Al Wiesner
(Creator - Shaloman)
Al WiesnerIn 1938, a year like any other to some people, not so to young Al Wiesner. A new type of literature popped up on the scene and Al was quick to acknowledge it. It cost the staggering sum of ten cents and somehow he was able to accumulate it. Once he had a copy of this book, he devoured its contents. This was the very first issue of a “comic book,” which it was called. It would change Al’s life forever. It was his introduction to dreams, imagination, and another purpose to his life.The first copy of ACTION COMICS #1. This was the story of Superman. As he looked at the pictures, he was inspired to learn how to draw.

In the years that passed, besides honing his drawing skills at two universities, Al spent eight years in the US Air Force, married, and raised three children. All during these years, no Jewish superheroes appeared, even though there were many comic books about all types of subjects like movies and sci/fi.

In 1983, he thought of creating a Jewish superhero book and fortunately found an independent company nearby. He presented them with a twilight zone type story which they printed. Now Al had a contact and he began creating the character. Of course he would be a super type and not human, so he couldn’t be a man. He would create a character similar to a super man but this hero would be made of stone and would be named “Shaloman,” which is the word for peace. This hero would morph from a rock on the top of a mythical mountain in Israel when a distressed person would call “OI-VAY.” His features would be craggy as if they were stone. Now, the only challenge was to create stories that had Jewish content. This was his chance to impart Jewish history in modern story lines which children would enjoy.

Over the next twenty years, Al drew and published over thirty-eight issues of four different volumes of Shaloman, many relating to Jewish holidays and the Holocaust. Among the series of books which were created were Mark I Comics, Adventures of Shaloman, New Adventures, Legend, and Saga of Shaloman, (a coffee table book containing eight comic books). He current practices his art as a caricature artist at bar and bat mitzvahs, parties and corporate events, as well as painting murals and teaching art.
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