I’ll never forget the first time I met Seth Kushner because he recorded it with the power of his eye and camera lens. He picked me up in his car in my Carroll Gardens neighborhood and we drove to the end of Red Hook by the old railroad cars, near Sunny’s Bar, before Fairway moved into the bottom floor of that enormous warehouse space by the sea. We went there to take my portrait for his then upcoming love letter to Brooklyn, a photo/essay book collection called The Brooklynites, with writer Anthony LaSala. We talked about why I loved Red Hook but that quickly transitioned into comic books. See, for my portrait, I was holding two of my favorite Jack Kirby comic books, The Fantastic Four and OMAC, and that’s when Seth revealed his passion for the medium and Superman, Spider-man, etc. We became fast friends and I put a bug in his bonnet to do the same thing he was doing for Brooklyn but to do it for comics, too. We had a few brainstorming sessions about it and, later on, he did just that with writer Chris Irving for their book, Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origin of American Comics. During that time, Seth helped me out on several projects with the prowess of his unique photography and I became his comix mentor. With several other artists we formed Hang Dai Studios in Cobble Hill directly over Book Court and launched TripCity.net, our multimedia salon, where he rocked his CulturePOP and Schmuck comix series, among many other things. A year or so later, we moved our studio to Gowanus, next to a bunch of other comix studios that I used to work at, and formed Hang Dai Editions, our self-publishing concern, where Seth would create a superhero called The Brooklynite with artist Shamus Beyale, and I would create an antihero called The Red Hook, before he passed away. When I think about the fact that we simultaneously created heroes that honored where we first met, I can’t help but smile about that.
Brady Dale at The NY Observer wrote an obituary, “Lost and Found: Seth Kushner—October 30, 1973 to May 17, 2015”