By Seth Kushner
S eth Kushner loves comics and loves taking photos of interesting people. Over the past year, Seth began combining the two passions, in the form of photocomix, AKA fumetti, first popularized in the U.S. with Harvey Kurtzman’s Help and later in Robert Crumb’s Weirdo. In those cases the experiment was played for laughs, but Seth’s doing something different: fusing photojournalism, personality profile, and comix. His first photocomix profile was of the late, great Harvey Pekar, for GRAPHIC NYC, the comics journalism site he co-edits. CulturePOP is his new ongoing series of photocomix profiles on ACT-I-VATE.com.
“What Seth achieved with that initial Pekar interview-cum-comic was a triumph,” said Jeff Newelt, Harvey’s editor on The Pekar Project. “He took key moments of an interview, matched the words with photos he took, and sequentially arranged the results so as to read as smoothly as an American Splendor comic.”
In CulturePOP Season 1 and 2, Seth’s shined his flash on the lives of such subjects including poet Caits Meissner, sousaphonist/producer Clark Gayton, graffiti artist/sculptor Carlos “Mare 139” Rodriguez, former US champion rhythmic gymnast Olga Karmansky, toy designer Super Sucklord, author Douglas Rushkoff, VJ Jonny Wilson of Eclectic Method, Bronx Flavor TV host Baron Ambrosia, writer / erotic editor Rachel Kramer Bussel, cartoonist Dean Haspiel, illustrator / designer Dave Franzese of Dark Igloo, aerialist Lisa Natoli, hip hop performer Akim The Funk Buddha, comedian/musician Reggie Watts, musician Jihae, artist Cynthia Von Buhler, hip-hop performer Akim Funk Buddha, comics author Harvey Pekar and more.
“Seth Kushner’s omniscient lens distills NYC’s brave and bold into graphic time capsules,” says Dean Haspiel, creator of Billy Dogma, & The Alcoholic.
With Season 3, CulturePOP moves to it’s new exclusive home, TRIP CITY. It launched Tuesday 11/1 with a photocomix profile on author and creaor of HBOs Bored To Death Jonathan Ames. Other Season2 scintillating subjects: WTF podcaster Mark Maron, musician / DJ / performer Moby, author / Marilyn Monroe biographer James Haspiel and more.
“Working on CulturePOP has been a dream come true,” says Kushner. “It’s the melding of my life-long love of comics and my photography into a new form of profile for me. Working on the first twenty-five was such a challenging and rewarding experience that I can’t wait for viewers to see some of the new tricks I’ve incorporated into the next episodes.”
CulturePOP is co-curated and edited by Dean Haspiel and Jeff Newelt.