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Paul Karasik
Stuckeman Professor of Interdisciplinary Design
Paul Karasik
Graphic Design Program
Stuckeman School
421 Stuckeman

Paul Karasik is a cartoonist and educator who has taught and lectured extensively in the United States and abroad.

City of Glass, the graphic novel adaptation of Paul Auster’s book that Karasik co-created with David Mazzuchelli, was named by The Comics Journal as one of the “Best Comics of the 20th Century”. With his sister, Judy, Karasik created, The Ride Together, winner of the Autism Society of America’s “Best Literary Work of the Year”.

Karasik received an Eisner Award, the highest honor in the field of comics, for his anthology of work by forgotten comics visionary, Fletcher Hanks.

How To Read Nancy (fall 2017), co-authored with Mark Newgarden, is an in-depth study of a single Nancy comic strip to reveal the hidden lexicon of comics’ language.

Karsik lectures worldwide  and his work appears in The New Yorker. In addition to his professorship at Penn State, he teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.


  • BFA, Pratt Institute
  • MA, Lesley College

Courses Taught

Guest Lecturer:

  • American University (Washington, D.C.)
  • College of the Holy Cross  (Worcester, MA)
  • Center for Cartoon Studies (White River Junction, Vt.)
  • Northern Illinois University (DeKalb, Il.)
  • Princeton University (Princeton, NJ.)
  • Penn State (State College, PA.)
  • Solstice Writing Program (Chestnut Hill, MA>)
  • University of Nebraska (Kearny, NB.) Symposium: "Comics and Medicine" 
  • Wheaton College (Norton, Ma.)


  • The Animation Workshop, Viborg, Denmark: 2016
  • Center for Cartoon Studies, White River Junction, VT.: 2012 - 2016
    Instructor, Master Class in Comics Narrative, Graphic Novel Workshops
  • European School for the Arts, Angouleme/Portiers, France: 2011-2016
    Professor, Comics Narrative
  • Scuola di Comics Internazionale, Florence, Italy: 1998, 1999, 2001, 2013, 2016
    Guest lecturer and instructor
  • Scuola di Comics Internazionale, Florence, Jesi, Pescara, Rome, Italy: 2005-2006, 2016
    Professor, Comics Narrative
  • Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI.: 2003, 2004, 2007-2017
    Instructor, Comics Narrative
  • School of Visual Arts, New York, N.Y.: 1986-1987
    Instructor, Experimental Comics


  • “Jack Kirby: This Man, This Master”,  KIRBY 100: 100 Top Creators Celebrate Jack Kirby's Greatest Work (Two Morrows, 2017
  • “10 Reasons Why Fletcher Hanks Kicks Ass”, Boing-Boing, January, 2017
  • “Anatomy of a Gag”, Cartoons of the Year, 2014 (Conde Naste, 2014)
    Deconstruction of Charles Addams’ gag.
  • “The Perfect Cartoon”, The New Yorker on-line,, June 11, 2014
    Deconstruction of a Peter Arno cartoon for Robert Mankoff’s weekly blog.
  • “Travel”,  Travel by Yuichi Yokoyama (Picture Box, 2008)
    Introduction to the graphic novel by the Japanese cartoonist
  • “Will Eisner: Grandaddy to the Superhero Generation”, London Times, July 18, 2008
  • “It Would Be An Honor to be Hit: Norakuro and his Howlin’ Commandos", Kramer’s Ergot #8, (Buenaventura Press, 2006)
    Preface for reprint of work by Suiho Tagawa
  • “Is Dis A System?”, He Done Her Wrong (Fantagraphics Books, 2006)
    Afterword for a reissue of the graphic novel by Milt Gross
  • "How To Read Nancy”, The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy (Holt, 1984),
    Essay co-written with Mark Newgarden

Honors + Awards

  • Honorary Degree, 2017
    Master in Comics, Center for Cartoon Studies, White River Junction, Vermont
  • Eisner Award, 2008
    Best Archival Comics Project of the Year (I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets)
  • Autism Society of America, 2003
    Best Literary Work of the Year (The Ride Together)
  • The Comics Journal
    Best Books of 2003 (The Ride Together)
  • Erlangen Comics Festival, 1998
    Max und Moritz Award (City of Glass)
  • Salo Internacional del Barcelona, 1999
    Best Foreign Work of the Year (City of Glass)
  • The Comics Journal
    The Best Comics of the 20th Century (City of Glass)

Exhibitions + Presentations

  • “Comics and Medicine” (Nebraska State University) 2015
    Speaker at symposium on uses of comics in mental and physical health treatment.
  • “Don’t Be Shallow: Using Comics to Combat Internet Fatigue” (PennState, Pennsylvania) 2015
    General Audience Lecture on the benefits of deep-reading.
  • “Encuentro de la Palabra” (Buenos Aires, Argentina) 2015
    Panelist at multimedia arts festival.
  • “Paul Karasik: Cartoonist” (Brooklyn) 2014
    Retrospective at the Shen Gallery.
  • Comic Arts Brooklyn (Brooklyn) 2013/2014
    Program Director: Interviews with Paul Auster, Charles Burns, Roz Chast, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman, et al.
  • SPX Festival (Bethesda, Maryland) 2012
    Interview with Francoise Mouly, Art Director of The New Yorker
  • “Backstage at the Comics” (Northern Illinois University) 2012
    Curator and designer of exhibition featuring work by Jaime Hernandez, Joyce Farmer, Paul Karasik, Jason Lutes, Mark Newgarden, Seth, James Sturm.
  • Angouleme Comics Festval (Angouleme, France) 2011
    Speaker: “The Language of Comics”
  • The Center Gallery at Fordham University, Lincoln Center (New York City) 2010
    Exhibiting artist: “The Art of Captivity”
  • SPX Festival (Bethesda, Maryland) 2009
    Speaker: “The Fletcher Hanks Experience”
  • Mocca Festival (New York City), 2009
    Speaker: “The Fletcher Hanks Experience”
  • Dedica Festival (Pordenone, Italy) 2009
    Exhibition of artwork and guest lecturer during a two-week festival celebrating author, Paul Auster
  • SPX Festival (Bethesda, Maryland) 2008
    Interview with Joost Swarte, Cartoonist and cover artist for The New Yorker
  • ComicCon International (San Diego, Ca.), 2007
    Speaker: “Whatever Happened to Fletcher Hanks?”
  • Kosmopolis (Barcelona, Spain), 2006
    Workshop leader, Speaker: “How To Read A Comic Book”
  • Fumetto International, Trienalle (Milan, Italy) 2006,
    Speaker: “Comics as Literature”
  • Napoli Comicon (Naples, Italy), 2006
    Speaker, Judge for annual awards
  • Lucca Comics  (Lucca, Italy), 2005
    Speaker: “Gained in Translation: Comics Adaptations”
  • Mocca Festival (New York City), 2005
    Speaker: “Gained in Translation: Comics Adaptations”
  • Bennington College Writer’s Seminar (Bennington, Vt.), 2004
    Speaker with Judy Karasik; “Creating The Ride Together
  • Graphic Novel Realism (Barrett Gallery, Santa Monica College), 2003
    Curator of an exhibition of work and reference materials by six cartoonists: Debbie Drechsler, Jaime Hernandez, Paul Karasik, Jason Lutes, Seth, and James Sturm.


  • How To Read Nancy: The Elements of Comics in Three Easy Panels (Fantagraphics, fall  2017)
  • Lissa: Still Time, (University of Toronto Press, fall 2016)
    Editorial coordinator of graphic novel collaboration between Brwon University and Rhode Island School of Design
  • Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All: The Complete Works of Fletcher Hanks (Fantagraphics, 2016)
    Editor, Writer/Artist
  • Meet Abe, 12 Panel Pitch: Feature Films presented as 12 Panel Cartoons. (Slate on-line, 2014)
  • I Shall Destroy All Civilized Planktons, script and layouts for comics story for “SpongeBob Comics Annual” (Boingo Comics, 2014)
  • You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!: More Comics of Fletcher Hanks (Fantagraphics, 2009)
    Editor, Writer/Artist
  • I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets: The Comics of Fletcher Hanks (Fantagraphics, 2007)
    Editor, Writer/Artist
  • Masters of American Comics (Yale University Press, 2005)
    Co-Editor of “coffee-table” catalogue for the first major U.S. comics retrospective exhibit co-organized by the Hammer and Moca Museums
  • City of Glass (Avon Books, 1994) (Picador Press, reissue, 2004)
    Graphic novel adaptation of novel by Paul Auster, co-created with David Mazzucchelli
  • The Ride Together (Simon and Shuster, 2003)
    Memoir co-written with Judy Karasik
  • Get The Clue (Grosset & Dunlap, 1998)
    Picture mystery for children, illustrator
  • Raw Magazine (Raw Books)
    Associate Editor, 1981-1983
  • The New Yorker, Nickelodeon Magazine, Edible Vineyard, The New York Times, et. al.,
    Contributing illustrator/cartoonist


  • Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha’s Vineyard 2012-2016
    Board member
  • Comic Arts Brooklyn
    Program Director
  • Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, 2002-2016
    Development Director
  • Options In Education, 2001-2002
    Executive Director
  • Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, 1999-2001
    Board President
  • Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, 1994
Cartoon by Paul Karasik
Cartoon by Paul Karasik
Cartoon by Paul Karasik