COMICS AS POLITICAL EXPRESSION
October 12, 2021 - January 11, 2022
A 14 week-course with noted comics artist Seth Tobocman
Hosted by the Museum for Reclaimed Urban Space
155 Avenue C, between 9th + 10th Streets
Course Fee: $140 - $200
First Class: Tuesday October 12 at 7:00pm
This class is for people hoping to express their political convictions through comics, cartooning, or illustration.
This weekly class is open to artists of all skill levels. The ideas presented are narrative and conceptual and will work just as well with stick figures as with detailed realistic drawing. But the assumption is that everyone attending wants to produce art, not just talk about it. Everyone in the class will be treated respectfully, and criticized constructively, as a working artist.
Comics have emerged as an important art form, influencing film, politics and other aspects of culture. Many organizations today use graphic novels to draw attention to their issues. But comics have a long tradition. Cartoonists played a significant role in the American, French, and Russian revolutions, in the abolitionist, civil rights and feminist movements. Most of the pioneers of American comics were from working class backgrounds.
We will look at the many ways that artists have expressed political concerns throughout history with an eye towards seeing what techniques we can apply in our own work.
In the first month there will be short assignments to help artists develop basic skills. In the middle of the course there will be opportunities to interview activists and develop comics about their issues. In the last month artists will do a longer strip on a subject of their own choosing.
The political point of view of this course will be unapologetically anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian. The aesthetic point of view will favor representational art and clear communication. But people of all beliefs are welcome.
The class will meet from 7:00pm to 9:30pm Tuesday evenings at the Museum of Reclaimed Urban Space. On occasion classes may run slightly longer. Participants are required to bring their own pushpins or tape with which to hang their assignments.
NOTE: Participants are required to be vaccinated and to wear masks. In the case of a worsening of the pandemic the class will meet over zoom.
Class instructor Seth Tobocman is a radical comic book artist who's been living in Manhattan's Lower East Side since 1978. Tobocman is best known for his creation of the political comic book anthology World War 3 Illustrated, which he started in 1979 with fellow artist Peter Kuper. He has also been an influential propagandist for the squatting, anti-globalist, and anti-war movements in the United States. Tobocman's "Edith In Flames, World War 3 Illustrated #45" was listed under "Notable Comics" in The Best American Comics 2015.
This course is not accredited. Seth does teach accredited courses at the School Of Visual Arts and has 41 years of experience as a professional comic book artist and illustrator. He also has a long history of producing art used by political movements on issues of housing, police brutality, peace and the environment.
Registration is limited to 8 students.