Launched with $34,000 in grants, Symbolia: The Tablet Magazine of Illustrated Journalism, a digital journal designed for the iPad that specializes in comics and illustrated nonfiction reports, debuts today in the app store. Founded by Erin Polgreen, former managing director of the Media Consortium and a longtime evangelist for comics journalism, Symbolia’s inaugural issue is free and the journal will publish six issues a year for $2.99 per issue or $11.99 for a yearly subscription.
Debuted at a panel on comics and journalism held at last year’s SXSW Interactive, Symbolia was founded by Polgreen and launched with a $20,000 grant from the International Women’s Media Fund and $14,000 from Chicago-based Robert McCormick Foundation and J-Lab. Symbolia is designed to show off the power and effectiveness of using comics and illustration, in addition to video, sound and interactive animation, as a vehicle to deliver news and serious nonfiction storytelling.
The debut issue of Symbolia is based on the theme, “How We Survive,” and looks at a combination of environmental and social issues, including “Sea Change” by Susie Cagle, the story of California’s Salton Sea, a man-made salt lake headed for an environmental disaster; “Secret Species in Congo” by Kat Fajardo, a look at discovery of new fish species in the Congo River; and “The Rollerbladers of Sulaymaniyah” by Sarah Glidden, an examination of social life in Iraqi Kurdistan. Other contributors include cartoonist Andy Warner and writer Laruen Sommer (“Live Long, Die Quick”) and artist Damien Scogin and writer Chris A. Smith (“Ask Me about Psych Rock in Zambia”). Stories include audio, with interviews and comments from subjects of the stories and animation.
Full article at PW