Origins of Artpolice Comics


First it was a very complicated  situation and I without the memory I once possessed am only able to give a sketch. I did the first double page cartoon Artpolice Comics in 1974, the first issue of Artpolice is a broadsheet with cartoons on the back by Joe McDonnell and Fritz and a text piece by Andy Baird. Since we worked with the AB Dick press all our modalities came from the 11 X 17" proportion. The Minneapolis Institute of Arts owns this original Artpolice cartoon. Among many ideas afloat at the time I thought an alternative art magazine might be a comic book like the Zap Komix and taking a different angle on art commentary and politics. We soon lost control of a primary focus as in some many DIY projects a sort of gentle anarchy held sway.I was interested in a free speech type emphasis and so we really did very little editing. Some artists as guest editors did some editing which really only alienated the artists let out. So the odd mixture of professional and less professional quality page by page was a product of the non-edit policy. But this was an important way to say the project rose or sunk by virtue of it's average impression - expression. What started as an art school protest project evolved into a far flung operation.

You can see Artpolice Publications @ The Walker Art Center Library, The History Center in St Paul, The Library of the Museum of Modern Art NY NY, The Library of The National Portrait Gallery,The Smithsonian Inst. Wash.DC and MCAD and MIA have copies in Libraries there - We stopped publishing Artpolice in 1994