Tag Archives: les kanturek

Les Kanturek Memorial


It was with great shock and sadness that we learned about our long-standing, dear faculty member Les Kanturek’s passing on February 25th, 2013. Les was an enthusiastic and committed teacher and an extraordinary human being, who deeply touched and enriched the community with his spirit and compassion. He is, and will, always be loved and missed by all of us.

We would like to invite all of his family, friends, current and former students and colleagues to join us in sharing our memories of Les on April 10th, at 7 p. m., at 2 W 13th street, room 704.

We hope to see you there.



Summer Reading: Invisible Man on display!

Since last year, Parsons faculty member and instructor for Illustration Concepts I, Les Kanturek, has been in charge of helping organization exhibitions in the Illustration lobby display cases.  Over the summer, he’s created a rich treasure trove of visuals related to the Illustration summer reading book: Invisible Man by H.G. Wells.  Above, you can see a somewhat cryptic detail from the display–you’ll have to make a visit to the 8th floor lobby yourself to see the whole picture. Over at his class blog, Les writes the following:

The Illustration Department’s Summer Reading Project for 2010 is H. G. Wells’ classic “The Invisible Man”.  First published in 1897, Wells’ science fiction novel gives us the timeless iconic mad experimenter who suffers from his scientific over-reaching, he plays with forces of nature he cannot control and pays with his life.  Griffin’s invisibility can be seen as both a superpower and a curse.  He is a victim and the aggressor.  Taking place in the small English country town of Iping, location is crucial to the story. The mysterious stranger that appears terrorizes the locals in a very noir-ish fashion.  The idea of paranoia contained in a small town is a theme artist and author Jeff Lemire handles brilliantly in “The Nobody”, a graphic novel based on Wells’Invisible Man.

Read the rest of his entry here.  And make sure to come peruse Les’s thoughtful and delightful display when you’re in the neighborhood.  While you’re at it, take time to look at the other displays as well, which include student work, alumni sketchbooks and drawings, and a whole case devoted to artists’ books in conjunction with Illustration Chair Steven Guarnaccia’s “PictoZine” class.  There’s a lot of inspiration on view.  Don’t miss it!

Pop-ups pop-up in Parsons Illustration!

Check out this fantastic video comprised of collection of photos and video footage of students’ pop-up projects from the Spring 2010 Sophomore Concepts classes.


Thanks to Sophomore Concepts instructor Peter Hamlin for constructing the video!  And congrats to all the students on their inspired work.

Plethora of Pinocchio-related items!

Via Les Kanturek, here’s a cornucopia of Pinocchio-related goodies to keep all of our summer readers inspired as they read.


From “Pinocchio–1001 Uses,”we have a set of cards available to teachers to be used as a measuring exercise for elementary school.


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From the Cooper-Hewitt art/design collection, we have a delightful pop-up version of the Pinocchio book.



From Pinocchio/The Dark Side,” we have a giant (Pinocchio-inspired?) skeleton at The Palazzo Reale in Milan by artist Gino De Dominicus  titled  “Calamita Cosmica.”

Keep up with Les’s research as the summer progresses–check out his Sophomore concepts blog!

Thanks, Les and keep reading everyone!

Summer Reading: Pinocchio as seen through the eyes of Winshluss


[Editor’s Note: We’re crossposting this entry from (Parsons Alum and Adjunct Faculty) Les Kanturek’s Sophomore Concepts blog. ]

Pinocchio, by well known French comix artist Winshluss was awarded the Fauve d’or (best comic book prize) at the 37th Angoulême International Comics Festival in France this year. Winshluss, is the pen name of Vincent Parannaud who might also be familiar to some as co-director (with Marjane Satrapi) of the animated film Persepolis.


In Pinocchio, Winshluss has created a wonderfully dark, comic noir interpretation of Carlo Collodi’s classic children’s story. The artwork is primarily done in pen and ink, and watercolor but switches to paint for larger splash panels. He references a terrific range of illustrative styles and history in the story from late 18th century pen and ink, to early French film pioneer Georges Méliès , through early Disney, and underground comix.



Though Disney’s 1940 animated Pinoccho seems to have become the definitive version here in the U.S., Winshluss’ work is much closer to Collodi than Disney in spirit. Like Collodi’s originally serialized story of the wooden marionette, Winshluss’ updated version was first published serialized as chapters in Ferraille Illustré, a French comics journal. Winshluss’ graphic novel is an adult noir movie that at times is both comedy and tragedy. The narrative begins with a shooting, and then flashes back to Pinocchio’s creation (he is now a robot-like android) and adventures. Collodi’s original story is also darker (Pinocchio is hung, Jiminy Cricket is killed…) than Disney’s version. Both versions portray Pinocchio going from one manipulative situation to another. Winshluss has also injected politics into his story which also played a part in Collodi’s original.

Pinoke Wolves

The Angoulême site described the book as an “Opera”, which it is in its visual lushness and drama. For the most part, the book is wordless, with multiple characters’ points of view all adding to the sum of Pinocchio’s story. Jiminy Cafard (Cafard translates as cockaroach, as well as hypocrite and a feeling of severe depression)–Pinocchio’s companion–provides the most talking in the book.  It seems appropriate and provides comic relief.


As of now Winshluss’ Pinocchio is only available in French (which won’t stop you from enjoying it even if you’re not a French speaker) and through overseas online merchants . Hopefully it will be distributed in the states in the near future.

Thanks, Les!

Summer Reading Preview: Mussino’s illustrations


Summer reading enthusiast and Illustration Alum/Adjunct Faculty Les Kanturek found an interesting blog post about Attilio Mussino’s illustrations for this year’s summer reading book: Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi.  Here is is favorite snippet:

Ironically, the story of a wooden puppet who would go on to lead an independent life beyond his creator became reality as Collodi didn’t live to see the success of his allegorical writing.

Check out the full entry here.  You can also access a full collection of pages (like the one above) from a Mussino-illustrated version of Pinocchio at this site–it’s a good source of inspiration and illumination.  We should be receiving the books soon and we’ll let you know all know when you can come pick them up.  Watch your email, please!

Les will be working on a blockbuster display of Pinocchio-related illustration and ephemera so watch out for that too.