A 13-year old London schoolboy touted as “the future of British comics” is hoping to cap off his barmitzvah celebrations by winning a prestigious national award.
East Ender Zoom Rockman held his barmitzvah ceremony on 26 October and designed his own comic artwork for the invitation. He also turned his portion of the Torah into a comic strip which he gave out to all his guests.
Now, Zoom’s comics could win him the prestigious H Club 100 culture prize from The Guardian newspaper, which lists the JCoSS student as among the most innovative and influential people in creative media.
He is up against some of the country’s foremost literary and artistic talents in the public vote, which closes on Sunday 3 November, but some of the industry’s big-hitters thinks he stands a chance.
“As well as his art skills, Zoom’s a fantastic writing talent,” said Mike Stirling, Editor-in-Chief of the Beano. “He’s full of great ideas and has a keen eye for the absurdities of grown-up life and pop culture.”
The vote closes on the same weekend as the youngster publishes the ninth edition of his internationally-acclaimed comic, called The Zoom! Astonishingly, he has been publishing it since the age of eight years old.
At the moment however, Zoom’s thoughts are on his Bar Mitzvah, which was held at the Congregation of Jacob Synagogue on Commercial Road in the East End.
“It’s a beautiful old synagogue and the congregation had not seen a barmitzvah take place there for many, many years,” said his mum Kate. “But having learnt about his Jewish heritage, he chose to have his barmitzvah at this very special place.”
After the ceremony, Zoom said: “It was an amazing experience having my barmitzvah at Congregation of Jacob Synagogue. I presented Rabbi David Brandes with my original artwork of the shul from the invitation as a gift.”