elcome to the Thorkelson Graphics web page, featuring examples of my comics, illustration, and graphic design work (my name is Nick Thorkelson). Here are a couple of new things: my book, Herbert Marcuse, Philosopher of Utopia: A Graphic Biography, was released in April 2019 and it's available at your local comics-friendly bookstore, or you can order it from the publisher, City Lights. With a foreword by Angela Davis, this comic recounts the life and times of Marcuse, a philosopher whose work inspired millions (and elicited death threats from the Ku Klux Klan) in the context of the cultural and political ferment of the 1960s and ‛70s. A decline in his notoriety and his popularity coincided with the decline in liberationist dreams during the Age of Reagan, but my editors (Paul Buhle and Andy Lamas) and I are trying our best to remedy that situation with this book.

And here are some new images—paintings and drawings—that I created in Yelapa, a car-free community off the Bay of Banderas near Puerto Vallartao in Mexico, at the beginning of 2019.

I will be posting other recent projects soon. In the meantime, take a look at Fortune Cookies, a 2007 anthology of comics, mostly by myself and Susan Rice, with contributions from Leonard Rifas and Jen Flores. You can use other links on this page to check out samples of my cartoons, graphic design, and paintings. More specifically, you can look at: The Comic Strip of Neoliberalism, a series of comics set in Mexico, India, South Africa, Iraq and Brazil that I did for Dollars & Sense magazine; a comics biography of the poet Kenneth Patchen, which appears in an anthology of comics about the Beats published by Hill & Wang in early 2009; It’s a Long Way to Hazard, a comic about a student/miner conference I upended in 1964 (part of Paul Buhle and Harvey Pekar’s Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History, also from Hill and Wang, published January 2008); "I Object to Anarchism In This Boxcar," a comic strip about a comic strip (Ernest Riebe’s 1912-1919 IWW strip, "Mr. Block"); you can take a look at my Boston Globe cartoons; see a page of Mexico sketches, or a page of sketches of cartoonists, see some drawings of animals (if a browser search for lions, badgers, cats, bullfrogs, bushpigs, brown fish owls, or white faced whistling ducks brought you to this page, this is the link you want); get an instant postcard from Italy; or, if you're into music, view some linoleum cuts of musicians.

The picture on the right was for a play festival poster and it depicts an aztec mask wearing a hoody. The "Grave Robbery" image on the left is a link to a series of images, in a pseudo-animation style, that were designed to accompany a song I wrote for a musical version of Tale of Two Cities that never got finished. Hope to be posting more about my songs soon.

Comics and Cartoons

Click on any one of these images to see a larger version.

Comic Strip of NeoliberalismBebopBoston Globe CartoonsMr. BlockIt's a Long Way to Hazard

The “Comic Strip of Neoliberalism” is a series I did for Dollars & Sense magazine; Bebop is a comic I did for Bohemians, a 2014 anthology from Verso; the Boston Globe is New England's biggest daily paper; “Mr. Block” was a comic strip character created by Ernest Riebe for the Industrial Workers of the World -- my comic about this comic appears in Wobblies: A Graphic History, published by Verso in 2005. “It's a Long Way to Hazard” is a story I did for Students for a Democratic Society: A Graphic History, edited by Paul Buhle and mostly written by Harvey Pekar, and published by Hill & Wang in 2008

Here are some links to cartoons of mine that are not pictured above: a cartoon about temp workers; a large 2-panel cartoon on “reverse racism”; a 1994 comic on the World Trade Organization called “ What Happens When They Be-GATT the Beginnings?”; a drawing about tenant unity from the book Lenders and Landlords by the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition; and a Boston Review drawing about campaign spending reform.

Graphic Design

Click on any one of these images to see a larger version.

There's Room For Us AllLINKSféile an phobailBooks of HopeFMLA Handbook

"There's Room For Us All" was a conference that helped lead to the creation of The Welcome Project in Somerville, Mass. The “Links” booklet is a curriculum for third world paramedics published by the World Health Organization. The “féile an phobail” poster was commissioned by Peacewatch Ireland, a U.S. group that supports Irish human rights and social justice organizations, for the 1997 West Belfast People's Festival. Peacewatch Ireland can be reached at P.O. Box 2543, Boston, MA 02130. Books of Hope is a project that helps teenagers in Somerville, Massachusetts write and publish their prose and poetry. The FMLA Handbook (illustrated by myself) is available from Work Rights Press.


Please click here if you would like to make use of my design or illustration services, or if you want to comment on this web page, or if you would like to get in touch for any other reason.

15 Channel Center Street #601, Boston, MA 02210 • phone (617)417-5403 • email nthork@nickthorkelson.com
Website design by Thorkelson Graphics.