Episode 326: Nick Thorburn


When Penguins arrived late last year, it was the latest in a long line of projects from a seemingly restless artist. The Fantagraphics book found Nick Thorburn taking the plunge into comics for the first time, amid a long career as a critically acclaimed indie musician. His first published work is a remarkably adept one, showcasing a keen knowledge of the subtle art of wordless story telling. It’s an examination of the human existence through the seeming tragedy of flightless birds. For Thorburn, it’s also an opportunity to indulge in a new creative pursuit after a laundry list of beloved bands, including Islands, the Unicorns, Mister Heavenly and Human Highway (along with composing the music for Serial), as he wonders aloud whether there’s a continued place for him in the cutthroat music industry. I met up with the artist on a crowded Los Angeles street one sunny Southern California day to discuss his work in a new medium and what his creative future might hold. 

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