Photo Classes
for Youth


Comics as Political





MARCH 7, 2023 - JUNE 6, 2023

MARCH 6, 2023 - JUNE 5, 2023

14 week courses with noted comics artist Seth Tobocman
Hosted On-Line via Zoom

Course Fee: $175

First Class, New Students: Tuesday March 7 at 7:00pm
First Class, Returning Students: Monday March 6 at 7:00pm

This is a class for new students hoping to express their political convictions through the medium of comics, cartooning, or illustration.

The class is open to artists at any skill level. The ideas presented are narrative and conceptual and will work just as well with stick figures as with detailed realistic drawing. But the assumption is that everyone here wants to produce art, not just talk about it. Everyone in the class will be treated respectfully, and criticized constructively, as a working artist.

Comics, today, have emerged as an important art form, influencing film, politics and other aspects of culture. Many organizations today use graphic novels to draw attention to their issues. But comics have a long tradition. Cartoonists played a significant role in the American, French, and Russian revolutions, in the abolitionist, civil rights and feminist movements. Most of the pioneers of American comics were from working class backgrounds.

We will look at the many ways that artists have expressed political concerns throughout history with an eye towards seeing what techniques we can apply in our own work.

In the beginning of the course there will be short assignments to help artists develop basic skills. In the middle of the course there will be several opportunities to interview activists and work with research materials selected by the instructor to develop comics about contemporary political issues. In the last month artists will do a longer strip on a subject of their own choosing.

The political point of view of this course will be unapologetically anti-capitalist and anti-authoritarian. The aesthetic point of view will favor representational art and clear communication. But people of all beliefs are welcome.

The class will meet from 7:00pm to 9:30pm Tuesday evenings on Zoom. At times classes may run slightly longer. The class begins on Tuesday March 7th, 2023, and wraps up on June 6th, 2023.

THIS IS AN ONLINE CLASS. Students must have a means of converting their artwork into digital files. A scanner may be an important tool. Access to photoshop or an equivalent program is recommended. At a minimum, students should be able to photograph their work with a phone. It is advised that students participate in the Zoom classes using a computer with a large screen rather than with a phone. Students will be expected to email their work to the instructor 24 hours before class so he has sufficient time to review the material and can offer useful advice.

A number of PDFs will be emailed to students to read in preparation for particular lectures or assignments.

The class is open to artists who have already taken the Comics as Political Expression class or Seth's Storytelling class. Students who have not taken either but who have professional or advanced educational experience should contact Seth directly at sethbusiness [@] before registering.

This class meets from 7:00pm to 9:30pm Monday evenings on Zoom. At times classes may run slightly longer. The class begins on Monday March 6th, 2023, and wraps up on June 5th, 2023.

--Students are expected to have a concept ready to be developed by the first class;
--On the second week students will read scripts for their comics;
--On the third week they may read revised versions of the script based on the suggestions of the instructor or other students;
--From that point on students are expected to produce at least one page of finished work each week;
--The class will consist, primarily, of a round table discussion of the work produced that week;
--The instructor will, on a regular basis, present lectures on various artists, and encourage discussion of the issues raised by their work. Students will also be asked to make presentations about artists that interest them.

Class instructor Seth Tobocman is a radical comic book artist who's been living in Manhattan's Lower East Side since 1978. Tobocman is best known for his creation of the political comic book anthology World War 3 Illustrated, which he started in 1979 with fellow artist Peter Kuper. He has also been an influential propagandist for the squatting, anti-globalist, and anti-war movements in the United States. Tobocman's "Edith In Flames, World War 3 Illustrated #45" was listed under "Notable Comics" in The Best American Comics 2015.

These courses are not accredited. Seth does teach accredited courses at the School Of Visual Arts and has 41 years of experience as a professional comic book artist and illustrator. He also has a long history of producing art used by political movements on issues of housing, police brutality, peace and the environment.




Student Work from Previous Classes

Ariel Kleinberg

Cadence Chance

Leigh Brownhill

Mark He

Vanessa Glynn

Yasmeen Abdallah

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ABC No Rio: The Culture of Opposition Since 1980