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.