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.“
Utne Reader

“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.“
Comics Journal

“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


GRAPHIC RADICALS: 30 Years of World War 3 Illustrated

December 7, 2010 – February 7, 2011

Opening Tuesday, December 7, 7-9pm


Exit Art

475 Tenth Ave

New York, NY 10018

Gallery Hours:

Tuesday – Thursday 10:00am – 6:00pm

Friday 10:00am – 6:00pm

Saturday 12:00pm – 6:00pm

NEW YORK – 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 exhibition to date and will highlight the history that World War 3 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 with each issue addressing a particular theme. WW3 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.”


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, 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, Maddalena Polleta, Kevin Pyle, Carlo Quispe, Corinne Rhodes, Spain Rodriguez, James Romberger, Joe Sacco, Nicole Schulman, Susan Simensky Bietile, Erin Sinefit, Chuck Sperry, Art Spiegelman, Tenesh, Seth Tobocman, Teresa Turner, Lawrence Van Abbema, Anton Van Dalen, Edwin Vazquez, John Williamson, Susan Willmarth, Samantha Wilson, Leah Wishnia, David Wojnarowicz, WW3 Arts In Action, Micah Ian Wright

Organized by Peter Kuper, Seth Tobocman, and Susan Willmarth.


The show at Faya Gallery, 211 Elizabeth Street in New York City was a total blast. The show is still up until September 26, and there’s a closing party on Friday, September 24 from 6 pm to 10 pm. Chris and I will not be able to attend, but it’s sure to be a great time! I was very happy to be back on the Lower East Side for the opening. The Faya Gallery’s location is beautiful, in North Little Italy, and the hospitality of gallery owner John Scalise and his partner Rob and friend Cervantes was great. Here’s a cool picture of John and Cervantes:

Chris Shaw showed his new paintings and they are gorgeous. I love his canvases; I’m a proud owner of some of his paintings. Chris is just a top-notch painter, and fun guy to hang out with. Take a look at his beautiful canvases here:

Carlo McCormick – Senior Editor of “Paper” – showed up at the opening and introduced me to Hubert Kertzschmar the album art designer of Rolling Stones’ “Some Girls”. The above photo is courtesy Carlo McCormick (with Hubert’s camera).

Novelist Charles Bock came to the opening and we caught a coffee together (next day) near his writing office on Union Square, NYC. It was really great to catch up with Charles and share the last year of experiences with him. I designed the cover for the paperback edition of his novel “Beautiful Children.”

I had a great time with Seth Tobocman, editor of World War 3 Illustrated magazine. Seth and I worked as co-editors in the 1980’s on World War 3. The magazine is still going strong after 25 years. And I contribute to this day. There will be a retrospective of WW3 in which I’m included at EXIT Art Gallery in NYC early next year.

On our free day Chris and I rolled around New York City. I was a little tired – with the Dylan release just before my trip – and it’s kind of hard to get sleep when your head is hanging over the traffic…

…And there’s an incredible rat problem downtown.

Chris and I had a great time together. The show was a big success! We spent part of our free day by going to this great paint pigment store on the Lower East Side – to pick up raw / mixable paint pigments for our paintings and prints. Dropped some serious cash on metallic and opalescent pigments that will mirror the metallic effects of my printing in acrylic paint for the canvases and to print with. I used to live across the street from this store and it was a pleasure to be back in the hood. Thanks to John Scalise and everyone at Faya Gallery!



A new show in The Sanctuary for Independent Media‘s Underground Gallery, “30 Years of the Art of World War 3 Illustrated: America’s Longest Running Political Comic Book,” will be on display from Monday, February 22, 2010 through June 26, 2010.  The exhibit will be open to the public Tuesdays through Fridays, 11 AM-5 PM.

Founded in 1980 by Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper, World War 3 Illustrated is a labor of love, run by a collective of artists working with the unified goal of creating a home for political comics, graphics and 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 the graphic novel medium in the U.S.

World War 3 Illustrated has served as a document of our collective history including many aspects ignored by the mainstream press. The retrospective exhibition is gathered under key themes: “From Reagan to Bush,” “No Police State!,” “Housing Is a Human Right!,” “Politics of Medicine, “Women and WW3,” “Against Global Capital,” “Environment,” “Anti-War,” “New Orleans,” “9/11.”

WW3 contributors range from first-timers to veteran artists who were launched into their careers when their first published pieces appeared in its pages. Though numerous contributors have had their work recognized across the arts community from museums to major magazines, they continue to return to WW3 to find an uncensored platform for social commentary.

The artists drawn to World War 3 Illustrated are activists. They have been involved in direct-action movements. They squatted and took part in demonstrations. They experienced poverty, violence and injustice first hand. Their stories ring true because they reflect this first-hand experience.

If WW3 had a manifesto (which they don’t) it might say if you’re going to talk about changing society, a magazine’s not a bad place to start. WW3 has functioned as a microcosm of the the kind of society they would like to see. Content is valued over style and ideas are not regarded for their popularity, but for their substance. Artists are given a forum to reach an audience with their work and the opportunity to interact and examine their concepts and creative processes in a supportive group setting.

World War 3 Illustrated isn’t about a war that may happen, it is about the ongoing wars our so-called leaders have been waging all our lives 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 take a personal approach to social and political issues, from race to religion to sexual relations, and depict their own dreams and nightmares, both real and imagined. They’ve been covering the topics that matter for 30 years and they’re just getting warmed up!

THE ARTISTS OF World War 3 Illustrated :
The World War 3 Illustrated 30th Anniversary Exhibition was curated by Christoper Cardinale, Sabrina Jones, Rebecca Migdal, Nicole Schulman, Susan Simensky Bietila and Seth Tobocman. Other members of the collective featured in the show include Peter Kuper, Scott Cunningham, Kevin Pyle, Eric Drooker, Sue Coe, Susan Wilmarth, Ryan Inzana, Paula Hewitt, Art Spiegelman and Chuck Sperry, among many others. This show originated at the University of Wisconsin- Milwaukee Library Special Collections and was assembled and archived by Susan Simensky Bietila, Jessica Bublitz and Max Yela.

The magazine could never have survived without this collective effort and the contribution of so many other artists and writers who have donated their talents. In the hierarchy of the magazine editors and contributors receive the same pay: a magazine they’ve helped build. Only the printers and distributors are paid, all profits go into producing the next issue.

Meet the artists of World War 3 Illustrated on Saturday on May 8, 2010 at 8 p.m., at their 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration, as they rejoice in their history of cutting-edge art with multimedia presentations, performance and music.

The Sanctuary for Independent Media is a telecommunications production facility dedicated to community media arts, located in an historic former church at 3361 6th Avenue in north Troy, NY. The Sanctuary hosts screening, production and performance facilities, training in media production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent media makers of all kinds. Call (518) 272-2390, email info@MediaSanctuary.org, or visit www.MediaSanctuary.org for directions and more information.