Comics journalism, or Graphic journalism, is a form of journalism that covers news or non-fiction events using the framework of comics – a combination of words and drawn images. Although visual narrative storytelling has existed for thousands of years, the use of the comics medium to cover real-life events for news organizations, publications or publishers (in graphic novel format) is currently at an all-time peak. Historically, pictorial representation (typically engravings) of news events were commonly used before the proliferation of photography in publications such as The Illustrated London News and Harper's Magazine.
More recent writers/journalists and illustrators have attempted to increase validity of the genre by bringing journalism to the field in more direct ways. This includes coverage of foreign and local affairs where word balloons are actual quotes and sources are actual people featured in each story. Many of these works are featured online and in collaboration with established publications as well as small press.
Joe Sacco is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the form, along with some groups of authors that produced the first known magazines focused specifically on Comics Journalism. Among these publications is Mamma!, a magazine of comics journalism printed in Italy since 2009 and produced by a group of authors; and Symbolia, a digital magazine of comics journalism for tablet computers.
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