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Early life and college years[edit | edit source]

Corman was born in 1972 in Massachusetts.[2] Her father's side of the family is Russian Jewish, while her mother's side is Jewish from Poland.[2] Leela's grandmother taught her Yiddish, which became a common motif in her work.[3] Corman's grandfather lost several family members in the Holocaust.[4] Corman became interested in comics at the age of 13 and went on to study painting, printmaking, and illustration at the Massachusetts College of Art, but regarded it's teaching as too ephemeral, stating "they didn't teach you to make things with your hands."[5][6] She self-published three issues of the minicomic, Flimflam, while still in college, and won a 1999 Xeric Grant for the graphic novel Queen’s Day.

Career[edit | edit source]

Corman's illustrations have appeared on album covers and for PBS, The New York Times, and BUST Magazine.[7] Corman also has other short comic publications in Nautilus Magazine, The Nib, Tablet Magazine, Symbolia, and The OC Weekly.[8] She teaches at the Sequential Artists Workshop (SAW) in Gainesville, Florida, a low-cost school for comic arts and at the University of Florida.[9] She is also an adjunct professor at the University of Florida's College of Fine Arts and a founding instructor at Sequential Artists Workshop in Gainesville.[10] Corman met her husband, the cartoonist Tom Hart, in Gainesville, Florida, where they currently reside and he was also a co-founder of the Sequential Artists Workshop.[6][11]

Corman has had works published in the US, as well as Portugal, Spain, and France.[6] Corman has stated that she is interested in addressing the life of women through a feminine perspective, offering representation for women and by women.[12] She describes her creative process as going between thumb-nailing and writing and relies a lot on the experiences of her Jewish family for inspiration.[13]

Unterzakhn Edit Unterzakhn is Corman's second graphic novel and uses simplistic black and white drawings to illustrate the lives of twin Jewish girls in the turn of the last century in the lower east side of New York.[3] Corman's focus on the Jewish experience in New York earned her a role in the Yiddish community in the US as well as abroad. Unterzakhn has been translated into Dutch, Spanish, French, and Italian.[8] Reviewer Laura Dattaro writes that, "The book is a sweetly sad story, illustrating the difficulty of life in the early 20th century as seen through the narrow eye of a specific subculture."[3] Columnist Joe Gross reviews Unterzakhn as, "A haunting and often heartbreaking look at Eastern European Jewish immigrants in the early 20th century... is also a story about women, power and bodies."[14]

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