Founded in 1980 by Seth Tobocman and Peter Kuper, World War 3 Illustrated is a labor of love, run by a collective of artists working with the unified goal of creating a home for political comics, graphics and stories.
The rotating editorial board has included over the years along with Seth and Peter, Sabrina Jones, Scott Cunningham, Kevin Pyle, Nicole Schulman, Eric Drooker, Susan Wilmarth, Christopher Cardinale, Ryan Inzana, Paula Hewitt, and Chuck Sperry among many others. The magazine could never have survived without this collective effort and the contribution of so many other artists and writers who have donated their talents. In the hierarchy of the magazine editors and contributors receive the same pay—a magazine they’ve helped build. Only the printers and distributors are paid, all profits go into producing the next issue.
WW3 isn’t about a war that may happen, it is about the ongoing wars our so-called leaders have been waging all our lives around the world and on our very own doorsteps. WW3 also illuminates the war we wage on each other and sometimes the one taking place in our own brains.
If we had a manifesto (which we don’t) it might say if you’re going to talk about changing society, a magazine’s not a bad place to start. WW3 has functioned as a microcosm of the the kind of society we’d like to see. Content is valued over style and ideas are not regarded for their popularity, but for their substance. Artists are given a forum to reach an audience with their work and the opportunity to interact and examine their concepts in a group setting.
WW3 contributors range from first-timers to veteran activists and many artists whose first published pieces appeared in our pages were launched into their careers. Though numerous contributors have had their work appear in all areas of art from museums to major magazines they continue to return to WW3 to find one of the few uncensored venues for their art.
World War 3 has served as a document of our collective history—including many aspects ignored by the mainstream press—from the shadow cast by Ronald Reagan to Iran-Contra, the Tompkins Square Riot, the Gulf War, genocide in Bosnia, 9/11, the invasion of Iraq, and the ongoing corruption of the Bush administration. We’ve illustrated personal subjects from race to religion to sexual relations and drawn our dreams and nightmares both real and imagined. We’ve been covering all these areas and more for over 25 years and we’re just getting warmed up.