out of the ghetto and into the newsroom
I went into this weekend at the National Conference for Media Reform expecting a lot of hand-shaking and back-patting — and not necessarily a whole lot else, to be honest. I am forever the cynic, especially when it comes to events where preaching to the choir seems to be the main course (e.g. comics conventions). However, while I don’t want to give away the ending of my illustrated piece for Truthout, I came away from NCMR with quite a different feeling. I think preaching to the choir works when there’s a culture of collaboration instead of straight competition; self-made abundance as opposed to scarcity, that sort of thing. I’m drawing and painting the Truthout piece today and tomorrow, and I’ll be filing as soon as it’s dry.
Not to say there wasn’t hand-shaking and back-patting too. I met a ton of amazing people over the weekend, so many of whom were excited about the possibilities of comics journalism! It was appropriate timing that my piece for Campus Progress was blowing up via Consumerist and the Huffington Post the very same day we gave our (awesome! engaging! well-reviewed!) panel on graphic reportage. Editors, take note: if you want traffic, you want comics.
So along those lines of creating spaces for this kind of work while also fostering collaboration and abundance, I launched GraphicJournos.com this weekend. GraphicJournos had been in the pipeline for a while now, and this seemed like a great time to introduce it to the world. We are a small collective of reportage illustrators of various stripes and interests who are coming together to promote the concept of fact-based graphic storytelling. If you’re reading this blog, I probably don’t need to convince you, but please keep your eye on the site, and follow us on Twitter. We’ll be posting our own recent work, as well as the work of other creators we appreciate in comics, illustration and design, writing on topics like the ethics of drawn journalism, process and multimedia experiments, plus best practices and how-tos for editors interested in this stuff (which should be all of you!).
I’m excited! Time to draw.