Public Programs And Events

New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium: Ethan Persoff - Comics with Problems, The Realist Cartoons, and John Wilcock, New York Years

New York Comics & Picture-Story Symposium: Ethan Persoff - Comics with Problems, The Realist Cartoons, and John Wilcock, New York Years

The Bark Room, Room M104, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center
General Public 

In 2005, Ethan Persoff began the online magazine “Comics with Problems”, a comics archive of “political ephemera, sex items, and drug hysteria”. The website became widely distributed via word of mouth and press and TV coverage, noted for its peculiar and unique selection of comics.

In 2007, Persoff then worked with Paul Krassner on The Realist Archive Project, an authorized online archive of the entire run of Krassner’s 1960s counterculture magazine. In 2016, Fantagraphics published the best comics of the archive, appropriately titled “The Realist Cartoons”.

As a cartoonist, Persoff has collaborated on numerous projects with Scott Marshall. When The Realist archive completed, Persoff began a comic biography project with Marshall on John Wilcock, a writer who had contributed to The Realist, as well as co-founded the Village Voice, worked with Andy Warhol, and helped establish the Underground Press Syndicate, which largely influenced modern day journalism. The comic biography “John Wilcock, New York Years” is regularly serialized on Boing Boing, and focuses on Wilcock’s time in New York, from 1954-1971.

In a discussion with numerous visual examples, Persoff will describe how these three projects grew from one another, and will provide other comics on the site that demonstrate the odd effect of posting something on the Internet and seeing it become part of the larger global conversation. Simple topics like digital preservation and scanning will mix with scavenging for undiscovered items, or general finding methods, as well as humorous examples from both Comics with Problems and The Realist. Finally, the role of biography will be discussed, with sample pages from “John Wilcock” demonstrating how a page grows from interview text, secondary research, script, breakdown and the final comic page.

Ethan Persoff is a cartoonist, archivist, and sound artist, based in Austin TX. His work can regularly be seen on Boing Boing and in The American Bystander.

Presented by The New School's Parsons School of Design. 

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