Like many other elements of our local popular culture, Israel’s underground comics scene got started about a decade after “comix” had made waves in the US and Europe.
Given our national tendency towards neurosis, depression and general self-loathing, however, alternative cartoons quickly found an willing audience for content that was critical of society, government, bureaucracy and the old-fashioned cartoons that celebrated good boys and girls.
An exhibition at the Israeli Cartoon Musuem, entitled Pitz’ei Bagrut — best translated as “zits”, “acne” or “growing pains” — illustrates the transition that took place over three decades of political, social and economic change between 1975 to 1995.
The changes in society were reflected in comics, which become a popular tool for expression in the daily press, local newspapers, youth magazines and — as the underground style went more mainstream — even advertisements.
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