Seth Tobocman is a radical comic book artist who has been living in Manhattan’s Lower East Side since 1978. He has been an influential propagandist, with his work appearing and re-appearing in activist literature, record albums, graffiti stencils, t-shirts and tattoos. Tobocman considers individual images from his work to be public domain, and has generally felt encouraged to see its use in various movements around the world.
Read Ad Astra’s interview with Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper for the
35th anniversary of World War 3 Illustrated
Tobocman grew up in Cleveland Heights, Ohio, reading about the adventures of superheroes and rummaging through the collection of comics legend Harvey Pekar, who also lived in Cleveland at that time. His greatest influences, from a storytelling standpoint, were Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko.
In 1970, Tobocman and his childhood friend, Peter Kuper (Spy vs. Spy, Mind Riot, Oaxaca, Ruins) published their first fanzine. The next year, they published G.A.S Lite, the official magazine of the Cleveland Graphic Arts Society. Moving to New York City, he studied at the Pratt Institute alongside Kuper.
Tobocman is best known for his creation of the political comic book anthology World War 3 Illustrated, which he co-founded in 1979 with Kuper. Tobocman continues to contribute to the project as a contributing artist, editor, and promoter. It remains, to date, one of the longest-running comics anthologies in the world, and definitively, the longest-running political comics anthology in the English language.
Other Books by Seth Tobocman:
You Don’t Have to Fuck People Over to Survive
Portraits of Israelis and Palestinians
Understanding the Crash
Disaster and Resistance: Comics and Landscapes for the 21st Century
Len, A Lawyer in History
Seth Tobocman’s comics appear regularly in the pages of World War Three Illustrated,
a periodical of radical comics published out of New York City.
Tobocman created an animation for filmmaker Antonino D’Ambrosio’s Let Fury Have the Hour (2012), which chronicles the movement of world citizenship.