World War 3 Illustrated



Fifth Estate # 407, Fall, 2020

a review of
World War 3 Illustrated
Assorted Authors & Artists
AK Press

This graphic zine started by art-activists and squatters on New York’s Lower East Side back in the Reagan 1980s (hence, the apocalyptic name), has just published its 51st issue.

There’s the sense of an historical cycle completing, as this edition grapples with the actually near-apocalyptic realities of Trump’s America—and windows of possibility they open. “Pandemic as Portal,” announces a full-page image by artist Kill Joy; “The time is now—imagine another world and fight for it.”

In their usual gritty comic-book-foradults style, the contributors tell stories of real-life struggles for land and freedom. Susan Simensky Bietila portrays the fight of the Chippewa indigenous people against the Line 5 oil pipeline under Michigan’s Mackinac Strait. Sasha Hill and Annabelle Heckler relate that of urban homesteaders in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights to hold onto their reclaimed building. John Vasquez Mejias brings to life the nationalist uprising of 1950 in Puerto Rico.

Founding editor Seth Tobocman offers a personal activist memoir, tracing the trajectory from Reagan militarism to Trump fascism, and how people have found ways to fight back.

Some 40 pieces, all imbued with an appropriate urgency.