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Mark Strauss is the first artist we worked with, and in fact Maccabee Apparel started as an offshoot of another project between Mark and Jack, our brand’s founder. That project, Maccabæus, is a graphic novel currently in production that tells the little known but epic true story of the Hasmonean Revolt, an Ancient Judean struggle for independence from foreign occupation that forms the background for the modern Festival of Hanukkah. Enough people saw early iterations of Mark’s artwork for Maccabæus and said “that would look awesome on a t-shirt” that we decided to roll with it. Previously, Mark co-created another Biblically-themed graphic novel with author Yoni Glatt, "The Anointed: Rise of the Shepherd King," currently available on Amazon. At Maccabee Apparel, you can see Mark’s artistry on our Shield of Judah logo, the Mendelorian, the original Hebrew Warrior design, and the “Topple Your Idols” t-shirt. In the future, b’ezras Hashem, you’ll see it in Maccabæus: The Graphic Novel! Check out what Mark is up to on Twitter and Instagram @viperxmns
Samantha Lish is a conceptual artist and theoretical physicist in training whose modern take on classical Judaic art really caught our eye. She created our Esther design, cleverly reimagining the Biblical heroine as a literal “warrior queen” in what is arguably the most breathtaking piece on Maccabee Apparel so far. Keep your eye out for upcoming designs celebrating badass women of the Bible featuring Samantha’s unique style, and be sure to check out her other work on Etsy and Instagram @lish.lab
Moshe Katz is an independent artist, and rabbi in training, based in New York. He has worked extensively with Jewish non-profits, and you may have seen his previous artwork on rapper Nissim Black's last album. Moshe is the artistic talent behind our King David and Jehudi Knight designs, and we hope many more to come! Check him out on Instagram @art_ofthe_covenant_
Kala Parker is a graphic designer and artist with a BFA from the University of Memphis, and a U.S. Army veteran, who served as a combat medic. She and Jack attended Basic Combat Training together back in the day. Kala’s work for Maccabee Apparel so far includes the Cobra Khai and Yisrael designs, and we’re excited to see more! Check out Kala’s site at izziemac.net, and follow her on Instagram @izziemacdesigns
Alex AG is an artist, designer, and one hell of a photographer. A New Yorker originally from Moscow, Russia (all the best New Yorkers are imported), he worked with Jack during his past life as a journalist, and was probably one of the few people keeping him sane during that time. Alex brought the Maccabee Special Forces crest to life, and helped us launch the Secret Jewish Space Laser… t-shirt. You’re more likely to see Alex’s other work in a fine arts gallery than one of our t-shirts. Check it out at orbvista.com, and follow him on Instagram @alexagphoto
Jack is the founder of Maccabee Apparel, and has become the ultimate cliché: an American solider with a t-shirt line. He's also a former journalist/freelance writer with an academic background in international politics and Middle Eastern history. Jack noted the popularity of spiritually-inspired warrior-themed clothing and artwork and saw that it catered almost exclusively to Christian and Pagan audiences. Being Jewish, and knowing lots of other Jews who serve, have served, or share the same love of freedom and God-and-country philosophy, Jack saw an opportunity: “Crusaders and Knights Templar are cool and all (unless your ancestors were on the receiving end of those Crusades, in which case, not so much), but you know what’s really cool? Maccabees, those badass freedom fighters who liberated the Holy Land from a vastly superior army through sheer chutzpah and an unwavering faith in their Creator. Put that on a t-shirt!” And so he did, and the rest is history. The resulting designs have struck a chord with Jews and Christians alike--the Jewish Bible is the Christian Old Testament in the original Hebrew, after all--as well as people who just enjoy giving panic attacks to white supremacists. Seriously, you should see the comments on our ads. Turns out, Nazis are still around, but they've gone from conquering and subjugating entire nations in the name of an insane racist ideology, to whining on the internet in the name of an insane racist ideology. Let's all laugh at them together!
While he thinks he’s a halfway decent writer, Jack doesn’t have any real artistic talent to speak of beyond conceptualizing the designs. That said, you can see his handiwork in some of the more minimalist pieces on our site, such as the BenNoach t-shirt and the Sword & Scroll design.
Are you an artist, designer, social media influencer, or other creative professional interested in joining Team Maccabee? If so, we want to hear from you! Reach out to us on Facebook/Instagram/Twitter, or email us.
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