comic artwork by Peter Kuper
Work by Peter Kuper. 

Peter Kuper is an American underground artist and illustrator, who drew the monthly 'Spy vs. Spy' page for MAD Magazine, based on creation of Antonio Prohias.

Peter Kuper was strongly influenced by George Booth and Robert Crumb. Around 1970 Kuper and his friend Seth Tobocman published a comic fanzine titled G.A.S. Lite and managed to have Robert Crumb answer a questionnaire they had sent in. When it was published in G.A.S. Lite in 1971 the issue sold out. 

One of Kuper's 'Spy vs. Spy' articles was used to illustrate a New York Times article on 18 March 2000, 'How the C.I.A. Played Dirty Tricks on Culture', written by Laurence Zuckerman. Kuper's 'Eye of the Beholder' was the first comic strip to appear regularly in the New York Times and is now syndicated nationally to alternative papers. Rolling Stone named him 'Hot Comic Artist' in 1995. His work also regularly appears in Time and Newsweek. In 1979 Kuper co-founded the political comix magazine 'World War 3 Illustrated' with Seth Tobocman, and he remains on the editorial board to this day.

Spy vs Spy by Peter Kuper
'Spy vs. Spy'.

Kuper has also published several books, such as 'Stripped, An Unauthorized Autobiography' (1995), 'Mind's Eye' (2000), the pantomime graphic novels 'The System' and 'Sticks and Stones' (2004), and 'Comics Trips' (2000), his journal of an eight-month trip through Africa and South East Asia. Kuper has adapted several stories of Franz Kafka to the comics format, including 'The Metamorphosis' and short stories collected in 'Give It Up!.

World War 3, by Peter Kuper
'Rapture' (From: World War 3 Illustrated, 1986).

Kuper also had a take on Upton Sinclair's 'The Jungle'. He has taught a course on alternative comix at the School of Visual Arts in New York since 1987 and is also an art director of INX, a political illustration group syndicated by United Features. He lives in Manhattan with his wife Betty Russell and their daughter Emily.

In 1990 the U.S. avant-garde band The Residents released the album 'Freak Show' (1990), which spawned a 1992 comic book adaptation, 'The Residents' Freak Show' (Dark Horse Comics), in which Kyle Baker, Brian Bolland, John Bolton, Charles Burns, Matt Howarth, Dave McKean, Pore No Graphics, Edwin "Savage Pencil" Pouncey and Richard Sala all visualized one of the songs into a comic strip. Les Dorscheid provided colouring. Burns illustrated the book cover. A limited hard-cover special was made too, sold with a 13-minute CD titled 'Blowoff', inspired by songs from 'Freak Show'. Two years later a 'Freak Show' CD-rom followed, with a cover illustrated by Richard Sala. In 1995 The Residents released another CD-rom, 'Bad Day on the Midway' (1995). The project was originally proposed as a TV series script in collaboration with David Lynch, but eventually these plans fell through. The CD-rom features visual designs by cartoonists like Leigh Barbier, Steve Cerio, Ronald M. Davis, Georganne Deen, Poe Dismuke, Bill Domonokos, Doug Fraser, Peter Kuper, Dave McKean, Pore No Graphics, Jonathon Rosen and Richard Sala. Peter Kuper visualized the song 'Otto's Story'. A companion book was released the same year, followed by a soundtrack album the next year and a novel in 2012. Another cartoonist who once made a comic book about the Residents is Adam Weller.

Kuper wrote a personal homage to Robert Crumb in Monte Beauchamp's book 'The Life and Times of R. Crumb. Comments From Contemporaries (St. Martin's Griffin, New York, 1998).

panels from Mind's Eye, by Peter Kuper
Sequence from Peter Kuper's "Mind's Eye," an amusing collection of visual puzzles.

Series and books by Peter Kuper you can order today:


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