I began making comic books with WW3 in 1984
I met other cartoonists working on WW3 when we were all by chance working with kids that same year at Charas, a squatted community center. It was an old abandoned school building. But Charas was evicted in 2001.
The community is now trying to stop Charas being turned into hotel rooms and dorms for my old college Cooper Union (now charging tuition for the first time since 1859). A "Stop Work Order" was just issued by the Department of Buildings on Charas. Cooper students, alumni, and teachers have filed a lawsuit to get Cooper Union back to being free and neighbors are working to get Charas back to being a community center.
The kids from Charas drew, painted and made comics with us in Tompkins Square Park, gardens, playgrounds, and streets around the Lower East Side. One of these gardens, La Plaza, on the same block as Charas had giant willows growing in it. A developer wanted to build on La Plaza,
Gordon Matta-Clark had built the rock amphitheater and Buckminster Fuller had built a geodesic dome in this garden. Underground stream maps from 1865 show two streams converge under La Plaza. I consulted with engineers who helped show the building plan was unsound. It was rejected, and La Plaza is a garden today.
I work with kids to design and build public parks + gardens.