At the Toronto Comic Arts Festival this year, I posed a question to a number of comics creators: Why has Comics Journalism taken hold so well in comics, but so poorly as a quote-unquote “legitimate” form of journalism?
The response of many was that, to the contrary, no one has said that comics journalism isn’t legit.
My response in turn, was that we still can’t open up 99% of our printed media in North America to find an example of this incredible genre. 99% is probably generous. 99.9%.
Symbolia Magazine had a rebuttal for me.
Here is a magazine that is entirely devoted to Comics Journalism, or Cartoon Journalism. The publication is a pay-per-issue or by annual subscription, available for online viewing through interactive PDF’s. Another term for interactive is best thing ever.
There is such a huge variety of work available here, from artistic style to focus of journalistic investigation. Whereas most of the work (that I’ve read thus-far) does not include the journalist in the story, there is a strong sense of personalization nonetheless through the images that depict the subject of the accompanying words. Subjects range from war to the story of an artist who wanted to build the world’s first museum devoted to insect genitalia.
The focus isn’t politics or making stories personal. The focus is simply comics journalism, which lends itself to exploring a wide variety of topics from the beginning to the end of each issue.
Definitely check out Symbolia, if you haven’t already. I plan on continuing my subscription and reviewing individual pieces as they come up.
Their website is: http://www.symboliamag.com