Category Archives: History

EVENT: Exploring Comics through Moebius

Hi Everyone!
Join us this week as we talk about one of the legends in comics, Moebius! Our wery own DT student Ricardo Vega will be giving a talk on this amazing artist. Come and hang out and learn a few things! *Please note the time change for this week
Friday 3/21 D12 @6pm
6 east 16th St. 12th floor
Check out the Event Link Here!
​Hope to see you there!

Event! – Comic Book Art History with Arlen Schumer

This Friday!
Join us for more Comic Book History with Arlen Schumer!
Schumer has written the award winning book “The Silver Age of Comic Book Art”  which highlights the careers of various hall of fame artists who drew definitive versions of the industry’s greatest characters. This book is the first to concentrate on the importance of these artists and their work, as well as the literary and sociological aspects of the Silver Age.  In this Visual Lecture, Schumer presents an insider view of his twin careers as both comic book historian, and illustrator.
Friday 3/14 7PM
Parsons -D12
6 east 16th st. 12th Floor
New York NY
FREE & Open to the public!
See you there!

NYTimes: ‘Tintin’ Film Casts Cars Among Star Performers

On Sunday, November 27, The New York Times published an article about the new film adaptation of ‘The Adventures of Tintin“. The 3-D film, in theaters December 21, is directed by Steven Spielberg and produced by Peter Jackson. The classic European tale stars more than the little orange haired reporter, notably, the 1937 Ford V-8. Read the article here: ‘Tintin’ Film Casts Cars Among Star Performers

Hero, Villain, Yeti: Tibet in Comics at the Rubin Museum

Hero, Villain, Yeti opens on Friday, December 9th at the Rubin Museum.  The exhibit is an extensive collection of comics related to Tibet, with characters as diverse as Mickey Mouse, Buddha, and Tomb Raider Lara Croft.  The collection includes more than fifty international comic books dated from the 1940s to present day.  Tibet is explored as both a historical, political setting and a fantasy land.  In addition to those on display, dozens of comics are available for reading.

See the Rubin website for gallery hours and admission prices.
Gallery admission is free every Friday from 6 – 10 p.m.

There is a members-only preview night for the exhibit on Thursday, December 8th, featuring remarks from chief curator Jan Van Alphen and an illustrated keytalk by exhibition curator Martin Brauen. The preview night begins at 6 p.m. and tickets are available to members of the museum on a first come, first served basis.

Frank Olinsky and his work with the Smashing Pumpkins

FO Aeroplane Flies High

Illustration Adjunct Faculty Frank Olinsky was recently interviewed about his extensive design work for Smashing Pumpkins.  He talked about his interactions with the band, his influences, and the outcomes.  There are also some really great sketches included that show the creative process.  Here’s a little snippet:

You’ve been involved over the years in several Smashing Pumpkins projects, the first of which was under the role of art director for the band’s double album, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness. For those of us who aren’t very familiar with the graphic design world, what exactly does that entail?

FO: The art director is responsible for the overall “look” of a project. The process begins with an initial concept and proceeds in stages to completion. Sometimes the concept comes from the art director, sometimes from the client, and sometimes out of a dialog between them. The art director may seek out appropriate pre-existing images or suggest creative talent to execute new images. He or she then orchestrates the creative process through final production, working with photographers, illustrators, designers, or other visual artists to achieve the desired result.

How did you come to be involved with the band? Did you work alongside the band on the art, or was it mostly through their record label at the time?

FO: The band had creative control over the package. That basically meant that I interacted directly with Billy and passed the results on to the record company. I was first contacted by someone who worked closely with the Pumpkins. They called me up and asked if I would be interested in designing the band’s forthcoming album package. I was already a Smashing Pumpkins fan – in fact, I was listening to Siamese Dream when I received that preliminary phone call. Of course I said yes.

A short while later, I got a call from Billy. He described the music on the album Mellon Collie as ‘psychedelic music played by a heavy metal band from the 1920s’. Pretty good description don’t you think? I figured that if I were going to be working with him closely over a long period of time, it would be helpful to know why he had chosen me for the project. He said he owned quite a few CDs that I had art directed/designed and he liked that I didn’t have one style that I imposed on all my projects. Rather, he felt that each was a good design that fit the particular recording. Besides being flattered I thought that here was someone with a keen eye who knew exactly what he wanted. I felt we could collaborate on some great things, and that turned out to be true.

Make sure you peruse the whole thing here.  You can see more of Frank’s work on his blog and his official website!

Quick Hit: Classic Government Comics

govn't comix
Check out this fantastic archive of (free) Government Comic Books–the topics range from space travel to eyepatches to the story of inflation.  Some nice reading for a hot summer afternoon.  Thanks to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln library for creating this rad resource.  Here are a couple other highlights, but definitely check out the whole collection.  Enjoy!



The Beats get illustrated!


Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing! recently highlighted The Beats: A Graphic History, which seems like a pretty exciting new book by Harvey Pekar (of American Splendor fame) and a host of others  Here’s a snippet of Cory’s write-up:

The Beats: A Graphic History is everything a radical history should be: critical, admiring, quirky and apologetic. The Beats is largely written by Harvey Pekar and illustrated by Ed Piskor, with a concluding section of more critical, less biographical pieces written and illustrated by a variety of critics and artists, including Nancy J Peters, Tulu Kupferberg, Summer McClinton, Anne Timmons and others.

The opening section consists of Pekar’s biographies of the canonical Beats, Kerouac, Ginsberg, Burroughs, and then onto the less-celebrated members of the scene, including Rexroth, Ferlinghetti, LeRoi Jones, and so forth. These pieces are loving but harsh, sparing their subjects little sympathy for their misdeeds (which are many, ranging from murder and betrayal to vicious misogyny and naive, fleeting affairs with reactionary politics and mysticism). Pekar shows us that a mature person can admire the worthy deeds and art of historical heroes without glossing over their bad acts — or throwing away their art with their sins.


Ed Piskor’s Kerouac (seen above) is just a taste of the great illustration included in this volume.  You can pick up your copy here.

Aftermath: Parsons Illustration Alumni Event at the Society of Illustrators

Back in March, New School Alumni Relations held a fantastic shindig up at the Society of Illustrators. The event was well-attended and a total blast! Here are a few snapshots:

Associate Professor Nora Krug, Dept. Chair Steven Guarnaccia, and Adjunct Faculty Eddie del Rosario

Soon-to-be Alumnae Lindsey Balbierz and Jasmine Wigandt

Alumni Peter de Seve addresses the crowd.

Graduating Illustration Senior Shanna Mahan and Adjunct Faculty & Alum Bob Sikorayk are in view!

See the rest of the photo set here and visit the New School Alumni Relations site to learn more about upcoming alumni events. Also, make sure to keep the department updated on your accomplishments so we can let everyone know!

Howard Zinn’s illustrated “A People’s History of the American Empire”

Historian and activist Howard Zinn, working with comic artist Mike Konopacki, has produced an illustrated book called A People’s History of the American Empire. Here’s an excerpt from the publisher’s write-up:

Adapted from the bestselling grassroots history of the United States, the story of America in the world, told in comics form.

Since its landmark publication in 1980, A People’s History of the United States has had six new editions, sold more than 1.7 million copies, become required classroom reading throughout the country, and been turned into an acclaimed play. More than a successful book, A People’s History triggered a revolution in the way history is told, displacing the official versions with their emphasis on great men in high places to chronicle events as they were lived, from the bottom up.

Now Howard Zinn, historian Paul Buhle, and cartoonist Mike Konopacki have collaborated to retell, in vibrant comics form, a most immediate and relevant chapter of A People’s History: the centuries-long story of America’s actions in the world. Narrated by Zinn, this version opens with the events of 9/11 and then jumps back to explore the cycles of U.S. expansionism from Wounded Knee to Iraq, stopping along the way at World War I, Central America, Vietnam, and the Iranian revolution. The book also follows the story of Zinn, the son of poor Jewish immigrants, from his childhood in the Brooklyn slums to his role as one of America’s leading historians.

Shifting from world-shattering events to one family’s small revolutions, A People’s History of American Empire presents the classic ground-level history of America in a new form.

Grab your copy here!

Bonus: Here’s a short film called “Empire or Humanity?: What the Classroom Didn’t Teach Me about the American Empire” by Howard Zinn and narrated by Viggo Mortensen.


Extra Special Bonus: This weekend, Howard Zinn and Mike Konopacki will be appearing at Cooper Union to talk about the book.