Thursday, March 28, 2013

Jay Leno - Hollywood Reporter

I'm proud to have my photo of Jay Leno grace the cover of the current issue of The Hollywood Reporter.  I made this photo about 6 years ago, and I say "made" because I consider it a "photo-illustration.  Yes, I took the photo, but the photo I took does not exactly resemble the final product.  I initially photographed him in very ordinary surroundings, and the concept of the final image was something I dreamed up.  It's been on my website for years, but it's never been published, until now.  I always knew there would be a place for this image I created, but I never knew where.  So, the fact that it ended up on the cover of The Hollywood Reporter feels very satisfying.


Just a quick note to draw your attention to a cool new project I just completed.  I teamed up with writer Jonathan Vankin to make a photocomic out of a "deleted scene" from FOREVER DUSTY, the new musical theater production about the life of Dusty Springfield, which he co-wrote with Kirsten Holly Smith (who also stars and sings 20 of Dusty's best tunes).  We photographed Kirsten and the cast of the show acting acting out Jonathan's script, and with cartoonist's Dean Haspiel's help, we laid it out into a photocomic.  See it now at TRIP CITY and please go see the fantastic stage production here in NYC. 

Written by Jonathan Vankin, Imagery by Seth Kushner, Layouts by Dean Haspiel
Starring Kirsten Holly Smith, Christina Sajous, Ashley Betton & Michael Thomas Murray
FOREVER DUSTY is a 90-minute musical packed with 20 of Dusty’s most memorable songs including “Son of a Preacher Man,” “You Don’t Have to Say You Love Me,” “The Look of Love” and others that still resonate today. The show tells the story of how a shy, awkward Irish-Catholic schoolgirl named Mary Isobel Catherine Bernadette O’Brien transformed herself into the first great female superstar of the rock and roll era. Without Dusty slashing a path through the music biz jungle, there would be no trail for Adele, Lady Gaga or even Madonna to follow.

Dusty’s journey was never easy. She not only took on the male-dominated pop music establishment, she faced down the apartheid government of South Africa by refusing to perform for segregated crowds until the authorities arrested and held  her for three days. She put her reputation the line by conceiving and hosting the first Motown TV special in the UK, at a time when soul and R&B were taboo forms of music by the powers-that-be. And later, she was the first major celebrity to “come out” about her sexuality.

But her greatest struggles were always against herself.

Read it here>

FOREVER DUSTY runs through April 7 at New World Stages, 340 W. 50th St. For a special TRIP CITY discount, use the code FDHVOLT12 at

In addition to co-writing the book for FOREVER DUSTY, Jonathan Vankin has written numerous comics and graphic novels for DC, Vertigo, Image, IDW and others. He is also the co-author of the popular GREATEST  CONSPIRACIES book franchise.

See more of Seth Kushner's Fotocomix in his new independently-produced and self-published FORCE FIELD FOTOCOMIX VOL.01

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


I was recently contacted by the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership to work on their latest campaign advertising my home borough, Brooklyn.  I've worked with them previously, two years ago, and I was happy they thought of me again.  

The assignment was to photograph the owners of two companies who recently moved their offices to Brooklyn.  I was excited when I heard one of the subjects would be of Bre Pettis of Makerbot, (above) since I've long been interested in his company and I've wanted to photograph him.  When I arrived, I knew the beautifully designed space and stunning view of Manhattan would work well.  The item on the left is Makerbot's amazing 3D printer, which we of course had to incorporate into the shot.

The second shot of Bob Blumberg, of Blumberg (below) proved to be a bit of a challenge because his space was still under construction.  We decided to shoot by a window to showcase the view and downplay all the exposed ceiling, beams and rubble.  I also cleaned up the surrounding a bit in post.

Thanks to Vivian Liao and Luis Gutierrez from Downtown Brooklyn Partnership for being such hands-on clients and to Katie and Kristy of K2 Creative Management for all their help with arranging the shoot.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013


I’m very excited to announce my brand new independently-produced, creator-owned project, FORCE FIELD FOTOCOMIX Vol. 1.  It’s a deluxe, oversized book, 8.5×11, 32pp on heavy stock matte paper, limited edition of 300 copies.   This was designed to be a unique art object, and something that could only exist in print.
My “Photocomix” have roots in the Fumetti on Europe, the Fotonovelas of Latin America and in Harvey Kurtzman’s “Help” and Robert Crumb’s “Weirdo” in the US, as well as the “Photo Sequences” of artist/photographer Duane Michaels.
I first cut my teeth on this format with my long-running online profile series CulturePOP Photocomix, and now I’ve turned my attention to telling fictional stories told in a unique and cinematic style, using photographic imagery and the language of comic books/graphic novels.
FORCE FIELD FOTOCOMIX Vol. 1 is an anthology of five short stories, all photographed by me. The book features:
Written by Kushner and Dean Haspiel
Featuring Katelan Foisy, Christopher Irving, Ron Scalzo and Haspiel
A comic book superhero parody with two low-rent male heroes, Fission and Duplicato, vying for the attention of The Tarot, who’s super-powered cards help her decided which costumed character to go home with.
4 pages.
Written by Chris Miskiewicz
Featuring Cat Cabral, David Blatt and Miskiewicz
A horror tale of a young woman terrorized by an outbreak of millions of creepy crawling spiders.
6 pages.
Written by Seth Kushner
Kushner’s memoir of how he first discovered comics and photography and how he came to meld his two loves into the photocomic format. Featuring a plethora of work from Kushner’s career, including photos of; Michael Moore, Jonathan Ames, Moby, Marc Maron, Harvey Pekar, Neil Gaiman, Martin Laundau, Woody Harrelson, Jena Maone, Miranda July and more.
8 pages.
COMPLEX: Luv_Underscores_You
Written by Kushner, Chris Miskiewicz and Dean Haspiel
Featuring Katelan Foisy and Miskiewicz
A sci-fi drama about a reporter and a superstar DJ where everything is not what is seems.
4 pages.
Written by Kushner
Featuring Darlene Elkanick and Christopher Irving
A noir tale of one man’s obsession over “The Perfect Woman.”
6 pages.
UNDERSTANDING PHOTOCOMIX originally appeared in the July/August 2012 issue of American Photo Magazine and COMPLEX originally appeared in Creator Owned Heroes #7 from Image Comics. All other stories are making their print debut in this book.
FORCE FIELD FOTOCOMIX Vol. 1 is available for $10 now at Etsy.