Category Archives: Molly Crabapple

Book Review: DISCORDIA By Laurie Penny and Molly Crabapple


“Discordia: Six Nights in Crisis Athens,” written by Laurie Penny and illustrated by Molly Crabapple, are recent notes from the underground, published in October of 2012, that remain quite relevant to this unfolding story. As much as things seem to move at a breakneck pace, and trends seem to abruptly shift, some truths are here to stay. It was on September 17, 2011, not very long ago at all, that Occupy Wall Street galvanized a new generation of protesters seeking a better world. That spirit of change rippled across an unstable world. In the summer of 2012, the focus fell on Athens, the hotspot of the global financial meltdown. The highly corrupt Greek government was especially hit hard when its debt-addled financial chickens came home to roost. The Greek government’s response to the crisis was a series of severe austerity measures. Riots and chaos followed.

Journalist Laurie Penny saw an opportunity to document firshand a significant hisotrical event and invited illustrator, Molly Crabapple, to join her. Much like a teaming up of Hunter S. Thompson and Ralph Steadman, Penny and Crabapple immersed themselves in the subject at hand prepared to report back on what they found: the violence, the drugs, the sex, and the intimate thoughts of a lost generation. It is a remarkable undertaking with impressive results. And you need to read this 140-page ebook. You can find it here and you can also seek out more information on the publisher, Random House Vintage Digital, over here.

Molly Crabapple and Laurie Penny find themselves in Greece right after the elections and the narrow defeat of the leftist coalition, SYRIZA. That coalition was seen as the best hope for dealing with the crisis. Instead, an ineffectual government makes matters worse. The rise of a facist party, Golden Dawn, having gained seven percent of the seats in parliament, signals even more dire times ahead. There is no doubt that Golden Dawn is neo-Nazi. Reporting from the bloody streets of Nikaia, Penny finds numerous murders of immigrants directly linked to Golen Dawn. After she uploads some video footage of the violence, she gets a chilling response back in Greek: “Don’t cry. Soon the time for hunting Pakistanis will begin in earnest.”

Penny does a great job of sharing her personal observations. Make no mistake, this has gotten personal for both Penny and Crabapple. This is subjective reporting getting to the heart of the action in the spirit of gonzo journalism. We are brought intimately close to Greek citizens of various walks of life. The prevailing fear is that Golden Dawn is, as the saying goes, “winning the hearts and minds of its countrymen.” Despair hangs heavy over those who would resist. We sympathize as we take in conversations and take in a view of Athens amid dark highrises, due to an ordered cutback on electricity. The haze from the shallow bowl of pollution is only releived by the Aegean Sea twinkling in the distance.

What lies ahead is a desire to fight on. If the left is not getting through to the masses, then the left must learn to more actively engage. If the general public has concluded that the Occupy movement was a flash in the pan, Penny is hear to tell you that this is not true. In the last year, Penny reports, there’s been a systematic global police crackdown. In North America alone, there have been 7,500 protesters arrested. But the protesters are not done yet. Penny sums it up with a line from the Bible, from Jeremiah: “The harvest is past. The summer is ended, and we are not saved.” It is not meant to be read as defeat but as a fact that the struggle continues.

And if you should think that all of this is not your problem, the coda to this book is very apt. Penny describes what happened once she and Crabapple had returned to New York City. It was on September 17, 2012, the first year anniversay of the Occupy Wall Street demonstrations. This is what happened, the text read round the world: There is Molly Crabapple, neo-Victorian cartoonist simply standing on a street corner when she decides to take a snapshot of the NYPD’s tidy work at pushing back protesters. For this, Crabapple is plasticuffed and sent to jail. She manages to Tweet: “Arrested.” Housed in a cell with other women who had been picked off the street for doing the same thing, Molly Crabapple is jailed for twelve hours. When simply taking a photo lands you in jail, you really have to wonder where we’re headed.

Be sure to pick up your digital copy of “Discordia” and, if you happen to be in New York, you’ll want to view a special art show of Molly Crabapple’s work related to Occupy and beyond entitled, “Shell Game” at Smart Clothes Gallery. You can read more about it here.

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Filed under Gonzo Journalism, Hunter S. Thompson, Journalism, Laurie Penny, Molly Crabapple, news, Occupy movement, Ralph Steadman

Molly Crabapple’s SHELL GAME Art Show: April 14 – 23, 2013

Great American Bubble Machine, 2012

Great American Bubble Machine, 2012

Occupy is still with us. And it’s Molly Crabapple who is among the leaders of the movement.

“Shell Game,” Molly Crabapple’s Kickstarter-funded gallery show, featuring 9 gorgeous paintings dedicated to the 2011 financial collapse will host a public opening party on April 14, 2013, 7-10pm, at Smart Clothes Gallery, 154 Stanton St at the corner of Suffolk St in the Lower East Side, NYC.

Shell Game
Reeption on April 14, 2013

“It was the year when everyone sat down in the main squares of their cities and said the old machine is broken,” observes Crabapple. “2011 freed me to do the best work of my career, and it was amazing to see my protest art wheat-pasted on walls and carried by activists around the world.”

Molly Crabapple is pleased to announce “Shell Game,” an exhibition of new work. The exhibition will be on view from April 14 – April 23, 2013, at Smart Clothes Gallery, located at 154 Stanton Street, between Houston and Suffolk, New York, 10002.

“Shell Game” is comprised of nine, 6’x4′ paintings and one 3’x3′ painting about the revolutions and crises of 2011 (six of which have already been sold to collectors) including the mortgage bubble, the Greek anti-austerity protests, and Occupy Wall Street, filtered through the artist’s distinctive lens of surrealism, satire, and symbolic animals and, for eight of nine paintings, informed by travel to the settings, including Spain, Greece, and the United Kingdom, during which she interviewed activists for her reported illustrated journalism pieces and participated in demonstrations. For Tunisia, she interviewed members of Nawaat, the dissident blogger collective, via Skype. Nine preliminary watercolors, all sold, will also be exhibited.

Molly Crabapple will host a public opening reception on Sunday, April 14, from 7-10pm, sponsored by Original Sin Hard Cider, Blick Art Supply & all our amazing Kickstarter backers! Visit Smart Clothes Gallery here.

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Filed under Art, Molly Crabapple, New York City, Steampunk

Black Mask Studios Unveils Spring Collection


Welcome the new kid on the block, Black Mask Studios. Spring is in the air and it’s time we got this party started. What began as a comics anthology to help support the Occupy movement as become a whole new vision in comics!

Ladies and gents, this is Black Mask: The Spring Colleciton:


12 REASONS TO DIE by Ghostface Killa

LIBERATOR by Matt Miner & Juel Gomez

BALLISTIC by Adam Egypt Mortimer & Darick Robertson

Yeah, that’s what I’m talking about. Check it out, “Occupy Comics,” is a win-win must-have comic all the way from its gorgeous cover art by Mike Allred, to page after page of stellar professional talent, like Alan Moore, Art Spiegelman, Dean Haspiel, and Molly Crabapple. (Oh, btw, someone was kind enough to remind us about “Discordia” and we will have a review of this Crabapple project shortly.) Hmmm, I would add here that you don’t want to think for a moment that Occupy is fading out because it is not. For instance, for some insight, view here.

“Occupy Comics” is 40 pages, a 3 issue run, priced at $3.50 with a street date, appropriately enough of May 1, yeah, May Day.

Visit our new friends at Black Mask Studios here.

Check out Black Mask Studios on Facebook and Twitter.

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Filed under Black Mask Studios, Comics, Molly Crabapple, Occupy movement


It is quite fitting to take a look at one of Molly Crabapple’s recent ventures as I am about to embark on my own foray. I have to say, Molly is one of my favorite cartoonists. I admire her style and her spirit. I don’t know what she’d advise for my solo 24 Hour Comics Day at the Sorrento Hotel this weekend but I have this book of her creative adventure in a hotel: “The Art of Molly Crabapple, Volume 1: Week in Hell.” Now, was it really a week in hell? Let’s take a look.

This work above has a number of the “girlthings” motif that Molly employed throughout her project. The number “745” indicates the number of supporters she got for her successful Kickstarter campaign.

This work above is of Molly’s friend, Stoya, and comments on all the amateur photographers who crowd her space. They are depicted as lizards, which they probably enjoy!

And this work gives us Marie Antoinette’s head being split open to reveal all the bad Piggy Bank interests. Revolution has struck! Molly has certainly done her part with her illustrations reporting on the Occupy movement. She even allowed her own loft to be converted into a laptop charging station for reporters covering the police brutality down the block.

This is a beautiful book! Molly, as always, is an inspiration. The forward by Warren Ellis is very instructive. We get a peek into the creative process from his words. The idea behind “Week in Hell” was to see what Molly could accomplish as an artist if she was locked up, sort of speak, in a room and had to face her demons, had to see what she could create that was new and not simply repeat herself. Well, this artist has succeeded.

“The Art of Molly Crabapple, Volume 1: Week in Hell” is published by IDW. It is a 48-page full color trade paperback and is listed at $9.99. Visit our friends at IDW Publishing.

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Filed under Art, Comics, Molly Crabapple, Performance Art

New Interview with Molly Crabapple

Go over to GeekWeek and read my latest interview with the one and only Molly Crabapple.

And while you’re at it, check out Molly’s new animation over at Kickstarter.

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Filed under animation, Art, Comics, Molly Crabapple