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Erik Thurman

Comics Journalist


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The American Immigrant: Philippines

Memoir / Graphic Narrative; 180 pages

Drifting with no home and $25,000 in student debt, comics journalist Erik Thurman has only one thing on his mind after graduation — to be with his fiancée in a flooded valley of the Philippines. But to acquire a visa, he must re-enter a public school system like the one he desperately escaped from — this time as a volunteer teacher. He finds himself caught between the challenges of educating impoverished students in a developing country and pressure from his fiancée’s conservative family and neighbors, who urge the young couple to marry quickly so they can work in the U.S. together.

Can their relationship hold out long enough to tie the knot? Will Erik be swallowed by the growing interest on his student loans?

The first installment of this award-nominated graphic memoir trilogy, The American Immigrant follows Erik's decade-long journey of self-discovery as he experiences how public education has grown unaffordable and inaccessible — not just in his country, but around the world.

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