Ready to practice comics journalism? Ask these questions before you commit

Pairing illustration with news gathering is not a new idea.

More than a century ago, the Illustrated London News hired artistic journalists, like its “Special War Artist” Melton Prior, to draw global events. Over the past few years news organizations both national (The New York Times Magazine) and local (WCPO in Cincinnati) have used comics to tell true stories.

But creating non-fiction comics can be tricky. It certainly has been for me. While reporting for a newspaper in Missouri, it took several of us months to get my first piece of comics journalism off the ground, because of a host of formatting, aesthetic and ethical issues I simply hadn’t anticipated.

To better understand the medium, I interviewed a dozen journalists, artists and editors about their best practices for creating comics journalism. Based on their responses, here are seven questions every artist and editor should ask.

Some quotes were condensed for clarity.


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