Comic Nurse Brings Graphic Medicine to UW-Madison

On April 11, 2018, UW-Madison will host MK Czerwiec, AKA “Comic Nurse” as part of the Applied Comics Kitchen Borghesi Mellon Workshop Series. Czerwiec is the Artist in Residence at the Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, and is one of the founders of the field of Graphic Medicine. Czerwiec will explore the field of graphic medicine through a public talk and a hands-on workshop.

Graphic Medicine is a field that uses the medium of comics to explore the wide varieties of experience of illness, caregiving, and disability. Czerwiec’s talk (“Building a Culture of Wellness: Can Comics Improve Our Health?, 1-2pm, 1121 Signe Skott Cooper Hall) will discuss how comics can help improve our health by making education more engaging, by amplifying the voice of patients and families, and as a means by which we can explore our experiences with health, illness, disability, and caregiving. In the following workshop (“Reflective Drawing for Recovery, Resilience, and Care,” 2:30-4pm, 1321 Signe Skott Cooper Hall), participants will create comics that demonstrate the practice of graphic medicine in their professional and personal explorations of health, illness, disability, and caregiving. Through small and large group discussion, brainstorming, and questioning, participants will consider and adapt these methodologies to their particular educational and care provision environments. Participants will also be provided with follow-up resources and tools with which to deepen and develop their own practice and continue using graphic medicine methodologies. The workshop is free, but registration is required:

MK Czerwiec has been making comics under the pseudonym Comic Nurse since 2000. With UK physician Ian Williams, she co-runs, a website devoted to the intersection of comics and health. Czerwiec’s book Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, her story of nursing during the height of the AIDS crisis in the United States, was named one of the best works of Graphic Medicine of 2017 and is believed to be the first graphic memoir by a nurse. She is also a co-author of the Eisner Award nominated Graphic Medicine Manifesto (Penn State University Press, 2015), which maps the field of Graphic Medicine.

The Applied Comics Kitchen (ACK!) ( is an interdisciplinary collective of graduate students and faculty members at UW-Madison who use comics in their teaching and research. ACK! has hosted hands-on workshops featuring guests from fields including geography, journalism, food illustration, poetry, and, of course, comics.

This event is cosponsored by the UW-Madison School of Nursing, the Center for Humanities Borghesi-Mellon Workshop Series, and the Chazen Family Endowed Chair.


For more information, please contact Mel Freitag at (608) 263-5297 or