New Web Comic Revisits the Artists & Writers at the Bloody ’68 Convention: Jean Genet, William S. Burroughs & More


Draw­ing of William S. Bur­roughs by Nathan Gelgud/The Paris Review

Amer­i­ca’s polit­i­cal cir­cus will soon roll through Cleve­land and then Philadelphia–the sites of the Repub­li­can and Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tions. And, not with­out some mer­it, there’s con­cern that the car­ni­vals could turn vio­lent, as hap­pened in 1968, when Chicago’s may­or Richard Daley, backed by 23,000 police and Nation­al Guards­men, assault­ed pro­test­ers in the streets. A fed­er­al report lat­er called it a dis­play of “unre­strained and indis­crim­i­nate police vio­lence.”

This week, that tumul­tuous ’68 con­ven­tion is being com­mem­o­rat­ed in a com­ic over at The Paris Review. Issued in dai­ly install­ments by illus­tra­tor Nathan Gel­gud, the comic–simply titled “Uncon­ven­tion­al”–looks at the writ­ers, artists, and demon­stra­tors who attend­ed the con­ven­tion. Part 1 fea­tures poet, singer, activist Ed Sanders. Part 2 puts Jean Genet cen­ter stage (who knew he was there?). Part 3 focus­es on Nor­man Mail­er, who was always ready for a fight. Part 4 gives us the inim­itable William S. Bur­roughs, and Part 5, Ter­ry South­ern. You can fol­low the series here.

To learn more about what hap­pened at that his­toric con­ven­tion, you can read Bat­tle­ground Chica­go: The Police and the 1968 Demo­c­ra­t­ic Nation­al Con­ven­tion.

If you would like to sign up for Open Culture’s free email newslet­ter, please find it here. Or fol­low our posts on Threads, Face­book, BlueSky or Mastodon. If you would like to sup­port the mis­sion of Open Cul­ture, con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion to our site. It’s hard to rely 100% on ads, and your con­tri­bu­tions will help us con­tin­ue pro­vid­ing the best free cul­tur­al and edu­ca­tion­al mate­ri­als to learn­ers every­where. You can con­tribute through Pay­Pal, Patre­on, and Ven­mo (@openculture). Thanks!

by | Permalink | Comments (0) |

Sup­port Open Cul­ture

We’re hop­ing to rely on our loy­al read­ers rather than errat­ic ads. To sup­port Open Cul­ture’s edu­ca­tion­al mis­sion, please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion. We accept Pay­Pal, Ven­mo (@openculture), Patre­on and Cryp­to! Please find all options here. We thank you!

Leave a Reply

Open Culture was founded by Dan Colman.