The Subscriber Drive has been a big success: thanks for your help! To round things off, I thought I'd look at other people outside The Cartoon Picayune doing excellent nonfiction comics work.
On the macro level, Symbolia has put out a whole year's worth of issues, and brought some excellent work to the tablet while doing it. My favorite issue was probably the one with the theme of Heroines, which had some really beautifully drawn stories that were quite moving. This issue especially was diverse in content and every story was indeed a keeper.
Cartoon Movement is doing a little less this year but still publishing, although former editor Matt Bors has moved over to Medium and started The Nib. He's doing all sorts of stuff over there, including publishing great work like this piece by Josh Neufeld.
Mainstream media also continued to publish freelance pieces of nonfiction comics in various forms. Art Hondros had this piece with the Washington Post magazine. Susie Cagle did many combinations of text and art when she was at Grist. Emi Gennis appeared in Bitch magazine. Andy Warner had more excellent explainers at Slate and elsewhere. There are many other examples.
This year there were plenty of great examples of people doing comics about their own lives but with some distance and perspective. Not necessarily journalism but not necessarily autobio either. Two favorites are this piece by Gabby Schulz and this comic by Mike Freiheit.
Predictions for next year: Higher-profile freelance pieces in national publications, new and exciting books, and new ways to post comics online that are intuitive and offer a natural reading experience.
(above art copyright Josh Neufeld)
The last comic in the new issue is the featured story and is by Adrian Pijoan. He was in the first class at Tom Hart's SAW and has recently taken his passion for science and comics to the University of New Mexico. "Reef" explores the science behind the phenomenon of coral reef bleaching and the latest theories on why it might be happening. Take a look at this extended preview and I'll meet you at the bottom:
This lengthy, in-depth look into the real science of an issue that effects everyone is only possible because of the generous advertisers, donors, and subscribers to The Cartoon Picayune. To read the rest of Adrian's piece, as well as all the others featured in this Subscriber Drive, and to get the limited edition screen print, subscribe today!
Remember Bill Volk from Issue #2? He's back, with more tales of weird Pittsburgh. This is a great story about an fascinating community. Here's footage of the record-breaking parade. You can buy the new issue here, or start your subscription with it here, and recieve our new screen printed postcard.
Today our Subscriber Drive features the first page of Jackie Roche's story in the new issue. I love her style and her enthusiasm for history and folk stories. This story, about Edwin Booth and (spoilers!) Robert Todd Lincoln, is a great example. You can buy the new issue here, or start your subscription with it here, and recieve our new screen printed postcard.
Here's a page from a story in the new Small Worlds issue. It's by local DC artist JTW, and about legendary outsider artist Henry Darger and his secret magnum opus. You can buy the new issue here, or start your subscription with it here, and recieve our new screen printed postcard.
Check it out! This is the beautiful limited edition postcard that Dakota did exclusively for The Cartoon Picayune. It is printed on French Paper Co.'s rich Muscletone Whip Cream stock, in vibrant navy and orange/gold. VGKids did a beautiful job printing it. I love the way Dakota applied his amazing cartooning chops and whimsical, if sometimes disconcerting, style that is often on display in his Dailies. His first book is now available from Conundrum Press, and I cannot wait to see it in person.
For now you can only recieve this beautiful postcard by becoming a subscriber as part of our ongoing Subscriber Drive, which will start you off with the brand new Winter Issue, with the theme of Small Worlds.
The Small Worlds issue is now available to order. That awesome dollhouse cover is by Beth Hetland. Order now and recieve it in time for Christmas. (Gift wrapping is now available and new issues can be shipped before Xmas!) Through next week, I'll be posting more information about it each day as part of our first ever Subscriber Drive!
The reason I'm doing a Subscriber Drive for this issue, instead of a launch party or a debut at a convention, is to show how important subscribers are to the growth of The Cartoon Picayune. A Subscription is cheap: only $10 for one year (and two issues) or $20 for two years (and four issues). Shipping is included, and not only do a save a little money buying this way, but paying upfront gives me the opportunity to do really great things. Your subscription has allowed Andy Warner to take his first foray into reporting, and in this issue, it has helped Adrian Pijoan create awesome groundbreaking science comics (more on this in a day or two).
Please consider subscribing and starting off with this new issue. Your subscription means a lot to The Cartoon Picayune, and it means a lot to me, personally as Editor.
Also, for something extra special, all subscribers will now recieve a limited edition screen print drawn by ascendent first-son-of-Canada Dakota McFadzean until supplies last. I'll talk a little more about that tomorrow, but check out a sneak peak of that hotness below. Thanks again!
Here's what's inside. First is "Sex Workers of the World, Unite!" by Andy Warner. (This issue is for mature readers.) It's our first story supported by advertising, and I helped Andy shape it more directly as a hands-on editor. I think it's a great example of why Andy is becoming one of the best comics journalists working today. Here's a page:
The other longer story in this issue by Emi Gennis. Her commitment to research and documentation in her historical pieces is impressive. "Radium Girls" is a tragic and deftly told story about women poisoned by their own workplace. Take a look:
This issue also has a new section with shorter stories called Briefs. The first is mine and it's another piece about Kirk Francis, mobile cookie entrepreneur. "Feeding the Meter" is a quick look at Kirk's business and the proposed regulations that he worries may change it. Finally, newcomer Erik Thurman guides us through the challenges of owning South Korean coffee shops in "Seoul Grind."
Don't forget that the next issue's theme is Small Worlds, and that the deadline for pitches is August 1st. Email me with any questions or ideas you might have.