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Graphic Novel Proposal


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If interested in learning more, please contact Erik at erikthurmanblog(at)

Ethnic genocide in Myanmar, catastrophic climate change in the Philippines, mass suicides by school children in South Korea and farmers in India, human trafficking out of North Korea, modern-day slavery in Qatar, and government surveillance in China. 

Over the past few years, award-nominated comics journalist Erik Thurman has traveled and lived throughout Asia, revealing how these crises are but just a few of the many symptoms of when unregulated markets and crony capitalism are eventually allowed to systematically disenfranchise people across the continent.


NOWHERE TO RUN is a collection of comics journalism and graphic memoir captured by Thurman's brilliant foreign correspondence, detailing some of the most important issues facing our generation in Asia today. With lines being drawn in the sand by multinationals and the governments they influence, we are shown that, more often than not, borders only really apply to the poor.


The work is expected to be about 160 pages in color and over an expanse of eight stories, with a proposed foreword by Sharad Sharma (head of the grassroots comics and educational NGO, World Comics India). The artwork is completed at this time.

Genre: Journalism, Comics, Current Events

Table of Contents

(Click to read full comic. Best viewed on desktop.)

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Umbrella Blackout

Hong Kong’s protest movement lives on, hounded by government censorship

from The Nib, 2014

 Included in the Eisner-nominated Eat More Comics

Education Arms Race

Private educational academies are profiting while South Korea’s testing system is killing people. Literally.

from The American Immigrant: South Korea

Myanmar’s Rohingya Refugees

Why a national hero is ignoring an international crisis taking place within the jungles of her country, leading to ethnic genocide

from The Nib, 2016

San Juan’s Blessing

Torrential downpours in the Philippines kicks off the water festival with a flood 

from The American Immigrant: Philippines

 Shortlisted for the Reportager Award

A Debt-To-Slave Pipeline is Building You a World Cup Stadium

FIFA has placed a spotlight on the brutal working conditions of migrant laborers in Qatar

from The Nib, 2014

Leaving North Korea

With Asia Cold War politics flaring and the cost to defect tripling, fleeing the hermit kingdom just isn’t what it used to be

from The Nib, 2017

Saying No to GMO

After 300,000 farmers committed suicide from debts incurred from Bt cotton, India is fighting back against Monsanto with indigenous seeds

from The Nib, 2017

South Korea, a Cult, an Impeachment

A scandal involving a president and a cult leader so bizarre that it puts America to shame

from The Nib, 2016

Appearing in Amadora BD 2017

Duterte Declares Martial Law in Battle Against Islamists

The Philippines may be about to slip back into a repeat of the dark history of the Marcos era

from The Nib, 2017

Guest piece by [Name], an [Asian] cartoonist covering [event] in [place]

Media and Appearances

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  • Umbrella Blackout appeared in the Eat More Comics Anthology, which successfully raised $51,798 through Kickstarter and was later nominated for an Eisner Award for Best Anthology in 2016.

  • The American Immigrant: Philippines was shortlisted for the Reportager Award in 2015. The story San Juan's Blessing was exhibited during the final round of judging at the University of the West of England.


  • Pieces of this collection appeared in Amadora BD 2017's "Journalism in  Comics" exhibit. Amadora BD ranks as one of the largest international comics festivals in the world.

  • Amnesty International's "Brave" initiative--a series of self-contained comics journalism pieces profiling human rights defenders from around the world--resulted from an internal pitch that used several stories from this collection. Erik Thurman will be brought on to help lead this project as an artist later in 2017.

  • Erik Thurman has given numerous workshops on comics journalism and current events in the Philippines, South Korea, and India.

Comics journalism is lucky to have Erik. This is a great example of his work explaining Asian politics to an international audience.

-Josh Kramer, editor of The Cartoon Picayune

[Erik's work] illustrates the adage that a picture is worth 1,000 words.

-Diane Ravitch, former US Assistant Secretary of Education

Some of the topics are near and dear to Amnesty’s heart ... I really think that this medium would be a wonderful way of reaching new audiences. 

-Clare Bullen, International Secretariat of Amnesty International

... Erik Thurman has used the online comics form to raise awareness about topics as various as the human rights abuses perpetrated against migrant workers in Qatar ... [to] the government censorship and oppression of protest movements in Hong Kong.

-Dominic Davies, writer at the Oxford Research Centre of the Humanities

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Author/illustrator Erik Thurman is an award-nominated creator who specializes in comics journalism and nonfiction comics about current political and social issues. He is a member of the Authors Guild.

His work can be found at


His comics have made appearances in The Nib, The Guardian, Fusion, Korea Expose, Mingjing News, The Melton Prior Institut, and World Comics India, among other print and digital publications.

Erik's investigative journalism is extensive--having investigated political kidnappings of university students in the Philippines, worked as a teacher in a South Korean Catholic orphanage to uncover child abuse, and covered police brutality aimed at protesters advocating against austerity in Chile.

If interested in the work, please contact Erik at erikthurmanblog(at)

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