Wednesday, May 25, 2011



Several months back, I heard from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund, asking if I'd like to contribute an original piece of art for a book they were producing for charity based upon the Vertigo Comics series, TRANSMETROPOLITAN, by Warren Ellis and Darick Robertson. I quickly jumped at the chance, even though I was ashamed to say I had never read the book. Yes, I was a huge fan of the creators from their other projects, but somehow the long running Vertigo series slipped by me. Hey, I read a ton of comics and I can't read everything, right? Right? True, but sometimes the really good stuff slips by, like TRANSMET.

I saw the list of contributors, (see list of heavy-hitters below) and knew I'd have to do something special to earn my place among them. I'm not a "comics artist" per se, I'm a photographer, so I needed to play to my strengths. I decided I'd do a Photocomic, like what I do with my CulturePOP series. But, what would be the narrative? Step one, was read at least one of the books and get a feel for the characters and story.

I quickly devoured the first collection of 6 issues and found myself hooked. How did I miss this series initially? Reminder: One can't read everything. Right. Within two weeks I read 6 volumes and decided my homage to this brilliant series shouldn't be a recreation but some sort of commentary.

The lead character, Spider Jerusalem is a Hunter S. Thompson-esq journalist in a future world rank with corruption. Ellis's commentary felt as fresh to me now as I'm sure it was when the books were first released. Spider, a champion of the truth, could be a prophet for the disenfranchised. People would want to be like Spider. I would do a piece on a guy becoming Spider.

A quick call to my bald buddy, musician and Bald Freak Music label owner Ron "Q*Ball" Scalzo, and a plan was in motion.

I ordered a pair of Spider's signature glasses from and seeing Ron in them, it was amazing how much he resembled Spider. A wig was used for panel 1, since Ron's already bald, and thanks to Kenny at Kings County Tattoo for standing in on panel 4. The background in the final two panels come from some photos I had from last years New York Comic-Con at the Jacob Javits Center.

I should be getting my copy in the mail any day now, so I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's contribution and seeing how mine fits.

From the CBLDF site - It has been nearly ten years since the release of the final issue of TRANSMETROPOLITAN, the Eisner-nominated comics series from writer Warren Ellis and artist Darick Robertson. This art book features all new illustrations from the top talents in Comics, with the original co-creators participating, donating a brand new cover and a foreword for the book!

TRANSMETROPOLITAN combines black humor, political scandal, and moral ambiguity to look into the gonzo mind of an outlaw journalist and The City he inhabits. Aided by his embattled Editor and his two Assistants, the protagonist blazes a path through a futuristic world of skyscrapers and technological wonders, dark alleys and unspeakable depravity.

The TRANSMETROPOLITAN Art Book is a lovingly crafted and designed tribute to a seminal work. Contributors include:

Aaron Alexovich, Stephanie Buscema, Jim Calafiore, Stefano Caselli, Cliff Chiang, Richard C. Clark, Kevin Colden,Katie Cooke, Molly Crabapple, Farel Dalrmple, Camilla d'Errico, Gary Erskine, Richard Friend, Dan Goldman, Cully Hamner, Lea Hernandez, Phil Hester, Rantz Hoseley, Matt Howarth, Seth Kushner, Jonathan Luna, Milo Manara, John McCrea, Moritat, Dean Motter, Eduardo Risso, Darick Robertson, Jimmie Robinson, Stuart Sayger, Tim Seeley, Fiona Staples, Bryan Talbot, and many, many others.

The book is available for order now.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Head Set


A couple of months back I spent a Saturday night bouncing around the LES with my old buddy, Ron "Q*Ball" Scalzo, of the aptly named Bald Freak Music, taking shots of his newly signed band, The Head Set.

The concept for the photos was simply to follow the guys on a night out and capture the vibe of the city and avoid a stiff "band shot". I did a lot of blurred motion type night shots, with the one above being the most successful.

The band's energetic new album is out now and you can get it at their online shop.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011






As can be seen from the photos above, I didn't go very conceptual with Jeffrey, and didn't need to. His work is mainly personal autobio, so it made the most sense to simply photograph him in his life, at work, in his home.

For more about Jeffrey and his work, check out the GRAPHIC NYC profile on him we just posted-
Jeffrey Brown: The Incredible Changing Artist!

I'll post the other Chicago subjects and more soon.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


Concluding my latest additions to this series, here's a varied collection of "Icons."

Gary Busey has appeared in over 120 films, including; Lethal Weapon (1987), Point Break (1991), The Firm (1993) and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Actor in 1978 for his role inThe Buddy Holly Story. He has also made regular television appearances on Gunsmoke, Walker, Texas Ranger, Law & Order, and Entourage.

Michael Gross is an actor whose most notable roles are father Steven Keaton from Family Ties and the Graboid hunter Burt Gummer from the Tremors franchise.

Robert Knepper is an actor best known for starring as Theodore "T-Bag" Bagwell in the Fox network's drama series, Prison Break, for which he was nominated for a Satellite Award. He has also appeared in the films Hitman (2007) and Transporter 3 (2008), and joined the cast of Heroes for its fourth season and recently Stargate Universe.

Peter Ostrum is a former child actor whose only film role was Charlie Bucket in the 1971 motion picture Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory.

Michael Bollner is a German former child actor who played Augustus Gloop in the 1971 film Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.


Lloyd Kaufman is a film director, producer, screenwriter and occasional actor. With producer Michael Herz, he is the co-founder of Troma Entertainment film studio, and the director of many of their feature films, including The Toxic Avenger and Tromeo and Juliet.

Dean Stockwell is an actor of film and television, active for over 60 years. He played Rear Admiral Albert "Al" Calavicci in the NBC television series Quantum Leap and in the Sci Fi Channel revival of Battlestar Galactica as Brother Cavil. He is also known for To Live and Die in L.A., Blue Velvet and Married to the Mob.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

CulturePOP Photocomix


Seth Kushner's CulturePOP:
"Photocomix Profiles of Real-Life Characters"
on, FREE

All 24 episodes available free:

Seth 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

"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, Seth's shined his flash on the lives of subjects including poet Caits Meissner, sousaphonist/producer Clark Gayton, singer/songwriter Elyssa Loveless, designerJohn D'Aponte, graffiti artist/sculptor Carlos "Mare 139" Rodriguez, yoga instructor Melisa Winitzsky, former US champion rhythmic gymnast Olga Karmansky, toy designer Super Sucklord, author Douglas Rushkoff, VJ Jonny Wilson of Eclectic Method, burlesque performerJennie Fiske and artist Jen Ferguson.

"Seth Kushner's omniscient lens distills NYC's brave and bold into graphic time capsules," says Dean Haspiel, creator of Billy Dogma, & The Alcoholic.

CulturePOP Season 2 launched Tuesday 10/5 with a photocomix profile on Bronx Flavor TV host Baron Ambrosia. Other Season2 scintillating subjects: 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 and more (full list above).

“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 twelve 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 twelve.”

CulturePOP is co-curated by Jeff Newelt, and edited by Dean Haspiel.

Seth Kushner's photographic portraits of celebrity-types have appeared in such publications The New York Times Magazine, Time, Newsweek, Businessweek, L'Uomo Vogue, The New Yorker and others. Seth's first book, The Brooklynites, (with Anthony LaSala) was published by powerHouse Books in 2007 and was) considered ”a terrific coffee table photo/interview book” by The New York Times. Currently, he's co-editing the comics journalism site Graphic NYC (with Christopher Irving) and working on his next book, Leaping Tall Building: The Origins of American Comic Books. Seth first comics work was Schmuck (with artist Kevin Colden) and can be seen on ACT-I-VATE.


Following up on my earlier Ernest Borgnine post from Monday, here are a few more Icons I photographed this past weekend.

Butch Patrick is a former American child actor and is widely known for his role on the TV show The Munsters (1964–1966) where he played Eddie Munster,

Dana Ashbrook is an actor best known for playing Bobby Briggs on the cult TV series Twin Peaks (1990–1991) and its 1992 prequel film Twin Peaks: Fire Walk with Me.

Hal Linden is a stage and television actor and television director, best known for his starring role in the television comedy series Barney Miller (1975 - 1982).

Robert Romanus is an actor and is best remembered for his role in the 1982 comedy Fast Times at Ridgemont High as the ticket scalper Mike Damone, and as Natalie Green's boyfriend Snake on The Facts of Life.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011




CulturePOP Photocomix may be done for the moment, but I'm still doing Photocomix. I've collaborated with writer Chris Miskiewicz on his EVERYWHERE Anthology. The piece, SPIDERS EVERYWHERE, is an homage to B-movies of yesterday and features a young woman being terrorized by thousands of creepy, crawly SPIDERS!

SPIDERS EVERYWHERE is Written by Chris Miskiewicz, Photocomix by Seth Kushner, edited by Dean Haspiel and starring Cat Cabral, David Blatt and Gerry Perrer.

See it here -

The premise for, EVERYWHERE created by Chris Miskiewicz, is simple: You wake up to find that millions of animals have appeared EVERYWHERE around the world at the same moment. What happened and what does it mean when the natural world has gone horribly wrong? Every month Chris teams up with a different artist to illustrated his latest tale. Past contributors have included; Andrew Wendel, Rick Parker, Bobby Timony and Nathan Schreiber.

Working on SPIDERS was a unique challenge for me. Aside from shooting it in a style similar to that of a dramatized film, I had to create literally thousands of spiders! Chris proved to be an ideal collaborator by writing a well-paced script, casting actors and providing egg and cheese sandwiches on the day of the shoot.

Comments welcome and appreciated, as always. Hope you enjoy it!

Monday, May 2, 2011

Ernest Borgnine - Icons of Fandom



I spent Saturday at the Chiller Theater out in NJ, continuing my Icons of Fandom series. I'll post more this week, but for now, here's my portraits of Ernest Borgnine, an actor whose career has spanned six decades. He's best know for his role in the 1955 film Marty, for which he won an Oscar, the 1962-66 series McHale's Navy, as well as in The Vikings, The Flight of the Phoenix, The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra, The Poseidon Adventure , The Black Hole and The Wild Bunch.

Part of the limitations of this series has been the short amount of time I get with each subject and the convention center/hotel environments which have led me to do very close shots with obscure backgrounds. The pulled back shot above gives me some much needed variety, I think and gives the impression of a living room, even though it was actually a hotel ballroom and a line of over 100 people were waiting for autographs just to my left.