Celebrating America's Longest Running Political Comic Book

World War 3 Illustrated magazine cover“30 Years of the Art of World War 3 Illustrated: America’s Longest Running Political Comic Book” was exhibited from Monday, February 22, 2010 through June 26, 2010. 

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 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.

World War 3 Illustrated magazine coverIf 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 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.  
World War 3 Illustrated magazine cover
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.

World War 3 Illustrated Artists came together on Saturday on May 8, 2010, at their 30th Anniversary Gala Celebration, rejoicing in their history of cutting-edge art with multimedia presentations, puppetry, performance and music!

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