Biography: Tom Watkins became a fixture in the downtown Wilmington scene in the early 1970s, having lived in the city since 1967, attended H. Fletcher Brown Technical High School, and graduated with a commercial art degree in 1969. He studied sculpture under Joe Moss at the University of Delaware in 1974 and founded an artist collective and business, Apocalyptic Productions, with Joyce Brabner and Craig Dawson that same year. Watkins was engrossed in the alternative literary community, serving as co-editor and art director of Emergency Illustrated from 1973 to 1975 and contributing comic strips that offered biting criticism of both the Vietnam War and the long-term impact of nuclear energy.
Watkins progressive experimentations in xerography came in the early 1980s, when the artist began using the Xerox 6500 for t-shirt designs and color prints. Similar to his earlier cartoons, his themes from that decade cover a variety of topics including social commentary and humorous approaches to matters of humanity, such as death.