In the next issue of Symbolia, we’re looking to tell all. This issue will focus on thoughtful, revealing—sometimes humorous—first-person memoirs. We’re looking for stories of fundamental change, rites of passage, and personal transformation. Think secret lives, travel, survival, adventure, perseverance, and coming to know oneself. This issue will build on a strong tradition of autobiographical comics and zines. We’re especially excited to push the boundaries for interactive content in this issue and look forward to pitches with intriguing ideas for sounds, animation, and other elements that will enhance the story. We’re looking for writers, artists, and journalists with experience crafting interactive content. We will pay special attention to pitches for global stories. Note that all work will be fact-checked and will need to be well-documented. Symbolia pays creators for their work. The deadline to submit a pitch for this issue is FRIDAY, AUGUST 9.
“Is Jack Kirby better than The Cremaster Cycle? Can’t we just have a world FULL of things that are in some way amazing, beautiful, touching and mind boggling, and not just five or six Sistine Chapels?”—Wertham and Are Comics Art? — is it 1981 again?
“Polgreen has said that at least 50 percent of contributors for each issue [of Symbolia] will be women. “The lack of women is an ongoing issue in both the journo and comics worlds, and this is a way to address it,” says Polgreen, who also runs a Tumblr called Graphic Ladies!?, a showcase of women’s work.”—
Check out this sneak preview of Symbolia in CJR! More news soon, we promise. (via symboliamag)
Graphic Ladies!? got a shoutout in CJR as part of a profile of Symbolia. We can’t wait to share our new project with you. If you’re a lady comics maker—or journo—and want to pitch Symbolia, click here.
When was the first time you realized legislation had an effect on your body?
Please write a few paragraphs about said question and send them to Ladydrawers: TheLadydrawers@gmail.com. We would greatly appreciate it! And if you have others who have an interesting story to tell or are down to answering our question please pass this e-mail around!
”—The Ladydrawers are thinking about legislation. Drop them a line if this call applies to you.
“Immersive” is the word [Polgreen] reaches for when asked what illustrative journalism does better than, say, a story like this one, mostly made of words. “Illustrated journalism draws you in. It’s accessible in a way 5,000 words of text isn’t. Regardless of age, gender or anything, you grasp it faster than most journalism.”
I flipped through Symbolia.
Cartoonist-journalist Sarah Glidden has a piece about rollerblading in Iraq; there’s a nice primer on psych rock in Zambia; a fun story about scientists and new species; and, best, Bay Area journalist Susie Cagle (who refers to herself as a “former words-only reporter”) presents a story about the future of the Salton Sea, rooted in interviews with people who live in California’s Imperial Valley and have watched the Salton dissolve. It condenses environmental degradation and class differences, history and anxiety, empathy and anger into about two dozen bright, smartly illustrated pages, painting a literal, graspable narrative of a complex subject.
Symbolia, the forthcoming tablet magazine that merges comics+journalism is committed to parity. Our goal is to book at least 50% women contributors in every issue. Help spread the word!
“Still, that’s not to say that texts always operate in exactly the same way if we read them as fact or as fiction. This idea didn’t crystallize for me until the cartoonist Seth told me about a compliment he received from Art Spiegelman, who said he preferred It’s A Good Life If You Don’t Weaken as a work of fiction. Intrigued, I asked Spiegelman to explain exactly what happened when he changed the lens. “My first impression of the book was that it was a well-crafted, but excruciatingly slow and ‘low-stakes’ report on the artist’s not-all-that-exciting obsessional collecting,” he said. “Learning it was all invented and not relatively straightforward ‘first-degree’ reporting made me slow down and pay more attention to the details of what Seth was showing on the slow ride, and even let it all read as parody of other low-stakes autobio work.” Whatever the stakes, it’s important to remember that no story—even (and especially) in journalism—is without its fictions.”—Penis Rays, Self-Loathing and Psychic Voodoo: Autobiographical Cartoonists on Truth and Lies by Kim O’Connor for The Awl.
“Sharp, savvy, unsentimental, and blessed with an expressive pen and a keen ear, Cagle illustrates her eyewitness accounts of encampments, raids, building occupations, marches, and more with images that cut straight to the human core of the stories she gathers.”—Many congrats to Symbolia contributor Susie Cagle for making the Best of the Bay 2012. (via symboliamag)
“McNeil shifts between humor and the grotesque with unnerving dexterity. She plays with our expectations of gender. Class reigns heavily on the story. McNeil collects myth and futuristic technology, and collides them together in a way that dis-locates the reader.”—Anna Clark reviews Finder: Voice by Carla Speed McNeil