The Nib is six years old this week. Here’s what we’re planning next.
Note: This was a newsletter sent this week to Inkwell members who support The Nib. I’m making it public for the occasion of our birthday and all that is going on with the publication right now.
This week marks six years since I launched The Nib as an outlet for political cartoons and non-fiction. Since then we’ve been through two major publishers and as of last month are now running independently. As you might imagine, I’ve been thinking a lot in recent weeks about what we’ve done and where we’re going from here.
If you signed up recently for membership or have been supporting us from the beginning: thank you. You’re literally the only reason we’re publishing comics right now.
I had our former intern Erlend Sandøy draw up a lovely anniversary image (that’s all of you dancing around the fire) and illustrate two data points I really wanted to get out there: that we’ve published over 4,000 comics and put over $1.5 million into the hands of cartoonists. In another six year, I want to be able to say we’ve doubled those numbers.
We wrapped up The Nib’s summer fundraiser having just surpassed our goal of raising $15,000 in donations and merch sales. (If you’d still like to donate or buy something, the page is still live here. Sorry, the mug is sold out!) I wanted to take this newsletter to tell you a bit about what I’m using the money for and what I’m planning for the next twelves months.
First, I’m re-establishing the regular lineup as much as possible. That means Tom Tomorrow, Jen Sorensen, and Matt Lubchansky in there as often as possible, along with Joey Alison Sayers, Gemma Correll, Kasia Babis and all the others who contributed short satire on a regular basis.
I’ve always wanted The Nib to build up younger political cartoonists as well as publish the top ones so the regular lineup will include work from recent Locher Award winner Chelsea Saunders, last year’s Locher award winner Charis JB, and Niccolo Pizarro, who you may have seen in September taking on Alan Dershowitzand standup comedians.
For longer non-fiction work, I am currently publishing comics that were finished before leaving First Look and will begin commissioning more of that type of work soon. These kind of comics are more time-intensive and expensive, so there will be less of them than when we had an editing staff of four, but it’s still a crucial element of the publication to me.
Some of the money is going to go toward a new website. The designers and engineers at First Look, who we worked with for years, have built us a new Wordpress site to transfer the entire archive over from the current site they built for us in 2016. Having them do this is beyond helpful, but after they launch it and hand off to me this month, I’ll need some ongoing design support to improve on what they have made.
The Animals issue of the magazine is in the works — Drugs is after that and I’ve even got cover art for the issue after that — but I’ve started thinking about other print projects The Nib could take on. So there’s a big book collection on the horizon: an anthology of our best queer comics. We have such a breadth of queer history, non-fiction, and satire comics that it seemed an obvious fit for a nice themed collection of some of the work we put out over the last few years. Expect to hear more about that next month.
There will also be a [REDACTED BY THE AUTHOR]. And I’m thinking about other ways to do more books and print projects. Oh, and we’ll be launching an online bookstore soon! And doing more merch. And surely other things.
If there’s one thing good coming out of this transition — beyond the huge outpouring of support we received — it’s that I’m more free to take on or create new projects for The Nib on the fly, as I am now the sole publisher for the first time in addition to being the editor.
So I’m staying busy. Thanks for reading and supporting The Nib all these years. You keep doing that and we’ll keep drawing.