Graphic Radicals

GRAPHIC RADICALS: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated

Graphic Radicals is a 30th anniversary retrospective of World War 3 Illustrated, an independently published political comic magazine founded in 1980 by artists Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper. Comprised of original comics drawings and paintings, posters, commissioned murals, documentary film, animation and a complete set of issues, Graphic Radicals will be the largest World War 3 Illustrated exhibition to date and will highlight the history that the magazine has scrutinized, documented, and participated in for three decades. World War 3 Illustrated was first established in response to the Iran hostage crisis and impending election of Ronald Reagan and since then has confronted social and political issues ignored by the mainstream press. The magazine is an annual publication produced by a collective of artists in response to a particular theme. World War 3 Illustrated has covered topics as diverse as the Tompkins Square Riot, homelessness, first-person accounts of 9/11, the prison industrial complex, a teachers’ strike in Mexico, Hurricane Katrina rescue efforts and, in the upcoming issue, the food chain. Critic Lucy Lippard wrote of World War 3 Illustrated that its “ecological and social prophecies are coming to pass, and the apocalyptic vision that gives WW3 its desperate force and unique identity is the present.”

This retrospective exhibition is the culmination of nearly two decades of collaboration with Exit Art to bring comic art to a wider audience. Exit Art was a pioneer in giving art world recognition to the medium of comics with its groundbreaking exhibition Comic Power (1993). Exit Art presented an exhibition of original art from World War 3 Illustrated’s 25th anniversary issue in 2005.


Mumia Abu Jamal, Penny Allen, Peter Bagge, Isabella Bannerman, Rosie Bottom, Steve Brodner, Zenzele Browne, Leigh Brownhill, Christopher Cardinale, Sue Coe, Scott Cunningham, Brian Damage, Eric Darton, Eric Drooker, Kate Evans, FLY, Susan Greene, Ethan Heitner, Chris Heneghan, Paula Hewitt Amram, Mirko Ilic, Ryan Inzana, Melissa Jameson, Sandy Jimenez, Sabrina Jones, Kathy Kelly, Tom Keough, Stephen Kroninger, Peter Kuper, Irene Ledwith, Tom McDonald, Mac McGill, Rebecca Migdal, Naji-Al-Ali, Ursula O’Steen, Jose Ortega, Maddalena Polleta, Kevin Pyle, Carlo Quispe, Corinne Rhodes, Spain Rodriguez, James Romberger, Joe Sacco, Nicole Schulman, R. Sikoryak, Susan Simensky Bietila, Erin Sinefit, Chuck Sperry, Art Spiegelman, Tenesh, Seth Tobocman, Tom Tomorrow, Teresa Turner, Lawrence Van Abbema, Marguerite Van Cook, Anton Van Dalen, Edwin Vazquez, John Williamson, Susan Willmarth, Samantha Wilson, Leah Wishnia, David Wojnarowicz, WW3 Arts In Action, Micah Ian Wright.


All events are $5 suggested donation.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010 / 7-9pm
Opening Night: Issue #41 Release Party

The opening of Graphic Radicals coincides with the release of World War 3 Illustrated: Issue #41 – The Food Chain. Copies of the issue will be available for purchase and artists from the magazine’s long history will be on hand to sign copies.

Everybody eats … but how do we stop from being eaten? This latest batch of new comics unearths some of the answers and asks the big questions about the food chain, our relationship to it and experiences with it. Featuring work by Jennifer Camper, Sue Coe, Sandy Jimenez, Sabrina Jones, Peter Kuper, Mac McGill, Rebecca Migdal, Seth Tobocman and many others. Edited by Ame Gilbert, Ethan Heitner, Sandy Jimenez, Rebecca Migdal, and Edwin Vazquez.

Friday, January 14, 2011 / 7-9pm
Picture the Homeless

With artist talks by Seth Tobocman, Mac McGill and Rebecca Migdal and music by Eric Blitz, Andy Laties, Graham Haynes and Matt Metzger

Picture the Homeless is a grassroots organization of homeless men and women who fight to impact and change policies and systems on issues that directly effect the homeless population such as housing, police violence, and the shelter-industrial complex.

Friday, January 21, 2011 / 7-9pm
Friends of Brad Will

With artist talks by FLY, Susan Simensky Bietila and Peter Kuper
Friends of Brad Will is a network of activists which promotes enhanced public awareness about the human rights abuses linked to the “war on drugs.” In that context, it works to promote government policies and actions that result in accountability for the murder, in Mexico, of U.S. journalist Brad Will; the release of and end to harassment of innocents and witnesses to his murder, who are being scapegoated with it; and the rejection of Plan Mexico.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011 / 7-9pm
Milk Not Jails

With artist talks by Sabrina Jones and Kevin Pyle
Milk Not Jails is a consumer campaign to mobilize New York residents to support the dairy industry and the long-term sustainability of the rural economy. It advocates for criminal justice and agriculture policy reform to bring about positive economic growth.


Peter Kuper is the co-founder of World War 3 Illustrated and remains active on the editorial board and as a cartoonist. His illustrations and comics have been featured in Time, The New York Times, and MAD Magazine, for which he has written and illustrated SPY vs. SPY every issue since 1997. He has produced over twenty books including, The System, an award-winning comic adaptation of Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Diario De Oaxaca, a visual journal of two years in Mexico. He was the 2009 gold medal recipient at the Society of Illustrators for sequential art. He has been teaching courses in comics and illustration at the School of Visual Arts, NY for over two decades.

Seth Tobocman is the co-founder of World War 3 Illustrated and remains active on the editorial board and as a cartoonist. He is the author and illustrator of five graphic books, including You Don’t Have to Fuck People Over to Survive, Portraits of Israelis and Palestinians, and Understanding the Crash. He has participated in exhibitions at ABC No Rio, Exit Art, the Museum of Modern Art and the New Museum of Contemporary Art. His illustrations have appeared in The New York Times among many other publications and his images have been used in posters, pamphlets, murals, graffiti, and tattoos by people’s movements around the world, from the African National Congress in South Africa, to squatters in new York’s Lower East Side. He currently teaches at the School of Visual Arts, NY in the Cartooning and Illustration Department.

Susan Willmarth has been an illustrator for the past 30 years. Her illustrations have appeared in New York Magazine, The New York Times, Essence, Ms, World War 3 Illustrated, AK Press, Writers and Readers, and Verso. She also works as a retail magazine buyer and distribution consultant specializing in fringe, ephemeral and foreign titles for Saint Mark’s Bookshop, Spoonbill and Sugartown Booksellers, The Kiosk (Hudson News Distribution), and Magazine Store (Eastern News Distribution).


General exhibition support provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; Bloomberg LP; Jerome Foundation; Lambent Foundation; Pollock-Krasner Foundation; the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn; Exit Art’s Board of Directors and our members. A portion of this show was curated collectively by Susan Simensky Bietila, Christopher Cardinale, Sabrina Jones, Rebecca Migdal, Nicole Schulman and Seth Tobocman. The show originated at the invitation of Max Yela at UWM Library Special Collections and was assembled by Susan Simensky Bietila with the expert assistance of Jessica Bublitz, Carrie Leatherman, and Max Yela.