Barry Deutsch is a political cartoonist and author of the Ampersand series which appears in every issue of politically progressive Dollars and Sense Magazine. Barry attended Oberlin College in Ohio in the late 1980s and the School of Visual Arts in New York City in the 1990s, eventually graduating from Portland State University where his political cartoons won the Charles M. Schulz Award.
Aside from his political cartooning, Barry's current comics project is his series Hereville, a fantasy adventure comic about an 11-year-old Jewish girl. He currently lives in Portland, Oregon, in a bright blue house with bubble-gum-pink trim.
Where did the inspiration for Mirka come from?
Years before, I had played with an idea for a Jewish dragon-fighter in the middle ages—the barrier being that Jews were not always legally allowed to own swords. I abandoned that idea, but it was still swimming around in the back of my mind. I had also read Holy Days, Liz Harris' lovely book about Hasidic life, at some point years before.
My friend Jennifer Lee—creator of the astounding sci-fi comic Dicebox—told me that Girlamatic.com was looking for submissions of girl-centric comics. And somehow, from all the mess pooled up in the back of my mind, the idea of an 11-year-old Orthodox girl pining for a sword came up.