Posts Tagged ‘journalism’

Survival stories

Monday, December 3rd, 2012


Graphic journalism continues to make headway into the field of “serious” comics, and this time it’s available on the format/medium of our times, the iPad. Symbolia is a bi-monthly digital magazine featuring long-form journalism in the form of sequential art, for the (relatively) low price of $11.99 for six issues, or $2.99 for individual issues. The iPad app features audio, animation, and interactive graphics. Don’t have an iPad? Well, for desktop users (and Android, a platform they seem to have forgotten exists) they also sell Symbolia in a PDF edition, same price.

What do you get for your dollars? You can check out the free preview on their site, which features stories by Susie Cagle, Sarah Glidden, Chris A. Smith and Damien Scogin, Kat Fajardo and Audrey Quinn, and Andy Warner and Lauren Sommer. We’ve previously covered Glidden here in the blog, and her piece comes from her trip with the Common Language Project, which will be expanded upon in her upcoming book Stumbling Toward Damascus. “The Rollerbladers of Sulaymaniyah” is up to her usual standards and is pretty interesting, but perhaps my favorite piece in the preview was “Sea Change”, about the environmental troubles facing the Salton Sea in California.

Far From Bat Country

Tuesday, March 8th, 2011

In the larger world of pop culture Hunter S. Thompson is seen as this edgy, drug-fueled, mad figure—an image pushed forward, no doubt, by his work Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (and its 1998 film adaptation, starring Johnny Depp and directed by Terry Gilliam). Even in the comics world this image persists, with Thompson serving as the real-life basis for at least two journalist characters in comics* known for crazy adventures, brutally-honest journalism, and drugs. Always the drugs.

Dismayed by what they see as a “massive misrepresentation” and “caricature persona,” Will Bingley and Anthony Hope-Smith have teamed up to create a graphic biography of Hunter S. Thompson, titled (obviously enough) Gonzo: a Graphic Biography of Hunter S. Thompson. It starts with the story of his childhood, telling the story through his eyes, mimicking his voice and sometimes even using direct quotes. As Bingley states,

He’s just got such an obvious writing style. His vocabulary and rhythm are very specific. So it wasn’t that hard a thing to mimic. Some of the reviewers have ended their reviews with Hunter S. Thompson quotes that aren’t actually Hunter S. Thompson quotes. Which is kind of awesome.

The book was published in December 2010 by SelfMadeHero, who have  also published biographies of Johnny Cash, Kiki de Montparnasse, and Stuart Sutcliffe.

(via Blog@Newsarama)

* Uncle Duke of Doonesbury and Spider Jerusalem of Transmetropolitan.

World Comics Power

Tuesday, September 28th, 2010

Comics are a great communications tool for people in impoverished areas because of their highly visual nature and ease of access; even people who don’t know how to read can still enjoy a comic, and they don’t need complex or expensive equipment to make one. With that in mind, the World Comics Network conducts a series of workshops teaching local peoples how to make “grassroots comics,” focusing on topics that matter to them and hopefully encouraging discussion and debate. Starting in India, the program has spread to nearby Pakistan, Nepal, and Sri Lanka, and even further abroad to Africa (Mozambique, Benin, Tanzania), Latin America (Brazil), and Europe (United Kingdom, Finland).

The program has also began to touch upon comics journalism, using the medium not just to encourage debate, but to disseminate information in the first place. Programs are currently being set up at various universities throughout India.

Most of the comics created by the World Comics Network are intended for local distribution only, photocopies that are passed around, or in some cases, put on exhibition by the roadside for passersby to view. However, a handful of professionally printed compilations are available, including Understanding Gandhi Through Comics and Whose Development (about development projects in India).