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. Once it does, hover with your cursor over different parts of the panels for related links to the content. Preview descriptions describing the content will appear (when available) if you hover over the panels for a few seconds. Then click to view the source material in a new browser window.

Dan Archer is a comics journalist and recent John S. Knight Fellow.

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  • Darryl Cunningham

    How excellent. Here’s another example.

  • D. Brian Burghart

    I don’t believe that they could/would influence a jury, particularly in light of the massive coverage by television, radio and the other print press at the time–him being a public figure and all. In fact, last week, before I was on his radio show (he was released from prison a year or so ago), he told me that that story was the only fair coverage he got.

  • Anonymous

    So, you created substance, in the way of facial drawings, body language depictions, clothing, items drawn into the frame … where there was not substance in the indictments? Can you deny these graphic depictions could influence a jury selected from your readers? 

  • Anonymous

    – Yet another powerful way to wage subjective influence on the shallow consumer.

  • D. Brian Burghart

    Here’s a pdf document of what we at the Reno News & Review in 2006 called a “graphic nonfiction article,” which was a breaking news story with original interviews and based on government documents.

  • Adam Bessie

    Wonderful work, Dan – and far more easy to follow than my word analysis!

  • Adam Bessie

    Wonderful work, Dan!

  • Anonymous

    Cool.  Where is R. Crumb?  He must fit into this somewhere (as much as Maus, no?)