This is an excerpt from the comic art book Hands Up, Herbie! by Joey Perr, based on the life of his father, art teacher and art activist Herb Perr. Born into a mob-connected, lower-middle-class Jewish family, Herb studies art, works with leading Abstract Expressionists, joins the radical movements of the 1960s, and co-founds Political Arts Documentation/Distribution (PAD/D) in the 1980s. As depicted in this excerpt, PAD/D — led by Village Voice art critic Lucy Lippard, among others — offers artists a way to oppose Reaganism and its war-mongering policies and attacks on women’s rights.

—Paul Buhle, editor of Hands Up, Herbie!
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Joey Perr

Joey Perr is a comics artist and public high school history teacher in New York City. His comic artwork has been published in Jewish Currents and elsewhere. Hands Up, Herbie! is his first graphic novel.

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8 Comments on “Artists Meeting for Cultural Change

  1. An invigorating read (and, five minutes later, re-read). Archival material can linger unseen in the moldering dark of filing cabinets or attic shoe-boxes. Or, a fate even grimmer, can fall into the hands of constipated academics and curators lugging around their ball-and-chain vocabularies.

    OR, thrillingly, it can be re-infused with life as in Perr’s ongoing comic book chronicle. The kid channels the intrinsic, heady vitality of the era’s pamphlets, booklets, posters, and banners into a comic that, by harnessing such currents, enters into an electric circuit of generation-spanning inspiration and intellectual crackle.

    And even on my too-sleek computer screen, this extract feels as fibrous as radical printed matter being folded and stapled in basements lit by bare bulbs.

  2. I was one of the participants in the creation of an anti-catalog along with Herb P, Irving W, Rudolf B, Janet K., Carol D., Joseph K., Sarah C., and a host of others. The original anti-catalog can be found online and downloaded, gratis, from Primary Information or from

    Alan Wallach

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