Back to Top

Studs Terkel’s Working:a graphic adaptation

February 22, 2010

I was given a copy of Studs Terkel’s Working: a graphic adaptation by an acquaintance from The New Press, last Summer. I gladly accepted the gift and expressed my intention of sharing my opinion of the book here on the Justseeds blog. There are many familiar contributing artists to the book including Peter Kuper, Sabrina Jones, and Justseeds member Dylan Miner!
In all honesty I have never read Terkels’ Working, so this is my first encounter with the material. I am fascinated with people, where they were born, grew up, what kind of formative experiences did they had, etc. I’m interested in the places that shape us into who we are. Like my pal Chris says “everyone’s got a story”. So I’m curious to hear those of most people I engage with. For those, like me, are not familiar, Working is a collection of accounts, from the 60’s, of how ordinary folks in the USA made their living. It is an exploration of what makes work meaningful for people in all walks of life.
While reading the different narratives I found myself realizing that these experiences are not much different than contemporary feelings about work and society. Garbageman, organizers, hooker, and farmworker are some accounts that appear timeless, and would remain so if wages and historical references weren’t maintained.
I found Peter Kuper, Ryan Inzana, and Dylan Miner’s pieces to be the strongest. Their graphic styles and lettering appealed the most to me. Some accounts feel short, making their inclusion a little confusing. Nevertheless, Working: a graphic adaptation is an indication that Studs Terkel’s efforts from the 60’s is still relevant and compelling in this new millennium.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.



February 16, 2023

Handmade sign made of different colored tape providing directions away from a residential area to state roads.



August 27, 2022

DO NOT DRIVE ON SIDEWALK. Portland, OR. August 2022. Thanks to Roger Peet for this contribution to the DIYDPW series! DIYDPW is a frequent, irregular blog post highlighting global examples…



July 6, 2022

DEAD END. Walkill, NY. June 2022. Someone installed this in hopes people wouldn’t turn down their short road that has no outlet forcing vehicles to make a u turn in…