The 112th meeting of the NY Comics & Picture-story Symposium will be held on Tuesday, January 27, 2015 at 7 pm at Parsons The New School, 2 West 13th Street, in the Bark Room (off the lobby). Free and open to the public. Please note 7 pm starting time.
Nick Thorkelson on Herbert Marcuse and Pedagogical Comics
Nick Thorkelson will talk about his projected book-length nonfiction comic on Marcuse, the German philosopher who was a mentor to the 1960s radical movements. The talk will also survey the field of pedagogical comics, from Rius and Rifas to Gonick and Sacco, and Nick’s contributions to that field which include The Underhanded History of the USA, The Comic Strip of Neoliberalism, Economic Meltdown Funnies, and short comics about Mr. Block, Kenneth Patchen, Yiddish poets, radical Christians, and the origins of modern jazz.
The Marcuse book situates Herbert Marcuse in the world of German anti-fascist refugees (Brecht, Adorno, Fritz Lang, Walter Benjamin, etc.), their debates regarding “high” and “low” art, and their contributions to American culture, which arguably include film noir and its poor relations, Crime Does Not Pay and The Spirit. The book will incorporate Nick’s latest comics story, “You Had to Be There,” about the German historian George Mosse who excited midwestern college students in the 1960s and 70s with his explorations of the detritus of European popular culture.
Nick Thorkelson is a former editorial cartoonist for the Boston Globe who creates comics and cartoons for groups working on industrial safety, worker rights, social welfare, peace, and the environment. For the last ten years he has worked closely with historian Paul Buhle on a series of nonfiction comics, including a 4-pager on the 50th anniversary of Herbert Marcuse’s One Dimensional Man which appears in the current issue of Jewish Currents.