COMICS JOURNALISM: TOWARDS A DEFINITION

KENAN KOÇAK

Abstract


The origins of comics journalism are in the Glasgow Looking Glass magazine which is also accepted as the first modern comics. Today’s understanding of comics journalism goes back to Joyce Brabner and Lou Ann Merkle who published Real War Stories in late 1980s which coincides with the rise of graphic novels. It was Joe Sacco who popularised the comics journalism genre in the early 1990s with especially his books on the Israeli–Palestinian conflict and the Bosnian War.

There are undeniable similarities between comics journalism and new journalism of the 1960s and 1970s such as subjective reporting and effort to liken the genre to novel writing. Both comics journalism and new journalism are a kind of literary journalism and have roots in the underground tradition of the 1960s. Like that new journalism grew bigger as being against the Vietnam War, comics journalism has expanded after September 11 attacks. Whereas before 9/11 there were only a few comics journalists, this number has grown more than three times after September 11.

The issues covered by comics journalism are mostly shaped by American politics although there are also a number of examples dealing with topics like global warming and protests movements. Comics journalism is the last phase of the long history of visual journalism which can be even traced back to cave paintings.

This study aims to make a definition of comics journalism by focusing mainly on war journalism. 


Keywords


Comics, graphic novel, journalism, comics journalism, graphic journalism

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