Paul Karasik
Born1956 (age 67–68)
Washington, D.C.
Area(s)Cartoonist, Writer, Editor
Notable works
City of Glass: The Graphic Novel
The Ride Together: A Memoir of Autism in the Family
Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All!
AwardsEisner Award, 2008 and 2018
Spouse(s)Marsha Winsryg

Paul Karasik (/kəˈræsɪk/ kara-sick;[1] born 1956)[2] is an American cartoonist, editor, and teacher, notable for his contributions to such works as City of Glass: The Graphic Novel, The Ride Together: A Memoir of Autism in the Family, and Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All!. He is the coauthor, with Mark Newgarden, of How to Read Nancy, 2018 winner of the Eisner Award for "Best Comics-Related Book". His work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and he is also an occasional cartoonist for The New Yorker.

Life and career

In the early 1980s, after having graduated from the Pratt Institute, Karasik studied briefly at the School of Visual Arts (SVA) in New York, where he was a student of Will Eisner, Harvey Kurtzman, and Art Spiegelman.[2]

In 1981, Spiegelman, with his wife, Françoise Mouly, invited Karasik to become associate editor of their seminal international comics and graphics revue, RAW,[3] a position Karasik held until 1985. During this period, originally under the auspices of Spiegelman and SVA, Karasik co-edited with fellow cartoonist Mark Newgarden three issues of Bad News,[3] which ran work by many of the RAW cartoonists, including Kim Deitch, Ben Katchor, Richard McGuire, and Jerry Moriarty. He and Newgarden wrote the essay "How to Read Nancy," originally published in The Best of Ernie Bushmiller’s Nancy by Brian Walker (Henry Holt/Comicana, 1988). Karasik and Mark Newgarden expanded the "How to Read Nancy" essay to book length, published in 2017 by Fantagraphics Books. The book won an Eisner Award in 2018.

In 1994 Karasik collaborated with David Mazzucchelli to adapt Paul Auster's novel City of Glass into a full-length comic. This adaptation was cited by The Comics Journal as one of the "100 Best Comics of the 20th Century".[4] Translated into more than a dozen languages, the graphic novel has been exhibited in Italy. It was excerpted in The Norton Anthology of Post-Modern American Fiction.

Karasik's book The Ride Together: A Memoir of Autism in the Family (2004), co-written with his sister, Judy Karasik, employed the format of alternating prose and comics chapters to tell their story of growing up with an older brother with autism. The Ride Together was named the Best Literary Work of the Year by the Autism Society of America.[5]

Karasik co-edited of Masters of American Comics (2005), the coffee-table companion catalog to the first major American exhibition of comics, co-sponsored by the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art.

His anthology highlighting the work of the (previously) obscure Golden Age cartoonist Fletcher Hanks, I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets (Fantagraphics, 2007), won a 2008 Eisner Award,[6] the highest honor in the industry. A second volume, You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation (Fantagraphics, 2009), when combined with the first, comprises the complete works of Fletcher Hanks. Turn Loose Our Death Rays and Kill Them All!, a volume combining the two earlier books with some added material, was published in 2016.

As Program Director of the comics festival Comic Arts Brooklyn for two years, Karasik conducted interviews with Paul Auster, Charles Burns, Roz Chast, Jeff Smith, Art Spiegelman, et al.

Paul Karasik’s gag cartoons and essays have appeared in The New York Times, The Nation and The New Yorker.[5]


Also a teacher, Karasik has taught at Packer Collegiate Institute, the Rhode Island School of Design, Boston University, and the School of Visual Arts in the United States, and abroad at the EESI school in Angoulême, France, The Animation Workshop in Viborg, Denmark, and, at the Scuola Internazionale di Comics in Rome and Florence, Italy.[3] He has given workshops and lectured at The Center for Cartoon Studies, and given writing seminars at Bennington College, American University, Princeton University, Penn State, and Wheaton College.[5]

He was the first Stuckeman Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies at Penn State University in the autumn of 2017 and Visiting Professor at Texas A&M in the spring of 2020.

Personal life

Karasik grew up in the Washington, D.C. area. He moved to Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, in 1989. Karasik's wife, Marsha Winsryg, is an accomplished pastel artist and painter, and Director of the African Artists Community Development Project, raising awareness and funds for a community of children with disabilities in Zambia.[7][8]



  1. ^ "Paul Karasik | White Glove Testimonial". YouTube. Archived from the original on 2021-12-21. Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  2. ^ a b Kartalopoulos, Bill. "Coffee with Paul Karasik," Indy magazine (Spring 2004).
  3. ^ a b c Karasik profile, Who's Who of American Comic Books, 1928–1999.
  4. ^ "The Top 100 English-Language Comics of the Century," (#45) The Comics Journal #210 (February 1999).
  5. ^ a b c Lash, Elissa. "Galleries: Laugh Lines," Archived 2011-09-27 at the Wayback Machine Martha's Vineyard Times (December 24, 2008).
  6. ^ "2008 Eisner Awards: Complete List of Eisner Award Winners:" Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books Archived 2011-04-27 at the Wayback Machine, San Diego Comic-Con International website.
  7. ^ Karasik bio, Permanent Endowment for Martha's Vineyard. Accessed Jan. 3, 2017.
  8. ^ "Paul Karasik Marsha Winsryg Exhibit," Vineyard Gazette (December 14, 2016).