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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[1][2] and in collaboration with established publications as well as small press.[3]

Joe Sacco is widely considered to be one of the pioneers of the form,[4][5] 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.

Since 2014, Jen Sorensen has been editing the "Graphic Culture" section of Fusion, while Matt Bors has edited online comics collection The Nib,[6] both of which publish comics journalism pieces.

In May 2016, The New York Times featured comics journalism for the first time with "Inside Death Row",[7] by Patrick Chappatte (with Anne-Frédérique Widmann), a five-part series about death penalty in the USA. In 2017, it published "Welcome to the New World" [8]by Jake Halpern and Michael Sloan, chronicling a Syrian refugee family settling in the United States. The series ran in the print Sunday Review from January to September 2017 and won the Pulitzer price for Editorial Cartooning in 2018.

Comics journalists[edit]

Magazines of Comics Journalism[edit]

  • The Nib, American online non-fiction comics publisher edited by Matt Bors and Eleri Harris. Published under from 2013-2015 and under First Look Media since 2016[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Holliday, Darryl and Rodriguez, Erik: The Illustrated Press
  2. ^ Macnaughton, Wendy. "Meanwhile, The San Francisco Public Library," (May 13, 2011).
  3. ^ Kramer, Josh "The Cartoon Picayune".
  4. ^ Nalvic. "A Quick Guide to Comic Journalism". Nalvic's Reviews (June 12, 2012).
  5. ^ Crumm, David (June 29, 2012). "Joe Sacco nails down comic credentials in Journalism: Sacco contributes to new global language" Archived 2012-07-13 at the Wayback Machine.. Read the Spirit.
  6. ^ "The Nib (Long form pieces)". 
  7. ^ "Inside Death Row". May 2016. 
  8. ^ "Welcome to the New World". September 2017. 
  9. ^ "First Look Media". Retrieved February 15, 2016. 

External links[edit]


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