Tuesday, May 23, 2023

The End of The Nib

From The Nib

Illustration by Jim Rugg

Matt Bors writes:

After ten years of publishing, The Nib is going to close down this summer. 

The new issue of our magazine, the Future issue, will be our last. We will continue to publish online every weekday through August and then shut down.

To all those who have supported us and published with us, thank you. To the readers whom I know this disappoints, I’m sorry, but it couldn’t be avoided.

If you’re a member: You don’t have to do anything. Your membership will continue through August and then be automatically canceled. During that time we will be publishing daily as usual, including new comics from our regular lineup.

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.

If you’re not a current member of The Nib, you can buy the Future issue as well as the back stock of magazines we have in our store.

I’ll also add that The Nib will likely reconvene for an anthology or special projects some day. But I don’t want to lead with that as if this is some sort of media pivot. 

The daily comics and the print magazine will come to an end and we will cease publishing. What has been my job for the last ten years—truly my dream job—will end and I don’t have plans beyond that.

This great team of editors and contributors I’ve assembled will then be scattered, but I know the plan for all of us will be the same: continue to make comics. 

I will have more to say about our decade of publishing closer to when we shut down, but for now I’d like to acknowledge the editors who helped shape the publication over the years: Eleri Harris, Mattie Lubchansky, Andy Warner, Whit Taylor, and Shay Mirk, as well as our print designer Mark Kaufman, and of course our countless contributors.

Thanks for reading and supporting us all these years.

Matt Bors, Editor and Publisher (2013-2023)

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