The Nib Closes

The Nib echa la persiana

Cartoonist Matt Bors(Tw) has announced the end of The Nib.

In August, the popular member-funded independent publisher of political cartoons and non-fiction comics will cease publication of their magazine (they used to publish three issues a year) as well as any other print publications and will cease activity on their website, although they will continue to maintain the website for their archive.

The Nib publishes new content every day on its website, mainly political satire, journalism, essays and memoirs in comic form, and declares itself “proudly independent” as an alternative to the content of the big media companies.

The farewell of this imprint, born in September 2013, is due to a series of factors, all of them economic. According to its creator, overheads, the price of paper and postage, inflation and the stagnation of subscriptions, together with a lack of resources, have precipitated the closure.

While there should be no hasty dramatic analyses in the heat of the moment based on two or three recent cases, these are not good times for publishing comics or loose vignettes in their more “traditional” formats, remember that earlier this year, the veteran weekly satirical magazine“El Jueves” announced that it was changing to a monthly magazine due to the increase in the price of paper.

Nor does it seem that other activities related to cartoons are in very good health. At least financially.

A few days ago I read an interview by Pepe Pelayo of Humor Sapiens with Juan García Cerrada, executive secretary of the IQH (Instituto Quevedo de las Artes del Humor) of the Fundación General de la Universidad de Alcalá, in which he was asked about the situation of graphic humour in the world after hearing about the suspension of the Francisco de Quevedo International Graphic Humour Prize (Spain) and the cancellation of the PortoCartoon and the World Press Cartoon and the future, still to be known, of the National Museum of Printing in Portugal, as well as the possibility of the cancellation of the International Biennial “Luis D’Oliveira Guimaraes”.

This is his reply

Well, the disappearance of any event/convention dedicated to humour is bad, and in particular when what for me was the best existing event in the world for humour professionals disappears, it is very sad. I trust in the ability of the President of the World Press Cartoon, Antonio Antunes, to relaunch it. It is not the first time that he has found himself in a compromising situation. The first time was when Sintra stopped supporting it, but it found an alternative. And I hope that now it will succeed again in the face of the unjustifiable position of those in charge of Caldas da Rainha.

Another totally different case is that of entities that have nothing to do with humour, and that make some calls with humour as a reference. This is fine. But they should not be treated in the same way. In Spain, there are several very interesting competitions, such as the Curuxa awards, organised by the Museum of Humour in Fene; the ELGAR Graphic Humour Competition, organised by the Press Association of Malaga; and, of course, the Quevedo Institute of Humour. The GIN-UAH awards, which were strongly reinforced in the penultimate edition, and the Quevedos Ibero-American Graphic Humour Award, which we are fighting to give it stability and we hope that this year it will become annual, as agreed with the Ministries of Culture and Foreign Affairs of the Spanish Government.

The Nib Closes

Cover of the latest issue of The Nib magazine, paradoxically entitled “Future”.

I leave here the link to the anticipated farewell note, published at the end of May on their website.

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