Founded in 1979 by Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper, World War 3 Illustrated is a labor of love run by a collective of artists (both first-timers and established professionals) and political activists working with the unified goal of creating a home for political comics, graphics, and stirring personal stories. Their confrontational comics shine a little reality on the fantasy world of the American kleptocracy, and have inspired the developing popularity and recognition of comics as a respected art form.
This full-color retrospective exhibition is arranged thematically, including housing rights, feminism, environmental issues, religion, police brutality, globalization, and depictions of conflicts from the Middle East to the Midwest. World War 3 Illustrated isn’t about a war that may happen; it’s about the ongoing wars being waged around the world and on our very own doorsteps. World War 3 Illustrated also illuminates the war we wage on each other—and sometimes the one taking place in our own minds. World War 3 artists have been covering the topics that matter for over 30 years, and they’re just getting warmed up.
Contributors include Sue Coe, Scott Cunningham, Eric Drooker, Fly, Sandy Jimenez, Sabrina Jones, Peter Kuper, Mac McGill, Kevin Pyle, Spain Rodriguez, James Romberger, Nicole Schulman, Chuck Sperry, Art Spiegelman, Seth Tobocman, Tom Tomorrow, Susan Willmarth, and many more.
The “World War 3 Illustrated 1979 – 2014” book is available through PM Press HERE
“World War 3 Illustrated is the real thing. . . . As always it mixes newcomers and veterans, emphasizes content over style (but has plenty of style), keeps that content accessible and critical, and pays its printers and distributors but no one else. If it had nothing more than that kind of dedication to recommend it, it would be invaluable. But it has much, much more.“
—New York Times
“Reading WW3 is both a cleansing and an enraging experience. The graphics remind us how very serious the problems and how vile the institutions that cause them really are.“
“Powerful graphic art and comic strips from the engaged and enraged pens of urban artists. The subjects include poverty, war, homelessness and drugs; it’s a poke in the eye from the dark side of America, tempered by what the artists describe as their ’oppositional optimism.’“
—Whole Earth Review
“This is art—not marketing—on the newsstand. It represents the sort of creativity too rarely given an outlet in comics. It’s the best and longest running alternative comics anthology around.“
“The artists of World War 3 have forged a space by turns harsh and exciting, honest and rowdy, boisterous and straight-forward, always powered by the wild and unruly harmonies of love. It’s a space where hope and history rhyme, where joy and justice meet. Their voices provoke and soothe and energize. I want to hear more.“
—Bill Ayers, founder of the Weather Underground
Today is the one year anniversary of the beginning of the Occupy Movement, and I sat down with KQED Radio’s Rachael Myrow at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, to talk about my Occupy poster, “This Is Our City And We Can Shut It Down” (below). This poster is included in the “Occupy Bay Area” exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Rachael spoke to me, fellow artist Eric Drooker, and exhibition curator, Betti-Sue Hertz about the significance of the art exhibition and more importantly, the progress and significance of the Occupy Movement in general.
Read Rachael Myrow’s “News Fix” article from KQED’s website on my Press & Reviews page HERE.
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Presents:
Occupy Bay Area
July 7-October 14, 2012
$10 Regular/ $8 students, senior, discount
FREE for YBCA Members & YBCA:You
FREE first Tuesday of each month • noon – 8 pm
Since its inception in September 2011, the Occupy Movement has generated both praise and condemnation. A direct response to the financial instability, subprime mortgage crisis and the decline of trust in the government’s ability to effectively address the problems in the labor market, it continues to resonate in the American consciousness. In response to the significant output of art and documentation produced in support of the Occupy Movement in Oakland and San Francisco, YBCA has put together an exhibition of works that have proven to be particularly effective in supporting the goals and aspirations of the Movement. Impressively, various political poster artists devoted their talents to messaging the politics and culture of the movement by creating iconic images — designs that were a call to action, or posters announcing an upcoming event. In many ways these works, by twenty-five Bay Area artists, carry forward the region’s long tradition as a leader in political struggles, from the Free Speech Movement of the 1960s, to struggles by communities of color in the 1970s, to AIDS activism in the 1980s. The exhibition also includes a selection of photojournalistic and documentary photography and video that serve as a record of the events around the Occupy Movement.
Additionally, to connect to earlier movements and provide a historical context for the project, the exhibition includes posters and photographs from other political struggles, including the Black Panther Party, I-Hotel in Manilatown (1968–77); the ARC/AIDS Vigil at City Hall (1985–95); the Occupation of Alcatraz (1969–71); the Free Speech Movement at UC Berkeley (1964–65); and the San Francisco State University protests, to gain an Ethnic Studies program and Black Student Union demands (1968–69).While these earlier movements certainly differ in ways from Occupy, they all are the result of a deep desire for marginalized peoples to be represented and treated fairly.
This exhibition is not meant to represent a fully executed social history, but is a testament of the power of images to evoke the emotional expression of popular and wide-spread sentiments. By localizing our efforts, we also pay special tribute to the role that Bay Area artists have played in giving voice to the 99% and utilizing art as an effective vehicle for social change.
Dignidad Rebelde (Melanie Cervantes and Jesus Barraza)
Gabby Miller and Miriam Klein Stahl
Nuclear Winter Art
Political Gridlock (Jon-Paul Bail)
Cristy C. Road
Sergio de la Torre
Artists of historical posters & photographs:
“Indian Joe” Morris
Photojournalism and video artists: