JT Waldman is a very talented young man who has provided an original translation, artwork and calligraphy for Megillat Esther. In essence, he has written and illustrated an adult comic book version of this classic story. The artwork is stunning, revealing layers of meaning behind the text.The reader is assisted by notes and comments on the text. If one has the patience, it is a great read. Mid-way through the book, one has to turn it upside down to continue reading. This is Waldman’s way of showing how the Jews’ fortune was reversed. One cannot peruse this book casually; it must be read carefully and studiously. Characters are revealed and fully developed in a novel way. Waldman’s illustrations demonstrate full familiarity with the Midrash and rabbinic sources on Megillat Esther. It is challenging, fascinating, charming and exciting to discover commentaries in the artwork. Waldman has certainly created a stir in the literary world. The book has become quite popular in the alternative literature and adult comic book markets. It is different. It is exhilarating. It breathes new life into a Biblical standard. The book is only fully appreciated by those who know the commentaries and Midrash on Megillat Esther. Others will enjoy it on a different plane. Will it make it in the mainstream Jewish book stores? Is the Jewish reading public ready for this type of book? It’s not really irreverent, but it is different.
This is a work of great creativity and originality, and perhaps it is ahead of its time.