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In the first installment of Tablet Magazine’s new graphic advice column, we meet Mitzi, the author’s heroine, foil, and muse

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Welcome to “Tell Mitzi,” Tablet Magazine’s newest feature. It’s part graphic novel, part advice column; or, if you prefer, an illustrated question-and-answer blog. However you describe it, it’s the brainchild of Tablet artist-in-residence Liana Finck.

The column is inspired by one of Finck’s favorites children’s books: Tell Me a Mitzi. Written by Lore Segal and illustrated by Harriet Pincus, it’s a 1970 classic about a girl whose parents tell her stories about another girl named Mitzi, who has real adventures. And so, each week, our imaginary questioner, Mitzi—serving as Finck’s muse and foil—will post a question either overtly or tangentially about Jewish life in our blog, The Scroll. Mitzi will choose her favorites, which will then be rendered in illustrated form the following week. As with Segal’s heroine, Mitzi’s adventures are essentially quests for knowledge. Help her.





To answer Mitzi’s question, please send your responses to: An answer or multiple answers will be selected and appear as part of next week’s installment.

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Dear Liana,

I stopped making New Year’s resolutions a long time ago. I realized (a) my limitations and (b) I could, and do, initiate changes in my life independent of the Gregorian Calendar. Love the reverse title in frame three.

Good luck with the strip,


paula spector says:

This “strip” or maybe 1st step in our journey with Mitzi is great! Love the collage on page 1 and the chat box. Brilliant. I am inspired to think about making some resolutions. Resolutions as in goals are essential. I usually think about resolutions at Rosh Hashana. Good luck and keep your and our creative juices flowing.

Warren says:

Resolutions? I guess the only one that I’ve made and hope to carry out is to sit on the side of my bed every morning and breathe in and then breathe out. If I can do that, I’m good to go for the day.

Katherine says:

To put household food scraps in the compost bin (I live in San Francisco) even though they are smelly; I’ve kept this resolution all year; my kitchen smells…

Like Paula Spector, I make my new year’s resolutions during the Yamim Noraim rather than in early January. That said, one of my more practical resolutions was to devote more time to learning Hebrew and, so far, I can report only baby steps….but baby steps are steps nonetheless! ;)

Katherine, I also live in SF. My girlfriend and I realized that, using both compost and recycling bins, we no longer had much need for a sizable trash bin. As a result, we now have two large bins for compost and recycling, and one “baby bin” for the trash (and kitty litter). If you get a bin with a tight lid seal, the smell won’t be bad at all!

Barbara Rascoff says:

Liana.. I will follow this blog story with great attention and appreciation to all your lovely details. Thank you for thinking so hard. I will try to resolve to resolve on both New Years. i always need a second chance.

Alison says:

I don’t think I have ever kept a new year’s resolution :-/

Maybe this year will be different….

Many – MANY – years ago (just after university), I resolved to stay away from an ex-girlfriend who, whether she meant to or not, was slowly making me insane.

As she was friends with most of my friends, this meant that I turned down a lot of party invitations and stayed at home nursing my psychic wounds instead of going out. Which, when you’re in your early 20s is pretty hard to do. By early February, my mind was even in worse shape than before as I was now a virtual shut-in who was still obsessing over a woman who had broken my heart on three occasions.

I was honestly going to cave in as Valentines Day approached and then a miracle happened…

She got a job in a small city about 500 miles away, and had to leave within a couple of weeks.

By spring, I was dating again and I felt as if I was emerging from a dark tunnel that I’d been stuck in for a couple of years.

So while I almost caved in, it was a resolution that I kept.

(With some outside help of course).

Alana Newhouse says:

Katherine: If you have the room, you can keep your composting in the freezer — where it won’t rot and won’t smell. And if you use these (, you’ll make your life even easier.

Wow Liana,

How wonderful!

I can’t wait to read about other people’s New Year’s resolutions.

I, myself, resolved a long time ago not to make any, since by definition they are so hard to keep. If it weren’t so hard, we wouldn’t need a resolution, we’d just do it.
So I guess that’s one resolution I have been able to keep.

Good luck with your strip!

Love this first column Liana! Sort of wishing I either made resolutions or could remember them if I did.

i think Mitzi’s new years resolution is not to litter so much.

and to figure out how to get that big orange.

A tidbit: Lore Segal, the author of Tell Me a Mitzi, was a child in the Kindertransport. She wrote about that part of her life in a book called Other People’s Houses.

My New Year’s resolution should probably be to stick to the subject and answer the question…

Amy, I’ve been meaning to read that book. Did you know about it before Tell Me a Mitzi?

To be honest, Lore Segal is a friend of a friend of mine. The last time Lore Segal had a piece in the New Yorker I happened to have a get-together with my friend, and she mentioned it, and then told me about Lore’s life and recommended the book Other People’s Houses. That got me interested in finding out more about her as an author. I have to admit that before that I had not been familiar with Tell Me a Mitzi (and I was a kid when she wrote it; I don’t know how it got past my radar).

Liana, I think that orange would have been just the thing for Mitzi and her family when they were all so sick Along with the chicken soup

Patti Grunther says:

Hey Lianna – what a great start for your strip…keep up the good work!
Patti (e famiglia, Antonio, Julian & Nash)

ciao patti! thanks. thanks everyone. hi mom – yes. unless it was a kind of man-eating orange, which is something adult mitzi is going to have to check out on her next safari out of the laptop. mitzi dinisen!


Out of the West Side?

Rivka C says:

Liana ! Amazing blog ! Honored to be one of your groupies xxxx

Diane Belok says:


From West Orange (SSDS) to the West Side. Schechter has a beautiful, accomplished alum! And CRB and CBS- Teaneck are also very proud to call you their own. Go from strength to strength!!

Susan Mayo says:

In addition to enjoying your column/cartoon, I enjoyed reading the comments.Best wishes for continuing inspired work.

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In the first installment of Tablet Magazine’s new graphic advice column, we meet Mitzi, the author’s heroine, foil, and muse