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Yossel, April 19, 1943

really liked it 4.0  ·  Rating details ·  378 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
His name is Yossel. In another time, in another place, this 15 year-old boy could have grown to be a great artist. But in Nazi-occupied Poland during World War II, Yossel, a Jew is an untermensch and thus has no rights - and no future. This is his story, as told through his sketches.
Hardcover, 128 pages
Published October 1st 2003 by iBooks
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David Schaafsma
Hubert did entertainment comics for decades--Tarzan, Hawkman, Sgt. Rock--but later in life he turned to realistic subjects perhaps closer to his heart? Works like Jew Gangster about how Jews in the Depression might have turned mobsters, and this one, done at the age of 76 for the 60th anniversary of the Warsaw ghetto uprising. This is historical fiction in part, we are told, based on Kubert's supposition about what had happened if he and his family had not been able to emigrate to the U.S. to es ...more
Roberta
Ottima graphic novel semi-autobiografica. Le vicende si svolgono nel ghetto di Varsavia, uno dei pochi che si è ribellato alle SS e che per questo è stato raso al suolo. L'autore, un affermato fumettista americano, immagina cosa sarebbe accaduto a lui e alla sua famiglia se non fossero riusciti ad emigrare negli USA poco prima che Hitler invadesse la Polonia.
Reuven Fischer
May 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: graphic-novel
“What If “ is the title of a comic book series published by Marvel Comics that explore "the road not traveled" by its various Marvel characters. Events in the “What If” series are considered separate from mainstream continuity in the Marvel Universe.

Joe Kubert’s book “Yossel” is essentially a hard hitting powerful “What if” original graphic novel published by DC comics. Joe “Yossel” Kubert in his graphic novel explores his life in a “What if the Kubert family didn’t reapply for immigration from
...more
Rebekah May
This was an intense reading experience. I can't even begin to imagine what life was like for the Jews in Eastern Europe, in the Warsaw ghetto, in the concentration camps. In Yossel, April 19, 1943 Joe Kubert explores the big 'what if' in his life. What if his parents hadn't refused to be turned away, what if, in 1926, they had returned to Poland, rejected from America, and stayed there. What would have happened if, while Jews were being shipped off to concentration camps to die, he was with them ...more
Rob McMonigal
Aug 10, 2007 rated it it was amazing
As early as 2007, I was developing my opinion that showing real people in the horrors of war works better than substituting animals.

This may be the most powerful graphic novel I ever read and possibly the most powerful one I will ever read. This is far better than Maus in terms of showing the sheer horror and terror of the Holocaust. Why? Because the people Kubert draws in all their desperation are real. They're humans and they're drawn as humans, and seeing them suffer should move anyone who re
...more
David Bales
Dec 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014
Joe Kubert was one of my favorite comic book artists of all time, he being famous at DC for Hawkman, Tarzan and especially "Sgt. Rock" for which he drew the art for 30 years. In this graphic novel, Kubert tells the tale of a heroic boy from Poland named Yossel who gets forced into the Warsaw ghetto with his family and ends up in the Warsaw ghetto uprising of 1943; not surprisingly, Yossel is an aspiring comic book artist who spends most of his time drawing, mirroring at least part of Kubert's li ...more
Sebastian
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: the-war
The art in this is bloody gorgeous, but it doesn't have near the punch it should. The art screams of an urgency, sketchy and beautiful. However, the story itself, while very personal, was oddly detached. It's gorgeous and well-done, but I never felt truly moved. It felt all-too speculative to me. The story felt almost overdone. What I mean is, the story is an almost cookie-cutter example of a Holocaust narrative. I could never contemplate the character of the characters. There is a vagueness, a ...more
that cute little red-eyed kitten
Great drawings. Depressing matter. A fictional story on a non-fiction canvas, that of the fate of the Polish Jews, the camps, and the Warsaw ghetto. Joe Kubert's real-life story is the story of what became, here imagining a different timeline, in which his story would have been "what might have been". His family emigrated to America in 1926.
Brynne
Jun 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone interested in learning more about the holocaust
Shelves: comics
This is kind of in the same realm of writing as Maus. Except that it uses real people and not mice to tell of one person's experience in a Nazi Death Camp. I really loved the way it was told and the pictures say more than the words ever could.
KayG
Oct 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've always wanted to know more about the Warsaw Uprising. I plan to read more graphic novels.
Ronan
A very good Graphic Novel about World War Two.
Joshua Novalis
"If only this was a different world."

4 stars for the artwork, 2 stars for the story. In Yossel's introduction, Kubert explains that unlike the common practice of drawing in pencil, then filling the page in with ink, he chose to keep the artwork of this book as simple pencil drawings, in hopes of effecting a sense of immediacy to the story. It's an excellent choice that really lends the graphic novel an inescapable feeling of fleeting hope, of impermanence--the fear that the memory of these horro
...more
Melisa
Jun 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorites. Raw and deep.
Kevin Wright
Aug 21, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most powerful graphic novels and moving pieces of writing about the Holocaust that I have ever read. Joe Kubert is one of the truly legendary masters of the artform, and this is his masterpiece.

The decision to publish this book in its raw penciled form works on so many levels. In his introduction, Kubert explains that he essentially couldn’t bear to ink over and erase his original drawings because they had such immediacy and vitality. Instead of a highly polished and refined p
...more
Siina
May 07, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comics, war
Yossel has been on my reading list for quite some time and now that I finally got it read? It was amazing and very realistic in its sadness and nastiness. It tells the story of a Jewish boy named Yossel, who can draw and thus he is saved from the death camps. He joins resistance to get revenge until all ends for him. It was a good decision to make this story from a kid's point of view and not just a sad story, but that of survival and getting used the life of death around. Yossel proves that hum ...more
Andrew
Jan 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
Yossel is a kind of alternate autobiography for Joe Kubert – a "what if" scenario of his life, or that of one like him, had his parents failed to escape Poland while Joe was an infant. It tells the story of a young Jewish cartoonist who is caught up in the Warsaw ghetto resistance during the horror of the holocaust. Kubert chose not to ink or color his pencil drawings, giving the art a grim immediacy that suggests that the story is being scribbled into existence by its subject as it unfolds. He ...more
Sarah
Sep 30, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great one! Really, this could be used as a textbook in history classes. A lot of the information was repetitive for me since I already knew a lot about the Warsaw ghetto uprising. It started slowly, but, oh my, did it pick up in the middle. I didn't want to put it down until I finished. I can't believe I'm saying this, but I like this one better than Maus. [return][return]Yossel is a young boy when his family is placed in the Warsaw ghetto. He entertains the Nazis and the people around ...more
Sam
This is a hard hitting 'what if' tale where the author looks at how his life may have been had his family not left for America in the years before World War Two. Kubert uses simple yet powerful pencil drawings and balanced text to tell the tale of Yossel and he and his family are relocated to the Warsaw Ghetto and struggle to survive in the conditions they find there. As time moves on Yossel becomes the NAzi's pet artist and using this position he finds ways not only to survive but to fight back ...more
Dave
Dec 28, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
I read this graphic novel in nearly a day, which is quick for me. It centers around a young teen named Yossel who uses his ability to draw to "escape" from the daily grind of the Warsaw Ghetto set in the WWII German infiltration period. Some of the characters lacked depth, but the harrowing tale of survival and death within the Holocaust served as yet another reminder of this horrific period in world history. The grayed pencil sketches accompanying the story were top notch and captured the raw e ...more
Ruth
Jun 11, 2009 rated it liked it
This is a graphic novel in which the author envisions what his life might have been like if his parents hadn't been able to get out of Poland when the Nazis took over, as they did when he was a small child. He ends up in the Warsaw ghetto, and is part of the uprising that happens there. The drawings and the story are both very intense, especially when he meets his old rabbi, an escapee from a concentration camp, and we get to hear his story. Books about the holocaust are always almost too painfu ...more
Stephanie W
Sep 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A "what if" story by a legendary DC comic artist. He illustrates the question "What if my family had never left Poland in 1929?" In the United States, Joe Kubert was able to go to school, freely practice his religion and prosper in a career he loved. This story combines history and survivor accounts of the Holocaust, concentration camps and the Warsaw ghetto uprisings with Kubert's wonderful artwork to create an illustrated account of how his (likely short) life would have differed if he been a ...more
Hk
Sep 12, 2012 rated it really liked it
Since I tend to enjoy the clean, simplistic, cartoon-ishness of comic book art in general, the sketch-like quality of the art throughout this book was surprising and ultimately made the book more memorable for me. Yossel's character was developed pretty well, considering that the reader really only gets to experience the story through introspection on his part. The story throughout was strong; the ending left off on a note that would have been prime real estate to really impact the reader, but w ...more
Matt
Jul 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Kubert's haunting "What If?" fantasy of his family remaining in Europe during the Nazi takeover is rendered especially well by the choice to reproduce the book's original, unfinished pencil art. Kubert's tight closeups explore the humanity in both victim and victimizer, showcasing his gift for expression and texture, while his looser crowd scenes give a terrifying depth to the dehumanization at the heart of ghettoization, leaving crowd scenes nothing more than a series of head-shaped ovals and s ...more
Rahadyan
Jul 28, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Author/artist Joe Kubert's family had planned to emigrate to the US from Yzeran, Poland, in 1926 but were delayed due to Kubert's mother's pregnancy. _Yossel_ is the story of the Kunstler family, a family who *wasn't* able to emigrate to America. The only son, Yossel, is an artist of some skill from a young age. The novel chronicles his experiences under the increasing predations of the Nazi regime. As uninked pencil sketches, Kubert's art is quite moving and the novel is an important witness to ...more
Jayme
Joe Kubert is credited with being one of the first creators of graphic novels. In 1926 Kubert and his family left Poland to begin a new life in the United States. In Yossel, April 19, 1943 Kubert has created a “what if” scenario based on the idea that his family had never left Poland and became part of the millions lost to the Holocaust. With vivid detail and haunting imagery Kubert explains the genocide of the Holocaust and the uprising in the Warsaw ghetto. I would highly recommend this graphi ...more
Susan
The author, a giant in the comic book scene, turns his imagination to what might have happened to him had his parents not emigrated from Poland with him when he was just an infant. In particular, he focuses on the Warsaw Ghetto uprising of 1943. What makes this work striking is the pencil drawings. Yossel explains in the introduction that he chose that medium because of its immediacy, and it definitely achieves the intended effect. The images -- of both Jews and Nazis -- have an impact that the ...more
Anthony
Jul 01, 2008 rated it it was amazing

Wow. Powerful, powerful stuff. Kubert puts together a graphic novel unlike any other. Joe basically put together a diary written from the perspective of himself, if his parents hadn't left Poland 10 years before the Nazis invaded. We see everything from the horrors of ghetto life, to the concentration camps themselves. The narrative itself ends with a feirce climax during the Jewish revolt in the Warsaw ghetto on April 19, 1943. This is, by far, one of the best representations of the horrors of
...more
Beaky
Jun 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Powerful and moving. I was a little turned off by the pictures, sketches all the way, but they really worked well and i got into it quickly.
Yossel and his family are moved in a town especially for jews/polish/etc. The soldiers like his artwork and they request he draw for them every week or so. Everyone says Yossel has a talent and that appears to be saving him. His family is taken to a death camp but he is left behind.
This book shows the horrors faced by many in WWII.
I liked the sketchiness of
...more
Cale
Sep 07, 2012 rated it really liked it
This was hard to read, and powerful. The pencil drawing style of the artwork really fed the rawness of the emotions of this exploration of life in the Warsaw ghetto and the concentration camps. I don't think I've been so affected by a WWII story since Schindler's List; just the sheer inhumanity of it boggles my mind, and the mindless cruelty of the actions is well captured. The art is raw, the writing is raw, the emotions are raw. All of it adds up to a very powerful retelling of one of the most ...more
sweet pea
Sep 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-content
when just flipping through this book, the illustrations are a little off-putting. but when reading it, they give a sense of immediacy to the story. it is one of the most moving stories of the Holocaust i have read. although the bit about blowing up the security police building seems a little improbable. definitely DO NOT read the introduction before reading the book. it spoils the story quite a bit.
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Joe Kubert was a Jewish-American comic book artist who went on to found the Joe Kubert School of Cartoon and Graphic Art. He is best known for his work on the DC Comics characters Sgt. Rock and Hawkman. His sons, Andy Kubert and Adam Kubert, have themselves become successful comic-book artists.

Kubert's other creations include the comic books Tor, Son of Sinbad, and Viking Prince, and, with writer
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More about Joe Kubert...