Startup merges comic books, digital journalism


Do comics, serious journalism and tablet computers mix? The founders of the new illustrated tablet magazine startup Symbolia think so.

Symbolia is described as “a tablet magazine of illustrated journalism that pairs incendiary reporting with thoughtful illustration and comics.”

The project is funded by The International Women’s Media Foundation, the McCormick Foundation and J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism and seeks “to provide an immersive, engaging experience for a new generation of newshounds.”

The magazine can be read on a tablet or as a PDF file on a computer. It costs $2.99 per issue or $11.99 for six.

“Symbolia is the first U.S. publication dedicated exclusively to ‘comics journalism,’ ” says Jessica Weisberg in an article for the Columbia Journalism Review. “While serious graphic novels — like ‘Maus’ or ‘Persepolis’ — have proven that comics can handle difficult subjects, serious nonfiction comics are still rare.”