World War 3 Illustrated #45 before and after

ww3-illustrated-45

Edited by Peter Kuper and Scott Cunningham
Front Cover by Peter Kuper (after Roland Topor)
Back Cover by Thomas Woodruff

The one experience all living things face and yet it remains our greatest mystery. The longest running political comic in history tackles mortality. With contributions from:

Seth Tobocman, Tom Hart, Stephanie McMillan, Scott Cunningham, Sabrina Jones, Sandy Jimenez, Mumia Abu Jamal, Peter Kuper, Isabella Bannerman, Steve Brodner, Mac Mcgill, Anthony Freda, Hayley Gold, Kayla Escobedo, Susan Willmarth, Frank Reynoso, Nik Moore, Ethan Heitner, Jordin Isip, Melinda Beck, Ryan Inzana, Maelle Doliveux, Edel Rodriguez, Ruth Lingford, Tom Mott, Kevin C. Pyle, Maelle Doliveux, Eric Drooker, Jordan Isip, Carol Fabricatore, Melinda Beck, Daniel Zender, Stephanie Macmillan, Todd (Hyung Rae) Tarselli, Mark Hurwitt, Russell Christian, Santiago Armengod and Harshad Marathe

When the theme for this issue was first suggested, a number of contributors remarked: "Isn't every issue of WW3 the 'Death issue?' "


Good question.


It's true, WW3 has addressed topics of doom and gloom since we chose our title back in 1979.
But for those of us who have been aging along with the magazine, an awareness of our mortality has become more acute every year.


A better question may be, "After 34 years why isn't WW3 dead?" How does a comics 'zine, run on a shoe-string budget without paying anyone, last this long? The entire underground comix movement of the 1960's and 70's–gone. The vibrant art movements coming out of New York's Lower East Side in the 1980's died, sadly along with many of the artists themselves: Keith Haring, Jean Michael Basquiat, David Wojnarowicz to name just a few. Punk, New Wave, Grunge, Emo mostly passed into history along with a million bands that found success and then–poof.


Jesus only lasted 33 years!
So what keeps this magazine alive and kicking?


One answer would be, we've never made enough money to fight over. The only reason anyone stays involved is because they believe in the intent of the magazine– to maintain a creative outlet for socially conscious work– and want to keep its heart beating for another issue. This idea inspired new generations of artists to join WW3 who were not even born when the first issue came off the presses.


Thanks to this longevity, the theme found us. Regardless of our age, our mortality is presented to us every day. The death of a parent, a friend, a child, a nation, a dream. Being in the midst of the sixth largest planetary extinction, accompanied by freakish weather patterns - there are a million reminders, but we keep going anyway.


That's the other side of death...life.


By writing and drawing about the "after" we are really talking about the "before." We tell these stories and share in the collective experience. We acknowledge that we walk together into the unknown, into an uncertain future. Uncertain, except for this: if we don't make it to the printers, we're dead.

© World War 3 Illustrated, inc. Art and stories are © the individual artists. Site design by Sylvan Migdal.

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