Today Matt Bors, founder, editor, and publisher of The Nib, announced that the award-winning comics magazine will cease regular publication both in print and online. In a post on the magazine’s website Bors wrote that the current issue of The Nib, The Future Issue, will be the last from the publication in print, while they will continue to release comics online through the end of August.
In the letter to readers, Bors explained some of what went into the decision to shut down, and reflected on the publication’s accomplishments since its launch in 2013:
This was an incredibly hard decision to make and there’s no one factor involved. Rather it involves, well, everything. The rising costs of paper and postage, the changing landscape of social media, subscription exhaustion, inflation, and the simple difficulty of keeping a small independent publishing project alive with relatively few resources—though we did a lot with them. The math isn’t working anymore.
I’m really proud of what we have accomplished. Over the past decade, The Nib has published more than 6,000 comics and paid out more than $2 million to creators. Countless book projects have launched from Nib pieces and a number of creators had their first professional comics published with us. For ten years we were the outlet supporting political cartooning and showcasing the possibilities of nonfiction comics. Rather than enduring years of painful cuts and diminishing output, I’d rather go out while The Nib is still in a place that feels respectable, rather than run the publication into the ground.
I didn’t want to shut down overnight. That felt too abrupt and I’d like to do right by our contributors and editors. We still have an entire magazine’s worth of comics that deserve to be published online, and continuing the site through the summer allows us to get some much needed funds for paying our bills, setting up some long term measures to preserve the website, and paying all of our editors a severance.
Bors also states that The Nib may return for special projects at some point, but that there are currently none of those planned.
In the decade since its launch, The Nib has been nominated for numerous comics industry awards, including a 2016 Eisner nom for Best Anthology, an Ignatz award for Outstanding Series in 2019, and a Ringo Award for Best Webcomic also in 2019, among others. Bors himself received the Transformative Work Award at 2019’s Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, while a number of The Nib contributors have received award nominations and wins for work published in the magazine and online.
For Bors, shuttering regular operations of The Nib feels like a logical step in a career that has already evolved quite a bit over the past few years. The cartoonist retired from political cartooning in 2021, and last year saw the release of his first periodical comics work, Justice Warriors from AHOY Comics with co-creator Ben Clarkson. The pair are already working on a second installment of the series, which made its way onto many Best Of 2022 lists including The Beat‘s own.
The final print issue of The Nib is available to order now, as is plenty of other merch from the publication. Get it while it’s hot.