Arie Kaplan is a writer and comedian. He is the author of the book Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!, and a writer for MAD Magazine. He lives in New York City.
Kaplan attended the Tisch School of the Arts
at New York University
. After working for film producer Anthony Rhulen (Lucky Number Slevin
, The Butterfly Effect
), Kaplan embarked on a career as a freelance writer.
On May 30, 2004, Kaplan married playwright Nadine Graham. "I'm very goal-oriented. I pursue something until I've worn it down to a nub. That's what I did with Nadine."
Although he is also a comedian and a cartoonist, Arie Kaplan is best known as a writer. Kaplan has written for Teen Beat
, Tiger Beat
, Entertainment Weekly
, Time Out New York
, the Utne Reader
, and other publications. He has also won acclaim for exploring the role Jews have played in the history of both comedy writing and the comic book industry. Several years ago, Kaplan wrote a three-part series called "Kings of Comics"
about Jews in comics for Reform Judaism Magazine
. In that series, he interviewed such comics luminaries as Al Jaffee
, Stan Lee
, Will Eisner
, Art Spiegelman
, Jerry Robinson
, Paul Kupperberg
, Trina Robbins
, Drew Friedman
, Judd Winick
, Chris Claremont
, Jon Bogdanove
, and Joe Kubert
. In his role as an entertainment journalist, Kaplan has also interviewed recording artists, comedians, filmmakers, and cartoonists, including R. Kelly
, N Sync
, Carl Reiner
, Susie Essman
, Larry Gelbart
, Sam Gross
, Tom Leopold
, Nora Ephron
, and Lewis Black
Kaplan is currently writing a Speed Racer
comic book mini-series called Speed Racer: The Chronicle of the Racer
for IDW Publishing
. Issue 1 comes out in early 2008. He has also written two Ben 10
comic book scripts for the DC Comics
title Cartoon Network Action Pack
. He is the writer/creator of the children's comic strip "Dave Danger, Action Kid" which ran in Reform Judaism Magazine
A writer for MAD Magazine
since 2000, Kaplan has described it as a dream to work for pioneering satire publication. Some of his best-known MAD pieces are the "Gulf Wars Episode 2: Clone of the Attacks"
poster, "What if Chris Rock Performed At A Bar Mitzvah?" and "MAD's New 'Sesame Street' Characters That Better Reflect Today's World."
The Gulf Wars poster -- co-written by Kaplan and Scott Sonneborn and illustrated by Scott Bricher -- was shown on FOX News
and was written about in the national press.
Book: Masters of the Comic Book Universe Revealed!
, Kaplan profiles the lives and careers of a diverse range of icons of the comic book genre, including Stan Lee
); Neil Gaiman
); Marjane Satrapi
, Art Spiegelman
); Dwayne McDuffie
); and Will Eisner
). At an event at MoCCA
celebrating the release of the book Kaplan was asked what the comic artists he interviewed—such as Eisner, Spiegelman, and Gaiman—have in common. He said that they were "elevating the art" and showing comics to be "art with a capital A. On the panel to discuss Kaplan's work was Jerry Robinson
, legendary creator of The Joker
, Robert Sikoryak
, who does comic adaptations of literature, and Danny Fingeroth
, former Spider-Man
editor at Marvel Comics
and author of "Superman on the Couch: What Superheroes Really Tell Us About Ourselves and Our Society."
Current and future work
Kaplan's book, From Krakow to Krypton: The history of Jews in Comics
, comes out in Sept 2008 from JPS, with a foreword by American Splendor
creator Harvey Pekar
Arie Kaplan has taught at temple Sharay Tafila in New York City.
- "Jews built the comic book industry from the ground up, and the influence of Jewish writers, artists, and editors continues to be felt to this day.