The Illustrated Press: Chicago

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When we started this project, the term “comics journalism” was so foreign we had to explain what we meant. “You mean it’s comics and journalism?”

In a nutshell: yes.

We’re still defining our view on the genre more than a year later, but there have been a multitude of reasons to celebrate along the way. For starters, we’ve met people from all over the city and have been lucky enough to hear their stories. Everyone featured in this book exists day to day in Chicago and all of the quotes are direct from their experiences. So when we say comics journalism, we mean narrative non-fiction stories told through first-hand reportage and finely tuned illustration. From the start, we intended to tell people-first tales and this book represents that approach. The stories are told through our own filters, but their impressions are true. Likewise, their imprints are built into the words and illustration.

Over the last year we’ve made new friends, created new networks, developed an organic partnership and tried our best to start new conversations. The illustrated journalism movement is burgeoning, with new writers, artists and publishers consistently supporting new works. That’s something we couldn’t be happier about. While traditional news media struggles to find new footholds, comics journalism has the potential to incite new and immersive ways of seeing the world.

Aside from readers and our partner publications, interest from our fellow members of the press has been inspiring. Coverage from the Chicago Tribune, The Columbia Journalism Review and a number of local and online outlets has introduced our project to wider audiences and shows that upstart outlets like our own can have an impact on the media landscape.

Thanks to the Weisman foundation and the Kickstarter community for fully funding our efforts. And thanks to everyone in these pages who shared their stories with us.

-Darryl Holliday and E. N. Rodriguez


*We’re currently in the process of writing, reporting and illustrating more stories, including one for a project with WBEZ’s Curious City, so check back with us!