By Michael Sudhalter
Dallas citizen Ramy DuBrow fell in love with the comics industry through his work in film.
“In movies, you only get to see the finished product,” DuBrow said. “With comics, you get to see so many different steps and enjoy your art.”
Not only is DuBrow, 41, a comics writer, but also the chief financial officer (and a partner) of Source Point Press, which is based in Michigan. Travis McIntire and Josh Werner started the company; fellow partner David McLees also lives in Dallas.
Source Point is one of the top 10 comic book publishers nationally and has just started a monthly Jewish comics magazine called Maggid Magazine.
“We were looking for something that conveyed ‘Jewish’ and ‘storytellers’ in the same word,” DuBrow said. “Maggid is Hebrew for storyteller…to us, the idea of being ‘modern maggids’ is what the imprint is all about.”
DuBrow grew up in Los Angeles and St. Louis, in an ultra-Orthodox family — the son of Chabad Rabbi Dr. Meilach Leib DuBrow and an educator, Helena DuBrow.
He prefers not to go by denominational labels these days, but he said his level of observance aligns the closest with Modern Orthodox.
Regardless, his goal with the Maggid Magazine project transcends denominations, levels of observance and whether one has an Ashkenazi or Sephardic ancestry. He wants to change the narrative so that Jewish people are represented in positive and accurate ways.
“We have Jews and Judaism completely misrepresented in our, and other, art forms,” DuBrow said. “We are striving to create a platform where that can change. Being proud of one’s Jewish heritage does not need to stop at the edges of entertainment and that Jewish pride should be found in the pages, sounds and scenes of pop culture and everywhere. We’re starting with comics.”
DuBrow and his partners have begun a kickstarter for Maggid Magazine at maggidmagazine.com.They have reached 26% of their goal and hope to release their first edition around the time of the High Holidays next month.
They’ve already released a few titles, including “Partisans,” a series about a young Jewish boy in eastern Europe who escapes a concentration camp to fight Nazis. The series was written by several writers, including DuBrow.
Another title is “Shabbos Tales,” a six-page comic where menorahs and dreidels come to life to tell the story of Hanukkah. It was written by Elliot Eli Schiff and illustrated by Chari Pere.
DuBrow wrote “Tales of Our Fathers: Reb Meilich’s Tales” as a tribute to his father, who passed away in 2021.
“My father was such a great storyteller and I want to carry the torch of telling his stories to the next generation,” DuBrow said.
The first Maggid Magazine will feature “Ben Mortara: The Thieves of the Golden Table,” written by Amon Shurr and illustrated by Kat Baumann. It explores a modern-day archeologist exploring ancient Jewish folklore.
Then there’s a Western — “The Adventures of Levi Marcus,” written by McLees and illustrated by Jim Lavery.
The common thread in all of these stories is Jewish characters, even though they vary by era, topic, setting and secular/religious content.
“My hope really is to create a safe space for people who love comics and who are proud of being Jewish and for people who are not Jewish to get to know Jews,” DuBrow said.
DuBrow’s film roots
DuBrow was working as the president of production and a junior partner for an independent film distributing company in Los Angeles when he had the opportunity to make the transition to the comics industry.
DuBrow had also owned some real estate in the Dallas area for a number of years. After visiting the area, he decided in 2016 to make the Metroplex home for his family, which has grown to five since he’s arrived — his wife; two daughters, 12 and 7; and a son, 2.
“We love it here and we haven’t looked back since,” DuBrow said.
In Los Angeles, DuBrow worked with the likes of Jeff Foxworthy, Brad Garrett, Rob Schneider and Alicia Silverstone. He worked as a producer and did a limited amount of directing.
He helped start “Entre Nos,” a series that highlighted Hispanic comedians by providing proper representation.
“That show inspired me, because I wanted to do the same thing for the Jewish community,” DuBrow said.
DuBrow is also proud of the fact that he dubbed the 2013 film “Antboy,” which the Los Angeles Times said was an “almost seamless dub.”
“It was really nice to hear that because the dubbing was hard to do,” DuBrow said.
Moving to Dallas — and out of the film industry — was also important because DuBrow remembered working so many hours during his eldest daughter’s infant and toddler years.
“It’s more important for me to be a good father than a good producer,” DuBrow said.
DuBrow said he read few comics and saw a limited number of movies during an almost entirely religious upbringing.
“When I was 16, my parents said, ‘We’ve got your foundation where we want it to be,’” DuBrow said.
That opened the door to a new and exciting world of films. His favorites became “Jerry Maguire” and “Casablanca.”
He became so interested in film that he took classes through the University of California, Los Angeles’ extension program.
“It was the best educational experience I could have imagined,” DuBrow said.
Among his teachers were the late John Singleton and Stephanie Allain, while they were working on the 2005 film, “Hustle and Flow,” which won an Academy Award the following year.