When I first heard about The Nib shutting down, I felt like I’d been gut-punched. It’s weird, but it had felt like, somehow, The Nib would always be there, supporting amazing comics journalism, political cartoons, memoir, and short nonfiction comics. It became an institution.

I remember meeting The Nib founder and editor Matt Bors at an Alternative Press Expo (APE) in San Francisco sometime around 2010. I stopped at his table to buy a book, and chatted with him briefly about his work. At that time, he was already putting out skilled, perceptive comics journalism like War is Boring (that one together with David Axe). His confidence and mission already seemed clear, so the fact that he went on to do even more great things in nonfiction comics didn’t surprise me. 

Bors has been joined at The Nib by a stellar team, including features editor Eleri Harris, associate editor Mattie Lubchansky, contributing editors Shay Mirk, Whit Taylor, and Andy Warner, and designer Mark Kaufman

They’ve given me hope for the medium. They’ve incubated and elevated a generation of talented creators and treated them with respect (paying out over $2M to contributors!). There’s a nice interview about how they view their legacy here

The Nib email signup form: "Rise and Shine. The World is Doomed. The Nib, delivered to your inbox every AM. Button text: Sign up."
Screenshot of the ever-cheeky The Nib signup form.

When The Nib stops publishing new pieces at the end of August, they will leave huge shoes to fill. Who will fill that space? And it raises a larger question in my mind: if they can’t make it work, with their superior quality and acclaim, who can? 

I also felt a little ashamed. Despite admiring The Nib enormously, I’d never opened my wallet to them before. Somehow I assumed they were doing fine. Of course, I alone wouldn’t have been a deciding factor, but I still wished I had supported them more. 

In a sad dash to collect some of their print work before it’s gone, I purchased several collections from their store and tracked down another out-of-print volume at an indie bookstore. They are beautiful.

Five Nib print volumes are arranged on a wooden floor.

Support your indies

Now, more than ever, hold tight to your favorite indie comics publication. Support them in any way you can. With spiking publication costs, inflation, and other resource challenges, it’s rough waters ahead and it’s only getting harder, even for the best. (Is this a bad time to mention The Beat’s own Patreon? I’m a proud member.)

Here are a few other notable publications and platforms for short nonfiction comics, political comics, and comics journalism to consider supporting, in no particular order. If you have other favorites, please share them in the comments below!

I’m super grateful that—per Bors’ own messageThe Nib is making arrangements to preserve their digital archives online. Be sure to check them out in their last month of new comics!

I also know The Nib team and creators will do great things no matter where they go next and wish them all the best. (Go buy things from them while you still can!

But I ache for the future of paid short comics journalism, editorial cartoons, and nonfiction comics. It’s a tremendous loss, because it’s been a tremendous gift for the decade they’ve served us comics. Thank you, The Nib.