Go to where the silence is. --Amy Goodman, Democracy Now!
Erik Thurman is an award-winning author/illustrator who specializes in comics journalism and nonfiction comics about current events in Asia and North/South America, with a focus on education, migration, and human rights. He is currently based in Santiago, Chile. Some of his past clients include the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, UNHCR, The Nib, the International Research Group on Authoritarianism and Counter-Strategies (IRGAC), Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung, The Intercept Brasil, Splinter News, Korea Expose, and Drawing the Times, and his work was featured in the Eisner-nominated anthology, Eat Your Comics.
In the past, Erik has investigated political kidnappings of university students in the Philippines, covered economic inequality and demonstrations in China, worked as a teacher in a South Korean orphanage to illuminate child abuse in neoliberal education, reported on migrant labor abuse and modern-day slavery in Qatar and India, went undercover to research human rights violations perpetuated by a multinational mining corporation in Latin America, and investigated the military cover-up of an assassination of an indigenous activist in the southern conflict zone of Chile.
He has also been shortlisted for a Reportager Award in the past for his work researching neoliberal policies in global education with his graphic memoir, The American Immigrant.
As the son of a farmer and a maid, he is aware of the different metrics he's held to in his work that aren't applied to recent private university art graduates from the US, but nevertheless hopes to someday find colleagues from his home country with the moral conviction necessary to bring this work into print. But until then, he is inspired by the courage of those that march to his right and left in the streets all over the world against authoritarianism and will continue to illustrate for a better future.
Feel free to reach out: www.erikthurmanblog (at) yahoo (dot) com
Find me on the web at:
Internationally Published and Distributed Works
2019 Illustration for Handbook on Children Affected by the Foreign-Fighter Phenomenon: Ensuring a Child Rights-Based Approach, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, New York
2019 Betsy DeVos’ ‘School Choice’ Movement Isn’t Social Justice. It’s a Return to Segregation, included in the collection ¿Educación? ¿QUÉ EDUCACIÓN? by Adam Bessie, MORATA. Madrid, Spain
2018 Illustration for Handbook on Human Rights and Screening in Border Security and Management, United Nations Office of Counter- Terrorism, NY
2018 Illustration and design for Pocketbook on Human Rights and Screening in Border Security and Management, United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism, New York
2018 Disaster Capitalism, entry for the anthology Now is the Time for Monsters, World War 3 Illustrated. New York, NY
2017 Illustration for Undocumented: Architecture of Migrant Detention, Ad Astra Comix, Canada
2017 There is no “F” in Korean, self-published comic
2016 The Intellectual Ramblings of Samuel Flower, self-published comic
2015 Umbrella Blackout: China’s War on Digital Activism, entry for the anthology Eat More Comics, The Nib, Portland, Oregon
2014 Illustration for Grassroot Comics, World Comics. Delhi, India.
2013 Seoul Grind, entry for the anthology The Cartoon Picayune (Issue #5), Washington DC
2012 What Haunts Us, entry for the anthology Uncanny Mysteries, 8th Wonder Press. Denver, Colorado
2012 The Barriers to Higher Education, entry for the literary journal Reed Magazine (Volume #65). San Jose, California
2011 Seven Hours to Kill, entry for the literary journal 5x5, Tacoma, Washington
The Intercept Brasil
Fusion / Splinter News
Drawing the Times
Upcoming Background artist for the animated series Papa and Boy. Means TV. Srsly Wrong Animation.
Media Appearances and Interviews
2022 Comics Unscripted Podcast: Episode 27
2021 From Fine Art to Non-Fiction Comics. Graphic Opinions
2019 De las únicas personas que he sentido miedo ha sido de Carabineros. The Clinic
2019 Comics journalism: Q+A with Erik Thurman. The Brass Glass
Awards and Nominations
2021 Grant; Mentorship from Julia Breckenreid provided by a generous grant from Koyama Provides (Koyama Press) for the purpose of constructing a pitch package for the graphic memoir, The American Immigrant.
2017 Award; Best Online Media/General feature, The New York Association of Black Journalists’ Awards Competition. New York, NY
2016 Nominated; included in the Eisner-nominated Eat Your Comics for "Best Anthology"
2015 Shortlist; Reportager Award for graphic journalism, The University of the West of England. Bristol, United Kingdom
Professional Organizations, Collectives, and Art Spaces
2022-Present The Historical Comics Collective
2017-19 Creative Dream Space (Chile)
2016-17 Jankura Art Space / 잔쿠라 (South Korea)
2015-Present The Authors' Guild (US)
Exhibitions, Collections and Presentations
2017 Amadora BD Festival, 28th International Festival featuring Comics Reportage, Amadora, Portugal
2017 Jankura Art Space, Documenting the North Korean Refugee Crisis, Seoul, South Korea
2012 봉화산 커피 (Bonghwasan Coffee), 아메리카노 (Americano), Seoul, South Korea
2010 Borders, San Jose, CA
2009 Works, San Jose, CA
2009 San Jose State University, Animation/Illustration Gallery, San Jose, CA
2008 Trewin’s Framery and Art Gallery, Modesto, CA
2008 Wanderlust Coffee Company, Modesto, CA
2008 The Queen Bean Coffee Shop, Modesto, CA
2008 Modesto State Theater, Modesto, CA
2008 The Mistlin Gallery, The Member’s Show, Modesto, CA
2008 Riverdance Farms, The Pick and Gather, Livingston, CA
2008 Modesto Junior College, The Celebration of Humanities Show, Modesto, CA
2007 Downtown Modesto, The Modesto Art and Wine Festival, Modesto, CA
2007 Modesto Junior College, The Celebration of Humanities Show, Modesto, CA
2021-Present Instructor of English as a Second Language, University of Chile, Santiago Centro, Región Metropolitana, Chile
2017-18 Instructor of English as a Foreign Language, Pontifical Catholic University of Chile, Santiago Centro, Región Metropolitana, Chile
2016-17 Instructor of English as a Foreign Language, Deungma Elementary School, Gangseo-gu, Seoul-si, South Korea
2015 Instructor of English as a Foreign Language, Geumgang University, Nonsan-si, Chungcheonnam-do, South Korea
2103-15 Instructor of English as a Foreign Language, Aloysius Elementary School and Orphanage, Eunpyeong-gu, Seoul-si, South Korea
2011-12 Instructor of English as a Foreign Language, Taereung High School, Jungnang-gu, Seoul-si, South Korea
2009-11 Instructor of Art, Caduang Tete National High School, Macabebe, Pampanga, Philippines
All Contents © 2016 Erik Thurman www.erikthurmancomics.com