“I am a nurse who uses comics to reflect on the complexities of illness and caregiving.”
MK Czerwiec (pronounced sir-wick), a.k.a. “Comic Nurse”
MK Czerwiec, RN, MA is a nurse, cartoonist, educator, and co-founder of the field of Graphic Medicine. She is the creator of Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371 (Graphic Mundi, 2021 and Penn State University Press, 2017), a co-author of Graphic Medicine Manifesto (PSU Press, 2014) and editor of the two-time Eisner Award winning Menopause: A Comic Treatment (Penn State University Press, 2020). MK is also the comics editor for the journal Literature & Medicine.
She co-manages the website, podcast, annual conferences, and online community of GraphicMedicine.org.
MK regularly teaches graphic medicine at Northwestern Medical School, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the University of Illinois Medical School, and the University of Chicago. She is an Artist-in-Residence at Northwestern’s Center for Medical Humanities and Bioethics. She has served as a Senior Fellow of the George Washington School of Nursing Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement, and a Will Eisner Fellow in Applied Cartooning at the Center for Cartoon Studies in White River Junction, VT.
Publications & Media:
NEW! Interview with Chinmay Murali in the Journal of Graphic Nobels and Comics, “As the reader witnesses the character’s learning, they are learning as well’: Talking Comics, Graphic Medicine, and Menopause with MK Czerwiec”
Interview with Johns Hopkins University Press about becoming the inaugural Comics Editor for the journal Literature & Medicine
Menopause: A Comic Treatment, Penn State University Press, August 2020. Reissue Graphic Mundi, October 2021.
- New York Times 10 Best Graphic Novels of 2020
- Eisner Award winner, 2021: Best Anthology, and Best Short Story, Mimi Pond, “When the Menopause Carnival Comes to Town”
- Publisher’s Weekly review and this article saying this book is part of the effort to “revamp the content as well as the look of women’s health books.”
- Sneak peek trailer
- interview with Ali Tayyeb on the RN Mentor Podcast
- Starred review from Booklist!
- “Graphic Medicine and Comic Menopause” Interview with contributor Sharon Rosenzweig on “Intercultural Spark”
- LAUNCH VIDEO!
- Launch event video, Women & Children First Books, August 21, 2020
Taking Turns: Stories from HIV/AIDS Care Unit 371, Penn State University Press, March 2017. Reissue Graphic Mundi, November 2020.
- JAMA 2017 “Best of Graphic Medicine”
- 2018 Nominee, Excellence in Graphic Literature Award
- Publisher’s Weekly review.
- Oral History Review blog post and link to review
- CMAJ review by Maggie Hulbert
- Chosen for the HIV 101 Syllabus.
- PEN.org feature, November 2017
- The book’s backstory, as told by its “grandmother,” Alice Dreger.
- Review (as a teaching tool) in the Journal of the American Society for Microbiology (!)
- Arts & Understanding review here
- My favorite review can be found here.
- And another cherished review is here.
- Okay, one more.
The Graphic Medicine Manifesto with Susan Squire, Scott Thompson Smith, Ian Williams, Michael Green, and Kimberly Myers. Penn State University Press, 2014
COVID-19 Vaccine Hesitancy comics for the University of Chicago Library
“Impact of an Educational Comic to Enhance Patient-Physician–Electronic Health Record Engagement: Prospective Observational Study” Maria A Alkureishi, Tyrone Johnson, Jacqueline Nichols, Meera Dhodapkar, MK Czerwiec, Kristen Wroblewski, Vineet M Arora, Wei Wei Lee JMIR Human Factors 28.4.2021 in Vol 8, No 2 (2021): Apr-Jun.
“Breathe” (comic) Literature & Medicine, Johns Hopkins University Press, Volume 38, Number 2, Fall 2020.
“Comics and the Health Humanities” in Routledge Handbook of Health and Media, forthcoming, Fall 2022.
“Comics” (with Muna Al-Jawad), Chapter 5 in Research Methods in Health Humanities, edited by Craig M. Klugman and Erin Gentry Lamb, Oxford University Press, 2019.
“Graphic Medicine” (with Brian Callender), Chapter 48 in The Routledge Companion to Health Humanities, edited by Paul Crawford, Brian Brown, and Andrea Charise. Available March, 2020.
“Quarantine Week 10” (comic) in COVID Chronicles edited by Kendra Boileau, Graphic Mundi, February 2021
“COVID-19, Comics, and the Visual Culture of Contagion” The Lancet, October, 20 (Brian Callender, Shirlene Obuobi, Ian Williams)
“A Novel Graphic Medicine Curriculum for Resident Physicians: Boosting Empathy and Communication through Comics” Journal of Medical Humanities, August, 2020 (with Lara K. Ronan)
“Exploring the Human Side of Medicine with Comics” University of Chicago news, July, 2019.
“Representing AIDS in Comics” AMA Journal of Ethics, 2018;20(2):199-205
“Getting Graphic in Medicine: Using Comics to Tell Health Stories” STAT April 26, 2018
HealthCetera blog posts: Research & Comics, Health Policy & Comics, More Health Policy Comics, Comics & End of Life, HHS Proposed Rule Opens the Door to Fuel Bigotry (comic), Ask A Nurse: The Woodhull 2 Study (comic)
Graphic Medicine: The Best of 2016, co-author with Michael J. Green, JAMA, December 27, 2016
“Creativity in Medical Education: The Value of Having Medical Students Make Stuff” with Michael J Green, Kimberly Myers, Katie Watson, Dan Shapiro, and Stephanie Draus, Journal of Medical Humanities, September 2016
“Using Comics to Reflect on the Complexities of Being a Surgeon” podcast interview with Jeff Smith
OpenIDEO Challenge semi-finalist, “Using Comics to Empower End-of-Life Care Conversations”
Drawing, Comics, and Professional Identity, Academic Medicine Blog, April 13, 2015
“Mr. S Changes Doctors” Annals of Internal Medicine, 2 June 2015, Vol. 162. No. 11.
“Mrs. B Changes Doctors” : Using A Comic and Patient Transition Packet to Engineer Patient-Oriented Clinic Handoffs, Journal of General Internal Medicine, Springer, September, 2014.
“On Rounds with The Bad Doctor & Comic Nurse” Esopus, The Medicine Issue
“Hospice Comics: Representations of Patient and Family Experience of Illness and Death in Graphic Novels” Journal of Medical Humanities, August, 2014.
“What’s Up, Doc? How Comic Strips are Improving Bedside Manner” BBC News, print story, December 1, 2013 and Video story, December 16, 2013
“The Long Form Comic Book as Art Form for Nursing” Advances in Neonatal Care, Vol. 13, No. 1, February 2013
Guest editor (with Catherine Belling) Atrium Issue 10: Graphic
Educating with Autobiography Panel Borders Podcast by Alex Fitch
Co-creator, with Mita Mahato, Ivy Zine
Drawing on Hope, nurse documents the legacy of AIDS Unit 371 Windy City Times, 11/30/11
Comic Nurse Delivers Another Dose – my third collection of comics! Premiered at the Thought Bubble Sequential Art Festival in Leeds, UK.
“An New Therapeutic Tool in the Doctor Bag: Comic Strips” New York Times, June 17, 2011
“Is Satisfaction Enough?” Atrium, Issue 8: Happy
“Lesser Theories of Bioethics” on the Blog on Bioethics, Steven Latham, Director of the Interdisciplinary Center for Bioethics at Yale
“Coming Out” comic anthologized in Not Your Mother’s Meatloaf: A Sex Education Comic Book, Soft Skull Press, 2013
Chicago Memories Destinations Press, 2008 illustrations
“Narrative Constipation” Atrium, Issue 7: Killer Apps
“Discussing the World of Tomorrow: An Interview With Brian Fies” (author of Mom’s Cancer) Part One, Part Two Sequential Tart, October 2009
“Stephanie’s Shoes” (comic) SOUTH LOOP REVIEW Columbia College Press, 2008.
“My Career as a Closet Crossdresser” (comic) Girls’ Guide to Guys’ Stuff, Friends of Lulu Press, 2007.
Scars, Stories, and Other Adventures, MK Czerwiec Productions, 2004. (email me to purchase)
“This I Believe” National Public Radio website, 2006.
Prism Comics Update featured artist, 2008 contributing artist, 2005, Prism Comics Press.
The Lincoln Square Chamber of Commerce Neighborhood Guide and Directory, July 2004, cover.
“Ron” The Book of Magnetic Poetry Workman Publishing Group, 1997.
“NATE” The Chaplaincy Journal, 2000.
“When A Loved One is Dying: Families Talk About Nursing Care” The American Journal of Nursing, May 1996.
Unleashed II: T Salon & Gallery, August 2013 – January 2014
contributor, Humans Being II, Woman Made Gallery, part of the Bodies of Work festival, May & June, 2013
Unleashed: Photography by MK Czerwiec, Lovell & Whyte, Fall, 2012
Chicago Memories exhibit, T Salon and Gallery, Chicago. January to April 2012 and again soon!
Southwest Michigan Representation by Studio b Gallery, Three Oaks
Lutheran General Hospital Pediatric Unit, Des Plaines, IL Representation by LBD Fine Art.
“Women in the Arts – A Celebration.” Effe Leven Gallery, September 2008.
Mark di Suvero’s Peace Tower, Chicago Cultural Center, 2007.
Mercury Cafe Gallery, 2007.
Chicago Art Open, 2006.
Highland Park Art Walk, 2006.
“Friends of the Arts Solo Show @ Starbucks Cafe.” January 2009, November 2006, September, 2005.
Members’ Show, Wilmette Arts Guild, 2007, 2006.
Solo Show, Chicago Public Library, Lincoln/Belmont Branch, March 2006.
Alternative Press Exposition, San Francisco, 2005.
“ART FOR CHARITY DAYS” Cornelia Arts Center, 2004, 2005.
“Art in the Meantime” GERBER-HART LIBRARY Solo show, November 2003.
AROUND THE COYOTE September 1997.
9th Annual AIDS Update Conference, San Francisco, CA, 1997.
AIDS and the Art of Nursing Charles Schabes Gallery July 1996.
“Exposures: The Art of AIDS” Spectrum Center, January 1996.
“Folding Images on the Environment.” Tabula Rasa Gallery, October 1995.