there are other references to golems that pre-date the golem story recounted in the novel about a famed rebbe from Prague who created one?
David Flaherty January 31, 2007
Oh, don't let Goldin see your Golem! He's building one too and it really big.
Hanoch Piven January 31, 2007
Robert, the Golem legend became 'popular' in the 19th century in Prague and is about the Rabbi Loew who lived in the 16th century and made The Golem. The Golem defended the jews mainly from medieval blood libels. According to the story among other tasks he patroled the Getho and caught non jews who were bringing their dead children to the Getho to accuse the jews of having killed them. The reason that in the 19th century the story became popular was that at the time of pogroms, jewish leaders (rabbis?) needed to insert confidence in the jewishcommunities that somebody was going to defend them. (the Golem was supposed to be asleep in the second floor of the Sinagogue in Prague) But there are many many versions ever since the beginning of the 20th century.
Jim Paillot January 31, 2007
This will be cool. I am digging the mechanical take on him. His hands look so dangerous. And I know that the bottom one is a work in progress but thet yellow background really makes him seem uneasy... that's a good thing.
Laura Levine January 31, 2007
Hanoch, you KNOW how I have been cheerleading this project of yours' for years now. I can't wait to see it come to fruition. He's kinda scary looking, but the eyes help humanize him. I love the idea of a Jewish super-hero. This has Newbery written all over it, if you ask me. I too have tons of junk which you're welcome to pick through the next time you're out this way.
Hanoch Piven January 31, 2007
yeah Laura I remember telling you about this 3 years ago...glad you got the humanity of the eyes. I was going for that..and he is supposed to be scary at least at one stage of the book Jim I just put the yellow as a temporary thingy but it does look nice...
Leo Espinosa January 31, 2007
I love Media Vaca. I met them at the Saló Internacional del Còmic de Barcelona in 2000. I thought they were the best publishers at the show. Good luck señor Golem!
David G Klein January 31, 2007
I’m go with your Golem Hanoch. They seem to be taking over here at Drawger. It doesn’t surprise me. There are currently four popular novels with Golems as elements. I sometimes have the feeling the world is going through a time of Golem consciousness. It’s not so strange. The Golem is an archetype. Man trying to wield unnatural forces. The Golem is Frankentein’s monster. He’s also not fully formed. On one hand we can project onto him what ever identity we need him to be. On the other hand he is trying to discover and experience his own humanity. In 1580 the real Rabbi Lowe’s influence at the court of King Rudolf is responsible for the outlawing of the blood libel in that generation. His fame plus the popularity of the Golem got woven together in folk lore. This has become the definitive Golem story. Golem’s are a part of Jewish mysticism and folk lore. One tradition has it that Golems were a part of the original creation. There are millions of them. They are everywhere. But we can’t see them. They have become a part of nature. They are sleeping, waiting to be awaken. Careful stepping on that big rock. You never know. Here’s to Golems,yours and mine. I hope they awaken to popular consciousness.
David Goldin January 31, 2007
This is a great project. Hanoch, Flaherty is mistaken... I did accidentally create a Golem once. It was very difficult to get rid of him, but he was very loyal. It's difficult for me to talk about. Good luck, can't wait to see this finished.
Christoph Hitz January 31, 2007
Hi Hanoch, Looks great. I would love to see some additional layout pages. Are You present at the photo shoot? I guess I'm just wondering how the final ends up with different arms then Your layout image? The "paellera" hair with the spring eyebrows is the new tough guy look. You go, Golem.
Hanoch Piven February 1, 2007
Goldin, that big brown guy there in the corner certainly seemed weird to us, but we were polite not to say anything...or wait, was that Flaherty? 'My' Golem has the capacity of constant change, responding to the type of objects he is given. That's why there are going to be many versions, while still trying to mantain a definition of a specific character. This is where it is getting difficult to do. (Christoph answering your question, of course Im at the photo shoot, that Golem for Media Vaca was to be just a 'portrait' not full body so I just gave him a suggestion of arms. David thanks for bringing in valuable Golem knowledge and thoughts.
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