Dan Archer


Dan Archer creates non-fictional, journalistic comics to offer a new perspective on US foreign and domestic policy and give voice to stories that wouldn’t otherwise be heard. His journalistic pieces have been published by the Huffington Post, Alternet, The Guardian UK, Presente, Operamundi (Brazil), Expressbuzz (India) and Independent World Report. He was recently awarded the John S. Knight Fellowship for Professional Journalists at Stanford University, where he designed interactive multimedia comics to tell new stories - one example being the Nisoor Square shootings of 2007. He has authored several non-fiction works that include The Honduran Coup: A Graphic History, What a Whopper, and Borderland: Seven Stories as Told by Victims of Human Trafficking (produced with Olga Trusova in conjunction with the International Organization for Migration) and is currently working on a graphic novel titled The Hardhat Riots. He received his MFA in cartooning from the Center for Cartoon Studies in Vermont and co-teaches the Stanford Graphic Novel Project through the Creative Writing Program. See his work at: http://www.archcomix.com.

Using illustrated reportage to cover human trafficking in Nepal’s brick kilns

I am writing this from Kathmandu, Nepal, where I’m currently reporting on human trafficking using graphic journalism. I chose Nepal because visuals have huge potential here to reach at-risk communities with low literacy levels. Using comics to adapt survivor testimonies into a visual format preserves both the impact of the story as well as the identity of the storytellers.

Often when conducting interviews or visiting sites where trafficking is taking place, it would either be inappropriate, disrespectful or at worst traumatic for the subjects to be filmed or photographed as they share their stories. Somehow sketching circumvents that issue and, in many cases, has helped forge a closer connection between me and my interviewee, as was the case in the examples below. I’m also part of a research team conducting the first in-depth study to quantify the effectiveness of different media in awareness-raising programs in the field: my comics comprise the main content. Read more


An introduction to comics journalism, in the form of comics journalism

To some, the only connection between comics and newspapers is in the funny pages, or a single panel editorial cartoon. However, a new breed of journalist is emerging: one that is as comfortable conducting interviews and following leads as he or she is sitting behind a drawing board with brush pens.

This first in a two-part series explains the difference between the various approaches used by news organizations of incorporating visuals into their stories: from satirical, opinionated political cartoons to long-form reportage.

Click below for an Interactive Experience

The comic below was designed to be read with supporting information, in some cases adding more details about a particular journalists’ work, in others, attributing the source material that the panel references.

In order to fully explore the piece in this way, click on the pages below and a new, larger version will display in a pop-up window. Read more