Hands Up Herbie! is a graphic novel based on the life of the author’s father, Herb Perr. Born into a mob-linked Jewish family in Brighton Beach, Herbie is determined to become an artist. Along the way we are introduced to Herbie’s racketeer father, operating out of the back of a candy store; his beloved uncle serving a life sentence for second-degree murder; the gangster Bugsy Siegal, who falls for Herbie’s long-suffering mother; and a twenty-five cent therapist from the yellow pages, who helps Herbie find his own way.
In the excerpt below, the artist’s father remembers his grandfather’s Passover Seders.