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Eric Aryeh Mahr, 1955-2010
posted February 10, 2010

The writer and editor Clifford Meth brings word that publisher Eric Aryeh Mahr passed away on February 4.

imageA longtime comics fan and acquaintance of Neal Adams, Mahr held a position at the Israel/New York-based company Comverse Technology, where in the 1990s he was able to commission design and animation work from various cartoonists. He would eventually establish Mahrwood Press in 2004 in order to pursue comics projects more directly. The description of the company on its site was "a leading publisher of quality illustrated literature for the orthodox Jewish public as well as the general public."

Artists contributing to work in the Mahrwood line or working on projects for the publisher included Michael Netzer, Joe Kubert, Joe Rubinstein and Sofia Fedorov-Polonsky. Titles included Junior Pirates: Beginnings, Nagdila Tales of the Golden Age, Quest For The Mysterious Cloth and Yaakov and Isaac.

Mahrwood's highest-profile project was Balm In Gilead, an anthology featuring text and visual literature, designed to aid Israeli children displaced by the events of the 2006 Lebanon War. It was edited by Clifford Meth and included a number of well-known comics personalities, many with Jewish roots. Among those appearing were Neal Adams, Jon Bogdanove, Dave Cockrum, Jack Dann, Jeffrey Jones, Michael W. Kaluta, Joe Kubert, Stan Lee, Michael Netzer, Robin Riggs and Marv Wolfman.

Mahr would also become CEO at Jerusalem's Targum Press, an Orthodox Jew English-language publishing company based in Jerusalem.

"Eric almost single-handedly established and maintained the Orthodox Jewish comics publishing niche," Meth told CR. "He was a delightful man -- passionate yet soft-spoken, business-like yet warm. I cared deeply for him and find myself profoundly moved by his passing."

Michael Netzer wrote in a post published on his web site that Mahr was "A man with a heart of gold as big as his ambition. A giver at every turn. A father and husband cherished by family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues. There was not a time that Sofia and I met with Eric, that we didn't talk on and on about the uplifting experience he left us with. About that soft-hearted man with a zest for life and a vision for tomorrow, to match the expanse of the worlds he toiled to bridge together and enhance."

That same post by Michael Netzer says that Mahr collapsed while giving a eulogy for a family member.

Mahr is survived by a wife, a brother, a sister, three sons, a daughter and two grandchildren. He will be buried in Israel.