Photographer and comics creator Seth Kushner passed away Sunday following a year-long battle with leukemia.
Celebrated for his portraits of actors, musicians and artists, Kushner is widely known for his collaboration with writer Christopher Irving on Graphic NYC, a collection of profiles of comics creators that became the 2012 book Leaping Tall Buildings: The Origins of American Comics.
A comics creator in his own right, Kushner experimented with, and wrote about, photocomics, and collaborated with numerous artists on his semi-autobiographic Schmuck, originally serialized on Trip City, and with George Folz on The Roman Nose. He debuted the anthology Secret Sauce just last month.
Kushner was diagnosed in April 2014, at age 40, with acute myeloid leukemia after being hospitalized with flu-like symptoms, and required a bone marrow transplant. He was finally permitted to go home in September, only to be told two weeks later that his leukemia had returned. When conventional medicine made no headway, Kushner turned to what he only referred to as "alternative treatment," and announced in December, "there is now no leukemia in my blood.”
Kushner was able to return home to his wife Terra and son Jackson, and even attended MoCCA Fest last month with the other members of HANG DAI Editions, where he debuted Secret Sauce.
"Having been off the grid for the past year while battling leukemia, I wanted to make something new to celebrate being alive after doctors told me I was going to die," he told ROBOT 6. "Secret Sauce is an anthology of mostly new stories and represents the type of stories I want to tell and the kind of comics I plan to make moving forward."
As even a cursory glance at social media sites today will demonstrate, Kushner was well-liked and respected by his industry peers. His wife Terra established a GoFundMe page in August to help with the family's medical and living expenses. The campaign remains active.