Books by Peter Kuper

PETER KUPER is the author of numerous graphic novels, among them The System, Speechless, and an award-winning adaptation of Franz Kafka's The Metamorphosis. His illustrations appear regularly in the New York Times, Time, and MAD, for which he draws the wo


HEART OF DARKNESS by Peter Kuper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Nov. 5, 2019

"Gorgeous and troubling."
Cartoonist Kuper (Kafkaesque, 2018, etc.) delivers a graphic-novel adaptation of Joseph Conrad's literary classic exploring the horror at the center of colonial exploitation. Read full book review >
KAFKAESQUE by Peter Kuper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 18, 2018

"A richly innovative interpretation that honors the source while expanding the material."
After tackling Franz Kafka's best-known work in the 2004 graphic novel The Metamorphosis, Kuper (Fight Fascism!, 2017, etc.) returns to the literary master to adapt 14 more of his short stories. Read full book review >
THEO AND THE BLUE NOTE by Peter Kuper
ANIMALS
Released: Sept. 1, 2006

A jazz cat with a limited repertoire finds his musical groove via a magical journey. Feline Theo practices his saxophone day and night, but all he can master is a single blue note. Fortunately, a flash in the sky rescues him from his doldrums. When he looks out the window, he sees a gleaming yellow rocket ship in the shape of a clarinet. "Before you could say be-bop," it flies him to the moon and a shiny club called The Apollo, where (up the Giant Steps) a big band of famous musicians—Duck Ellington, Elephants Gerald and Lionel Hamster, for starters—show Theo a myriad of notes, and his blue one fits right in. The Apollo club flies Theo back home, with a promise to jam again at the next full moon. Kuper's playful arrangements of text work well with the warm glow of his illustrations, which employ stencils, spray paint, watercolors, colored pencils and collage. A slight but serendipitous odyssey that owes its props to Chris Raschka's Charlie Parker Played Be Bop (1992). (Picture book. 5-9)Read full book review >
SPEECHLESS by Peter Kuper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: May 1, 2001

"Kuper's generically left politics sometimes dull his arresting images, but his stylistic inventiveness and sophistication make this an essential collection for students of graphic narrative and design."
Collecting work from the entire career, beginning back in the mid-1980s, of illustrator, cartoonist, and narrative artist Kuper (Mind's Eye, 2000, etc.), this full-color anthology displays a range and richness of design that places him among the best graphic artists of his time: innovative, insightful, and always compelling. Kuper has experimented with all kinds of media—watercolor, spray-paint, markers, pastels, scratchboard, you name it—and his stencil-cut illustrations have become a signature style. His dead-on images appear in mainstream publications (Time, the New York Times, and New York), as well as in smaller magazines in synch with his own left-wing sympathies, including World War 3, of which he's coeditor. His black-and-white work, with its woodcut look, gives the proper tone to his elegy for the last New York checker cab and to many other gritty cityscapes. A master of single images, Kuper also takes up the challenge of visual narrative in numerous politically charged pieces about nuclear and environmental disaster. He chronicles his globetrotting in autobiographical comics very much in the '90s grain. And his adaptation of Upton Sinclair's The Jungle suggests how a revitalized Classics Illustrated should look. Kuper also offers the rough work to some of his art, including the various stages of a Time magazine cover. His reverse paintings on framed windows are a truly unexpected pleasure, as are his recent contributions to Mad's "Spy v. Spy," which prove that he's certainly no snob. Read full book review >
MIND’S EYE by Peter Kuper
FICTION & LITERATURE
Released: Sept. 1, 2000

"Kuper's black-heavy style, best used in his narrative work, here deadens jokes that need air and light: he's a great talent who hasn't yet found a subject suited to his style."
A regular contributor to magazines as diverse as Time and Mad, Kuper collects a second batch of his "Eye of the Beholder" cartoons, all in the same basic pattern: "four panels of clues to guess which point of view your eyes are following." Read full book review >