Seth Tobocman (Author)
Released January 11th, 2009
Published by AK Press
New York, 1989: as a decade of activism around the urban housing crisis and beyond comes to a close, legendary graphic artist Seth Tobocman is there to document it all in his bold comic style.
You Don't Have to Fuck People Over to Survive collects many of Tobocman's most enduring images in a powerhouse assemblage that cuts right to the heart of 1980s activism. All the high (and low) points are there: the imprisonment of Mumia Abu-Jamal; the rise of Reaganomics; the struggle against apartheid; the Miami Race Riots; and, of course, the turf wars that dominated the city of New York, as activists and low-income families alike demanded their rights to the city's abandoned buildings.
Now available in a brand-new twentieth anniversary edition, this stunning and candid portrait of a decade of struggle to preserve basic human rights and build a better world is sure to appeal to a new generation of activists ready to demand the right to the city, and worthy of a place on the shelf of every historian of urban struggle.
Includes a new introduction by arts activist and historian Alan W. Moore.
"Seth is an equal-opportunity offender of the powerful—the rich, the complacent winners, the gentrifiers, and especially those whose positions and attainments rest on violence, past and present.... This book is a new edition of a long out-of-print Seth publication from the 1980s, published when he was just thirty years old. It is a subjective document of the extraordinary furies unleashed on the left as the promises of the '60s and '70s were forgotten in a wave of reaction presided over by the smiling actor president, Ronald Reagan.... Every story Seth draws is an incitement. His characters are driven through misery and despair to the moment of decision when they push back, or stand up. That moment—of 'politicization,' 'taking a stand,' 'fighting back,' whatever one names it, and whatever the reason—is key in human psychology, an acupuncture point in the body politic." —From the Introduction by Alan W. Moore
"I repeatedly tried to get more of Tobocman's work onto our pages, but it was deemed too radical. Tobocman wont compromise his principles for money or fashion." —Jerelle Kraus, former art director at the New York Times
"This book changed my life, for real! I had made art before, but Seth Tobocman showed me that you can make simple, black and white graphics that work like a chainsaw, cutting through the bullshit and laying bare the capitalist system. The political graphics in this book are some of the most reproduced ever. Seth is a genius, and by bragging rights his should be a household name." —Josh Macphee, co-editor of Realizing the Impossible and member of the Justseeds Artists' Cooperative
Seth Tobocman is one of the founding editors of World War 3 Illustrated, an author/illustrator of three collections, and an educator. He has shown his work in streets and galleries across the globe—including Exit Art, The Museum of Modern Art, and the New Museum of Contemporary Art.
Alan W. Moore is an art historian who has written on artists groups, cultural districts, and cultural economies. He worked with the artists groups Colab and helped start the cultural center ABC No Rio. Hes written a bunch of stuff, including chapters for two noteworthy collections, Alternative Art NY and Collectivism after Modernism.