The Panels 2015 Read Harder Challenge consists of 26 challenge categories spanning the breadth and depth of all things that may be considered comics. Every week we’ll give you reading recommendations from one of the categories.
One of the first comics genres to pop into my head when I was considering my contributions to the 2015 Panels Read Harder Challenge was comics journalism. It’s a genre I don’t see mentioned often in general comics discussion, so what better way to “read harder” than to start here?
The Columbia Journalism Review keeps it concise when they define comics journalism as “the shorthand term for reported nonfiction told through sequential art.”
The first comics journalism creator I was introduced to was Joe Sacco, famous for graphic novels like Palestine and Footnotes in Gaza. Admittedly, I haven’t investigated comics journalism very far beyond Sacco’s work, which is something I’ll rectify while I’m reading harder this year.
When I polled my fellow Panelteers, they had fewer recommendations than usual. I think this is a sign we may all be digging for books in this area over the course of the year. It’s time to hook us all up with some resources and a few recommendations from my fellow writers who have explored this area a bit more.
Terms of Service: Understanding our Role in the World of Big Data by Michael Keller and Josh Neufeld (Al Jazeera America)
Al Jazeera America produced and tapped two of their own to create this comic about the history of big tech companies and how they use (and abuse) our personal information. It’s a thought-provoking piece meant to make us really consider how companies like Google and Facebook are gathering and using our data. Like all Al Jazeera coverage, it’s free.– Chris Arnone
A.D.: New Orleans After the Deluge by Josh Neufeld
How to Understand Israel in 60 Days or Less by Sarah Glidden
You can also find a load of recommendations on this Goodreads list, “The Best in Sequential Art: War, Journalism, Auto/Biographies and Historical Non/Fiction.”