Hi and welcome to Ink!
If you like your intros short and punchy, I'm happy to tell you that we’re a magazine about comics and their social reflections and implications, publishing every fortnight as a digital newsletter. You can subscribe here, find supplementary reviews and interviews on our website or read our latest issue:
But I’m a fan of the drop lede so, if you have time, allow me tell you a story.
Ink in context
The first assignment of my first year at university almost 10 years ago was to write a book review. It was unexpected coursework - given that I was studying TV production - but I’m a reader so I only complained socially. The book I chose was Gaston Leroux’s The Phantom of the Opera, which made me feel distinguished and set me on a well-worn path of complaining about pop culture adaptations.
I didn’t have many expectations for my results but I’d always done well at English Lit and Lang so there was no reason to think it would be as bad as it was. Still a teenager, and a know-it-all at that, my first experience of real criticism as a writer was harsh on my academically secured ego. I have no idea what the grade would amount to now, but the feedback essentially said that I was bad at writing reviews because I had “analysed the book too much”.
Time has rolled on. I’m older and care less about most things, like birthdays and staying up past ten, but I still ponder over this criticism long after finishing that degree and getting another one in journalism. Although I’ve been rigorously trained by BBC veterans and the like to produce content in a number of ways, I have a natural proclivity towards essay and analysis that will happily take over a first draft if I let it.
Ink issue #1: Citizen Trump (18/01/2017)
And why not? Society is, as Donald Trump might say, complicated. It warrants looking at. And it must have been wrong for my lecturer at the time to assume that I was the only person in the world that would want to read something in that style, because I’m a pretty derivative person.
In the press release for Ink’s launch in January 2017, I am quoted arrogantly stating that it’s a one-of-a-kind publication that aims to champion comics as an art form, medium and language while discussing its place in wider literature and culture. These aims are true, but for the magazine to be that one-of-a-kind revolution, a masterpiece of all things journalism, I need you to help me acknowledge how far from original my brain is.
I’ve worked in bookshops and sat in marketing meetings that have shown me how little respect graphic storytelling still gets as an art form. To change the way comics are seen and experienced and to make them accessible to all, with a diverse group of artists surviving the process of creating them, we need to fund this industry.
We need your brains! Your ideas, your feedback, your recommendations and your stories are the essential ingredients for achieving our lofty aims. And if you have money you’d like to exchange for even more content and interviews with the most fascinating people on Earth, then we really appreciate that too.
Ink issue #5: "You're all fake news" (15/03/2017)
The Patreon part
My primary mission in signing Ink up as a Patreon creator is to be able to consistently pay my staff writers a fair amount for the work they do. The value of art - and journalism is art, of a kind - has been drastically diminished by the internet despite all the exposure perks. I can’t in good faith advocate for the fair funding of comics creators while letting people send me amazing pieces for free.
Until we reach our second goal of covering hosting and website costs with enough left over to pay them a reasonable amount I will be splitting the amount pledged for each newsletter equally between the contributors to that issue. To maintain our journalistic integrity, this will not include guest articles.
Further down the line I want to be able to hire a social media and marketing assistant to spread the word and further increase the diversity of this community. The more artists, writers creators, fans, journalists and scholars know about our project, the wider the range of our representation will be.
If you want detailed coverage of comics that goes beyond the mainstream, holds the industry accountable, and asks a lot of questions ranging from completely relevant to kind of fringe notions then you are the person we want to talk to.
All pledges come with extra content and other nifty rewards, which will be updated regularly. Don't forget to subscribe to the Ink newsletter for maximum reading opportunities.
Thank you so much for your time, your support and your brains!