Peter Kuper’s The System: A Work of Art in Publishing

The System

By Zach Roberts
July 4th, 2014

Peter Kuper’s The System takes us through several people’s lives, told in wordless vignettes that in the end intersect each other and then begin a new story.

The book starts with a quote by William Blake “I must create a system or be enslaved by another man’s” it’s this idea that seems to drive much of the story of The System.

Everyone is living their own lives thinking they’re not connected to some larger system – but as this story shows everyone, especially those living in a big city is.

We open on a rainy city street, it could be the 1950’s or it could be modern day – it’s a cross of generations. Classic yellow cabs empty with people talking on their cell phones, time is fluid, much like the tangled plots. First we meet the stripper and a creepy looking man with a pony tail – little do we know which character will lead us to the next one, or how.

Eventually most of the story lines end after meeting another one head on, some with a knife, some with a gun, some with a embrace. Which ones end and which ones continue is part of the suspense brought in these wordless pages.

The publisher of Peter Kuper’s The System is PM Press, which is probably more well-known for their political books which range from punk music to feminism. Here, PM has created a beautifully-illustrated hardcover book. This is no normal graphic novel, really a work of art in publishing. Surprisingly it’s only $19.99 retail.

Peter Kuper has an interesting history in comics – from co-creating the political World War 3 Illustrated to taking over Spy VS. Spy at Mad Magazine. We interviewed Peter Kuper a couple of months ago for his World War 3 Illustrated Kickstarter. (You can read the full interview here).

Back to Peter Kuper’s Author Page