Interview: Bors & Mirk and End of The Nib

As The Nib prepares to take a bow with its final issue, we took a look back with Matt Bors. He’s a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist for editorial cartooning, and the founder and editor of The Nib. We also talked with award-winning graphic novelist, zinester and contributing editor for The Nib, Sarah Shay Mirk.

They spoke with Oregon Public Braodcasting’s Donald Orr about the legacy The Nib leaves behind.

Matt Bors: Well you know, the reason why I started The Nib in the first place was to establish a place for political cartoons and nonfiction comics, which at the time in 2013, political cartooning was sort of famously dying. And then nonfiction cartooning was sort of just starting to flourish.

So my hope is I think that we contributed to that a lot, we provided a platform for a lot of cartoonists over the years. We’ve published 6,000-some comics. Careers have been launched from The Nib, some book projects. So I’m happy about that, and I hope that that’s the legacy for comic creators.

Sarah Shay Mirk: I also think that The Nib, very importantly, was a platform to publish young artists, artists who are people of color, queer artists and other people who are marginalized by the mainstream publishing industry and the comics industry. So Matt could definitely speak to this, but the world of political cartooning and nonfiction comics has often been, like, old, white men.

But there’s now this whole generation of younger artists. A lot of them are people of color, a lot of them are under 40 and they have really great ideas, really funny work and are extremely talented artists. That’s who The Nib has really been a home for. For me, that’s been really the heart of what The Nib does, is publish comics that nobody else is gonna publish. We’re the home for comics that don’t have a home elsewhere.