Sunday, November 25, 2018

The Nib Issue 1: Death

I read a lot of comics, and some of my favorite webcomics are published by The Nib, which runs political cartoons or nonfiction works. When they ran a Kickstarter campaign recently to start a print magazine, I was all too happy to sign up. This issue is their first, and it's more like a book, 110 pages in length. It offers plenty of content, divided into four sections, and the variety of works contained here is exemplary. 

The first section is Departments, which consists of items like Letters to the Editor (illustrated, naturally), an interview with Barbara Ehrenreich, and the Response feature, which here is four artists responding to the question of what they want to happen to their bodies after they die.
Comic by Emi Gennis

The second section is Dispatches, which consists of sundry strips about how the Day of the Dead compares to Halloween, a history of representations of death, and a few different takes on how funeral services are being practiced.
Excerpt of comic by Josh Neufeld

The third section is Features, which consists of larger comics. Here, there is an exploration of how tech millionaires are funding research into longevity; a fascinating look at the history of lethal injection in the US, and a memoir about losing a baby during birth.
Excerpt of comic by Andy Warner

The final section is a hodgepodge of strips, some funny and others more sober, that comment on death and how people deal with it.

The contents of this magazine are first rate, well drawn, thoughtfully composed, and diverse in terms of scope and tone. This magazine offers much food for thought as well as entertainment, and I hope that it runs for a long, long time.

I had a hard time finding reviews of this magazine, but the one I did read was very positive. Matt Keeley called it "a triumph." 

The Nib publishes multiple comics pretty much everyday, and the web version is available here. Future print issues of the magazine can be purchased here by becoming a member of the Inkwell Society. They plan to publish on a quarterly schedule.

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