the punk connection


Saturday, November 28, 2009

Just a quick post about the new issue of Cometbus. The awesome cover by Nate Powell alone is worth the price of admission. But there’s other “comics gold” in this issue too. It’s the story of how Will Eisner and Harvey Kurtzman came to teach at SVA.

Everyone knows about Punk magazine, right? No? Well, check this out and click around and then come back. Basically, this magazine recorded the early days of punk at CBGB’s. One of the magazine’s founders, John Holmstrom, went to the School of Visual Arts in 1972 before he helped start Punk magazine.

In the new Cometbus, there’s an interview with Holmstrom. And he tells the most fascinating story which I had never heard before. Apparently, Holmstrom wanted to take a cartooning class but SVA didn’t offer any. So he and some other angry students went to the president of the school and complained. The president told them to put a list together of the cartoonists they’d want to teach at SVA. So they put together a dream list which had Eisner and Kurtzman at the top. And the administration hired them!

Think about that. It’s like the secret history of punk rock (and of SVA itself). Holmstrom then wound up working for Kurtzman as his assistant. This relationship honed Holmstrom’s skills and determination to make a magazine that reflected his world. And that world just happened to be one of the most fertile and influential music scenes ever. Talk about passing the baton to the younger generation. Sheesh.

There’s more to the story, but the editor of Cometbus will kill me for spoiling it. So, just go pick the issue up and read it for yourself. Over and out.

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5 Responses to “the punk connection”
  1. DerikB says:

    Thanks for mentioning this. There's never an easy way to find out when a new Cometbus is out.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don't believe that story at all. Holmstrom is generally full of shit.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hey Anonymous-

    Holmstrom isn't full of it. That is indeed how Kurtzman and Eisner was hired (with help from cartoonist and SVA Alumni director Tom Gill). I can verify that Holmstrom's account is true— I was there!

    Batton Lash

  4. LOOKA says:

    All I'll say is: Cool! I hope that's enough for you, Mr. Santoro.

    Speaking of Passing on and rad new mags and stuff: WHEN WILL NEWS OF NEW COMICSCOMICS APPEAR???

  5. Frank Santoro says:

    When we scrape enough money together to print it up.

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