Founder, editor, and contributing cartoonist Matt Bors announced today that his online and print magazine comics publishing operation The Nib will close down this summer. Matt cites many economic and social media-environmental factors leading to the decision. Link to his statement here.
"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."
In an email to his cartoonist contributors, Matt wrote: "It was a good ride and it was the honor of my lifetime."
It is amazing what Matt accomplished with The Nib, creating one of the most important and respected comics publications in the history of the artform.
Of course, accolades for The Nib and Matt have been many, but it's ironic that this announcement comes on the heels of an Eisner nomination for Best Anthology for The Nib magazine. And just this morning, Cory Doctorow gave Matt and his comic book series Justice Warriors a rapturous review:
The internet did not create Matt Bors, but the internet would be a much poorer place without Bors and his acerbic, scorchingly funny webcomics, which he publishes at The Nib (a site he founded), amongst some of the web's most iconic humor: link
Founding The Nib and creating a home for all those great webcomics would be legacy enough for one creator, but Bors monumental accomplishment with The Nib is topped by his savage creation, Mr Gotcha, the single most effective rebuttal to the most annoying Reply Guys on the whole internet:
Dayenu: if he had only founded The Nib, it would be enough. If he had only created Mr Gotcha, it would be enough. But Bors continues to amaze and delight. In Justice Warriors, a graphic novel he co-produced with Ben Clarkson, we get a distillate of all the weird, crazed things both grotesque and lovable about the net of a thousand lies: link
Of course, Matt will continue to create his fantastic comics, and if there's any silver lining from the sad news of the termination of The Nib, maybe he'll have time to do even more.
From a personal perspective, my own comic strip "Tom the Dancing Bug" has appeared regularly and then intermittently in The Nib, and I contributed an original comic to its print magazine. So the operation has meant a lot to me, and I know to a lot of cartoonists. And, most importantly, to a lot of readers.