The Nib- Death, Family, and Empire

For almost 6 years now the online name in graphic political journalism, The Nib, has been advocating and informing in a way that is approachable to anyone and relatable to many. Using various art styles and subjects, Matt Bors and the whole team have created something that is so important in todays media, a way to make people understand and relate.

My first exposure to The Nib was through their Instagram. I was immediately drawn to the way they distribute information/personal accounts in a humorous but respectful manner or a (warranted) painful realism. That being said, when I saw they were Kickstarting magazines in print only I knew that the nonfiction comics community was about to grow in an incredible way. Those magazines are what I would like to focus on today. To date there have been 3, and each one features relevant content, incredible art, and a plethora of knowledge on each featured subject.

The first issue of The Nib Magazine focused on Death (in case you couldn’t tell). This issue, in my opinion, has at least one story, infographic, or art piece that is relevant to anyone.

Death is a touchy subject and no one’s immune, so it feels very bold for a first issue but I loved it. Stories range from acceptance to deep grief, history lessons on plague to modern day occurrences that should never have to happen, and how different types of lives receive different treatment. Whether it’s pets, friends, or (unfortunately) young ones, this book wants to show you what people have been through and in many segments, why.

Right off the bat I could tell that this series was going to be something. The research, emotional real estate, and general respect that must have gone into this is apparent in every page.

Contributors include: Liliana Segura, Jackie Roche, Andy Warner, Ted Closson, Yazan Al-Saadi, Ghadi Ghosn, Sarah Mirk, Amanda Scurti, John Carvajal, Julia Gfrörer, Levi Hastings, Sophie Yanow, Barbara Ehrenriech, Eleri Harris, Andrew Greenstone, Whit Taylor, Josh Neufeld, Gerardo Alba, Vanessa R. Del Ray, Emi Gennis, Ellen Crenshaw, John Martz, Isabella Rotman, Matt Lubchansky, Pia Guerra, Kasia Babis, Emily Flake, Scott Bateman, Julia Bernhard, Bianca Xunise, Mark Kaufman, Rachel Dukes, Ally Shwed, Dustin Harbin, Phil McAndrew

Whereas the first issue was bold in facing a subject that makes everyone a little uncomfortable the second issue titled Family came out to present us with even more to experience.

The stories covered in this volume are candid and honest, providing us with a look at what can make a family supportive or destructive. So much of this book can be potentially cathartic for someone, and a magazine that can introduce people to new types of family dynamics merits discussion. As a personal note, I was very impressed with the first issue, but I considered the second to be even more brave.

There is such a large spectrum of care a family can provide, this collection of personal accounts provides a snap shot into many of them.

Contributors include: Nicole Georges, Alison Bechdel, Ryan Devereaux, Katie Wheeler, Mathew and Jake New, L. Nichols, Luke Healy, Robyn Jordan, Archie Bongiovanni, Sarah Glidden, Mike Dawson, Maki Naro, Andy Warner, Eleri Harris, Emily Flake, Matt Bors, Teddy Hose, Vreni Stollberger, Joe Decie, Chelsea Saunders, Keith Knight, Andy Warner, Kendra Wells, Ruben Bolling, Nomi Kane, Matt Lubchansky, Jon Rosenberg, Gemma Correll, Joey Alison Sayers, Ben Passmore, Olivia Walsh, Erlend Sandøy, Sim Mau, Jillian Tamaki

Right off the bat, I knew the latest Nib, Empire, had something to say. What I didn’t expect was the variation in content that would be in the issue. I thought that it was going to have a very specific focus (beyond the main theme) which would have been fine with me, but what we actually got was so much more.

The third issue tells us not only tales of empires we may be familiar with, but also those that form out of different ideologies and beliefs including capitalism, religion, media, government drugs, the list goes on and on. In this issue knowledge is power, which each of these artists/writers clearly have in great supply with stories ranging from warfare to the consumption of The Bachelor to the processing of sugar to the background behind Dr. Bronner’s soap (which I use, trivia fact) and beyond.

Contributors include: Hussein Adil, Malaka Gharib, Trinidad Escobar, Andrew Greenstone, Whit Taylor, Tom Humberstone, Robyn Smith, Max Loh, Niccolo Pizarro, Mariah-Rose Marie, Eleri Harris, Masha Gessen, Vreni Stollberger, Ellen Crenshaw, Ben Passmore, Andy Warner, Sofie Louise Dam, Victoria Lomasko, Rosa Colón, Spencer Ackerman, Matt Bors, Nero O’Reilly, Ann Telnaes, Kasia Babis, Marty Two Bulls, Matt Lubchansky, Chelsea Saunders, Fionn McCabe, Brian McFadden, Gemma Correll, Joey Alison Sayers, Rob Rogers, Mark Kaufman

The future is bright, both for The Nib and due to a new flow of important information. The next issue of the Nib is all about scams which I’m SURE will be a trip and they’ve made submission calls for animal stories and (soon) drug stories, so this series has big plans to continue and I couldn’t be more pleased. Get informed, learn some history, and find some great personal stories in the process!

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