By Heather Sadusky
CHICAGO (CBS) — What if you could get your news by reading an artistic comic?
That’s exactly what the Illustrated Press has accomplished with their graphic medium for news reporting.
Begun by Darryl Holliday and Erik Rodriguez, The Illustrated Press is an experiment in art and journalism that simplifies and visualizes the news and issues of the day.
The two worked at their school newspaper together, the Columbia Chronicle, and at the time no one was bringing news through comics.
The inspiration came in 2011 when Darryl read a Sun-Times article about a wedding at the Cook County Jail, and immediately thought that’s something readers would want to see.
He put out a note to his artist friends to come along, and Erik responded.
It was their first comic-news story.
While they don’t necessarily cover hard news, the Illustrated Press covers everything from immigration and homicides to housing issues and the CTA.
“It’s a lot of experimentation,” he says of the new journalism style that comes in print and digital forms.
They have released one book, a “comic book,” of all their news creations, and are in the process of working on a second.
The Illustrated Press has covered stories for many Chicago news sites, and if an organization wanted the comic style coverage, they are taking clients.
Darryl says he’d like to expand and gain more artists and journalists, but doesn’t expect to break into the world of the daily news any time soon.
“It takes a good month or two to get a good multi-page story down.”
The first book they put out in 2012 had an award-winning five-page story using the classic sequential graphic style.
Darryl recognizes that it’s a niche and functions more like a magazine than a city news station.
“It’d be hard to do breaking news,” he says of IP’s graphic-style reporting.
Expansion is taking shape, though, in the form of a gallery that will showcase all their comic-style news story coverage.
And further growth could produce monthly news ‘comic books.’