Thursday, December 23, 2010

Heeb Storytelling: The Live Comics Edition at Joe's Pub




Over the past week, CulturePOP was brought out of the virtual world and into the real one with two live readings. First, last week my piece on writer Rachel Kramer Bussel was read by Rachel, with the images projected behind her, at the last of her In The Flesh reading series events at Happy Ending in NYC-

This past Tuesday, Rachel again read the piece at the Heeb Storytelling: The Live Comics Edition at Joe's Pub. This time she was helped out by Katelan Foisy, who read the story within the story. It was an honor to have shared the bill with legendary MAD artist Al Jaffee, Paul Pope, Molly Crabapple, Dean Haspiel, Sarah Glidden, Josh Neufeld, Cynthia Von Buhler, Jeff Newelt & Miss Lasko Gross. A full roundup will be coming soon (with my photos) to

Talking CulturePOP Photocomix with Tim


A very in-depth interview with me on making Photocomix went up live yesterday at Tim O'Shea's Talking With Tim-

I ramble on (maybe too much!) about how the series came about, how subjects are chosen, and I give some behind-the-scenes info on individual installments.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Live CulturePOP Reading at Heeb Storytelling: Live Comics Edition


I'm very excited to be a part of a very cool event this Tuesday where my CulturePOP subject, Rachel Kramer Bussel will read my Photocomix profile on here. Also, I'm honored to share the bill with the likes of Al Jaffee, Paul Pope, Dean Haspiel, etc.
Details below-

Heeb Storytelling: Live Comics Edition a night of irreverent entertainment—graphic novel-style—curated by Heeb’s comics editor Jeff Newelt.
get tix:

Eight extraordinary comics creators project their smart, funny and sexy comics on a big screen, accompanied by a soundtrack and shenanigans. Featuring legendary MAD artist Al Jaffee + Paul Pope, Molly Crabapple, Dean Haspiel, Sarah Glidden, Josh Neufeld, Cynthia Von Buhler, Jeff Newelt, Rachel Kramer Bussel, and Seth Kushner.

Early bird prize! First 10 people in the door get free copies of the rare Heeb "Love" issue with cover by Robert & Aline Crumb!

**FREE** raffle tickets! 5 winners get *supersets* of graphic novels (each set includes Sarah Glidden's How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less; Bill Ayers "To Teach"; Josh Neufeld's A.D. New Orleans After The Deluge; Royal Flush Magazine 7; AL JAFFEE's MAD LIFE, and TRIBES: The Dog Years ( **

“Comics aren’t just for schmendricks anymore,” said Jeff Newelt

Tuesday, December 21, 7p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (Doors 6pm)
Joe’s Pub, 425 Lafayette Street, NYC
$15 (reservations required for table seating)
Call theater: (212) 539-8778 or buy tickets at (Telecharge: 212-239-6200)

Storytellers include:
MOLLY CRABAPPLE international artstress / impressaria (Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, Puppet Makers)

AL JAFFEE - legendary creator of the MAD Magazine “Fold-in” and “Snappy Answers to Stupid Questions;”

PAUL POPE comics destroyer, designer for DKNY, Diesel screenprints (Batman Year100, THB)

DEAN HASPIEL (artist, American Splendor; Emmy Award-winning cartoonist on HBO’s BORED TO DEATH)

SARAH GLIDDEN (How To Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less)

CYNTHIA VON BUHLER award-winning artist / children's book illustrator (EVELYN EVELYN),

JOSH NEUFELD (artist, American Splendor; creator of “Best American Comics”-winning graphic novel documentary A.D.: New Orleans After The Deluge (


RACHEL KRAMER BUSSEL erotic book editor/cupcake connoisseur

SETH KUSHNER creator of CulturePOP photocomix


CulturePOP Photocomix: Reggie Watts


CulturePOP" Photocomix Profiles of Real-Life Characters is back today with an all new installment on comedian/musician Reggie Watts.

I recently spent an interesting day with Reggie Watts trolling around Williamsburg, Brooklyn and seeing first-hand how he comes up with his patented improvisational material. Seeing how Reggie operates off-stage gave me even more appreciation for Reggie the performer, and hopefully this piece will help to give viewers some insight into the mind of this unique talent.

See it here -

This particular piece was somewhat experimental for me, in that I needed to come up with a way to merge Reggie's words and my photos in a way which would somehow portray his abilities, which is something clearly evident in video and much more difficult in still imagery. Dean Haspiel edited the piece with me, as always, and chimed in with some good suggestions. To finalize it though, I turned to Jeff Newelt, whose familiarity with Reggie made him the perfect person to push me to really "activate the energy" (his words!) of the piece and move in a very psychedelic direction. Jeff and Dean provided the one/two editing punch I needed to make this one fire on all cylinders!

Reggie was recently named by GQ Magazine as one of their Men of the Year, and in the accompanying tribute written by Conan O'Brien, Conan writes, "You couldn't invent a Reggie Watts if you wanted to." You know Conan means it because when he embarked on his comedy tour last spring, it was Reggie who he picked as his opening act.

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

Live CulturePOP Reading at In The Flesh Reading Series


After 5+ years, over 200 readers, countless cupcakes and sexy moments, In The Flesh Reading Series is ending. Join us for a free, festive, sexy, cupcake-filled last hurrah, with erotica, memoir, burlesque and 500 free cupcakes to celebrate! Featuring erotic writer Laura Antoniou (The Marketplace series), memoirists Nancy Balbirer (Take Your Shirt Off and Cry), and Michele Carlo (Fish Out of Agua), burlesque performers GiGi La Femme (Revealed, Wassabasco) and Stormy Leather (Webster Hall, The Box), photographer and photocomic CulutrePOP creator Seth Kushner, memoirist Stephen Markley (Publish This Book), In The Flesh alum and famed letter writer Samara O'Shea (Note to Self, For the Love of Letters), Lambda Literary Award winner Rakesh Satyal (Blue Boy) and romance novelist Kama Spice (Sehra's Honor). Hosted and curated by Rachel Kramer Bussel (Best Bondage Erotica 2011, Passion, Orgasmic, Fast Girls). Giveaways include copies of SexIs Magazine and 500 cupcakes by Baked by Melissa.
FREE, 21+
Happy Ending Lounge, 302 Broome Street, NYC (F/V 2nd Avenue, look for pink awning)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Appearance on Comic Book Club

Jeff Newelt, Seth Kushner and Mike Geszel apear at Comic Book Club, A Live Pop Culture Talk Show
w/Pete LePage, Justin Tyler, and Alex Zalben

With Prizes, Free Food, and Drinks!

NOTE: This is out LAST SHOW EVER at the current PIT location! After that, we’ll be taking a short break while the theater moves, and then will come back with ALL NEW shows in 2011!

Tuesday, December 14th @ 8:00pm
@ The Peoples Improv Theater
154 West 29th Street, 2nd Fl.
[Between 6th and 7th Aves.]

Special Guests:

- Jeff Newelt aka JahFurry (comics editor SMITH, Heeb, Royal Flush; editor Pekar Project – Mike Geszel (SoulCraft Comics) writer, TRIBES: The Dog Years

- Seth Kushner, creator of CulturePOP photocomix, photographer, and editor


You could win a $25 Gift card to Midtown Comics!



Tickets: $5
Phone: 1-800-838-3006
Questions? 212-563-7488

The show is sponsored in part by Midtown Comics

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Graphic NYC site update - Frank Miller

Frank Miller Part 1: Dames, Dark Knights, Devils, and Heroes


It was about two months ago when our Graphic NYC project finally took Christopher and I to Hell's Kitchen to meet Frank Miller. Back when I was nine, and first developing my weekly comics habit, Miller and Stan Lee were the first names I knew in comics.

I had met and photographed Frank before, on the same day I got dumped by a girlfriend, back in 2002. It was a memorable day.
Arranging this recent session took some doing. Over the past two years, Frank's been busy directing movies (The Spirit) and commercials (Gucci Guilt) and who knows what else, so he's been difficult to nail down. But, we're making a book on the history of American comics, so giving up on Frank was never an option.


Our day at Frank Miller's place was a great one for the project. Christopher had an epic interview with the creator in his studio, while I was serenaded by Frank's girlfriend, Kim while she played the piano in the living room.


There were two parts to my shoot. The first was in Frank's studio, and the second were on his balcony, overlooking Hell's Kitchen. The same Hell's Kitchen Frank had his Daredevil bounding over water towers and through alleys during his legendary run one the character. It was perfect.

Frank Miller Part 2: On Pastiche, Directing and the Future


Frank was a great subject, as he was for me back in '02. I like to think my photos of him are revealing. He gave me a mixture of patented Miller mugging, and some real vulnerability.

A note about my photos used in the profile: In attempting to keep Graphic NYC fresh, I decided, starting with this profile, to create an "opening piece," utilizing my portrait, Chris's title and a piece of the creator's art. I want it to feel more like a magazine profile and less like a blog. I've also began running pull quotes over the additional photos. It's an experiment which I think works, and will continue in the future.



Tuesday, November 30, 2010

CulturePOP Photocomix: Matthew O'Brien


I first met Matthew O'Brien a few years back when he had written a book called Beneath The Neon, and I was sent to Las Vegas to cover him for an airline magazine. He gave my wife and I a tour of the drainage tunnels under Las Vegas and needless to say that experience was one of my more memorable assignments.

The mag ran one photo out of the many I shot, so I recently had the notion of turning the shoot into Photocomix. I got back in touch with Matt, he was game and we did an interview to create the text.

See it here -

Learn more about Beneath The Neon and Matt's new creative nonfiction collection about the seedy side of Vegas, My Week At The Blue Angel at

Friday, November 26, 2010

Matthew O'Brien - CulturePOP Preview


I met author Matthew O'Brien a few years back when he gave my wife and I a tour of the drainage tunnels under Las Vegas. He had written a book about his experiences, Beneath The Neon, and I was covering him for an airline magazine. The mag ran one photo out of the many I shot, so I recently had the notion of turning the shoot into Photocomix. I got back in touch with Matt, he was game and we did an interview.

Look for Matthew O'Brien: Underworld soon at

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Graphic NYC site update.

Art Spiegelman: Still Movin' with Comix


Art Spiegelman, creator of Maus, Breakdowns and more finally gets the GRAPHIC NYC treatment. Yes, I did photograph him over two years ago, but Christopher recently sat down to interview him, so the two elements of our project have finally merged.

Terry Moore: 4 Color Portrait

My portrait and short bio for Terry Moore, creator of Strangers In Paradise and Echo.

CUBA: My Revolution exhibition and artist's talk

I report on Inverna Lockpez and Dean Haspiel's artist talk and exhibition for Cuba: My Revolution.

James Sturm: Modern Storytelling in a Period Setting

James Sturm of The Golumn's Mighty Swing and the recent Market Day in the GNYC Profile.

BIG announcement for this long-running project soon!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Neil Gaiman Sandman author photo

It was a year ago when I received a request from DC/Vertigo comics Executive Editor Karen Berger to use my portrait of author Neil Gaiman for the new tradepaperback editions of all 12 volumes of the acclaimed Sandman series. I was very excited by the request.

Sandman was a series I began reading when I was in college, and when I look back on my own work from that time, the influence it had on me is unmistakable. Also, while I never fell away from reading comics, it helped to make me excited about them again. I think the book had that effect on a lot of people.

The portrait of Neil was taken back in April '08, during an intermission of his reading for the CBLDF at NY Comic-Con. I only had five minutes. I'd long wanted to meet Neil, but given the time constrictions, I focused on getting the shot, hoping I'd get another chance to chat with him some time in the future.

The shoot took place "backstage" in the bowels of the Javits Center. The photo seen here was originally shot in front of a gray concrete wall - the only available option. It wasn't until over a year later when I found a background which felt right to me, and once layered and merged, I was finally able to deem it "finished."

I was told by Karen, "Neil loves the photo, but doesn't remember what it was taken for." That was no surprise to me, given the "environment" was changed.

In any case, I'm very proud to have my work associated with the great Neil Gaiman and his creation, The Sandman.


The New Yorker


I'm very pleased to announce a photo of mine appears in the Nov. 22 issue of The New Yorker Magazine. The portrait of fellow photographer Yana Toyber was initially shot back in 2005 for The Brooklynites and was one of my favorites from the book. The photo (page 117) is used to illustrate a fiction piece called Assimilation, by author E.L. Doctorow.


Tuesday, November 16, 2010

CulturePOP Photocomix: Rachel Kramer Bussel

Culture POP: Photocomix Profiles of Real-Life Characters is all-new today. I've been working on this week's epic installment since last August. My subject is Rachel Kramer Bussel, writer of many things, including erotica. Click and you'll find a Photocomix profile on Rachel, but within the core of it, is my adaptation Vegas Treat, of a short story of Rachel's found in the just released Bondage Erotica 2011, a book edited by Rachel as well.

I was excited to work on Rachel's short story because I've been wanting to try my hand on a fictional work, rather than a "real-life profile." Since Rachel's writing feels so visual to me, this was the perfect opportunity for me to experiment.

See it here -

I thank Rachel for trusting me to adapt her writing to comix script and then to photocomix. She trusted me to do it justice and gave me no interference or criticism.

In creating this big, experimental piece, I received help from a number of sources, so many thanks to - for use of the bondage bed. for supplying the props.
Elena & Welland Scripps for posing.

Best Bondage Erotica 2011 is available now from Cleis Press -

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

Friday, November 12, 2010

Tim Hall - CulturePOP preview


I took this shot of soon-to-be CulturePOP subject, writer Tim Hall a while back as his author photo. Tim is the author of such books as Full of it: The Birth, Death, and Life of an Underground Newspaper, Half Empty, One Damn Thing After An­other and Triumph of the Won't. Tim's work can also be seen in the text-based comic, Uplift The Positivicals, a collaboration with artist Jen Ferguson (also a CulturePOP subject) at

Recently, Tim launched Undie Press, a literary website, which features free audio books, podcast interviews and essays.

My upcoming profile on Tim will focus on a trip down memory lane as he laments on his time in NYC and on his desired return from Chicago, where he's been living for the past few years. Look for it soon.

Sunday, November 7, 2010



On Saturday, November 6th, at King Con at the Brooklyn Lyceum, comics promoter / editor Jeff Newelt (Pekar Project, Heeb, Royal Flush) interviewed author Jonathan Ames, creator of the HBO series BORED TO DEATH & and comics creator Dean Haspiel, who drew the show's Emmy-winning title-credits and whom Zach Galifianakis's character "Ray Hueston is loosely based on. I shot pre-panel portraits as well as some shots during the proceedings.

These three pics are a preview of the full multimedia recap that will appear next week on HEEB Magazine, including full panel audio, video highlights, more photos, Dean's art from the show, and text excerpts from the panel.



Saturday, November 6, 2010

GRAPHIC NYC Presents Dean Haspiel: The Early Years


Graphic NYC Presents Dean Haspiel: The Early Years by Christopher Irving and from IDW publishing is out now. While I'm not an author on it, I did design the front and back covers and provide the photos for the interior, including a centerfold (really!) and a four-page photocomix tribute to Dean. It's also the first book from the Graphic NYC brand which I helped to establish.

The book traces Dean's development as an artist through essay's by Chris and a ton of Dean's early comix work. It's a great read.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Icons of Fandom

Tom Savini is an award-winning make-up artist, known for his work on the Living Dead films as well as Creepshow, Friday The 13th, and Maniac. He has acted in films such as Dawn Of The Dead (and its remake), From Dusk Till Dawn, Grindhouse, and the recent Machete.

Jim Kelly is a martial artist best known from his performance as Williams in the Bruce Lee film Enter the Dragon.


Ernie Hudson is best known for his roles as Winston Zeddemore in the Ghostbusters films, Warden Leo Glynn on HBO's Oz, and Sergeant Albrecht in The Crow.

Ralph Macchio is known for his roles are as Daniel LaRusso in the Karate Kid series and as Johnny Cade in The Outsiders.

CulturePOP Photocomix on Dean Haspiel


CulturePOP: Photocomix Profiles of Real-Life Characters returns today with a profile on Cartoonist, Emmy winner and ACT-I-VATE founder Dean Haspiel.

A version of today's photocomic, The Angel was originally created for the book, Graphic NYC Presents Dean Haspiel: The Early Years by Christopher Irving, which is available in shops this week or at Amazon.

An interesting note about my profile on Dean is that it's actually written by Dean himself. The text for The Angel was originally written for a two-page strip Dean created for Overflow Magazine. He provided me with his very personal words from the strip to use in creating this Photocomix profile. Because of this, I consider it to be a collaboration.

See it HERE.

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

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Molly Crabapple Collaboration


Illustrator extraordinaire Molly Crabapple recently took one of the many photos I've shot of her and contributed her own drawing to create this collaborative piece. The concept is one we discussed a year or two ago, so I was thrilled to see it come to fruition.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Dave Franzese - CulturePOP preview


I recently worked on a profile of Dave Franzese of the design team, Dark Igloo. It shaped up to be a fun piece on living and working in a house aesthetic of creativity and will run as a new CulturePOP Photocomix installment some time this December.

Monday, October 18, 2010

CulturePOP Photocomix Profile: Lisa Natoli


CulturePOP: Photocomix Profiles of Real-Life Characters Season 2 continues today with a Photocomix profile on Aerialist Lisa Natoli.
I met Lisa a couple of years back through her boyfriend, cartoonist Mike Cavallaro and she's been on my mind since beginning this project. My concept for this piece was to play with the whole 'secret identity' angle. There's the Lisa who waitresses at a restaurant and the Lisa who can fly through the air, but which one is the "real" Lisa? Or, are both simply aspects of a greater whole?

See it here -

If you like to go back and read from the first chapter -

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

Sophie Auster L'Uomo Vogue

Check out the new issue of L'Uomo Vogue (Italian Men's Vogue) for my portrait of singer/actress Sophie Auster.
Also, see earlier posted outtakes from the shoot here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Reggie Watts - CulturePOP preview


I recently spent a fun afternoon in Williamsburg with comedian/musician Reggie Watts to work on an upcoming CulturePOP photocomic profiling him. The narrative will be about the genesis of his mostly improvised, consciousness stand-up and how it comes out of his day-to-day activities.

I'm just starting to construct the piece, so please check back in a few weeks for the finished product, meanwhile, see preview image above.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Icons of Fandom

I continued my long-running series this past weekend at New York Comic-Con. There were many more subjects present who were of interest to me, but huge crowds and difficult publicists made it tough.


Seth Green, best know as Oz on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Scott Evil in the Austin Powers films and is the co-creator of Robot Chicken.

Richard Hatch portrayed Apollo on the original Battlestar Galactica and Tom Zarek in the recent BSG remake.


Jerry "The King" Lawler, pro wrestler and foil to the late Andy Kaufman.

James Marsters, best know as Spike on Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Brainiac on Smallville and from the Battlestar Galactica prequel, Caprica.