Welcome to the South Side Weekly’s first ever Comics Issue. In the past the Weekly has published profiles of South Side artists and musicians, stories about political events, and even recipes from South Side food institutions, all in comic form. This issue, chock-full of words and pictures about life on the South Side, is our ode to comics journalism— illustrated reporting, visual storytelling, whatever you want to call it. The comics journalism form is an exciting outlet for the Weekly’s brand of narrative non-fiction; it helps us fulfill that old adage advising writers to “show, not tell.”
This issue features works from one of the Weekly’s most prolific comic contributors, Jean Cochrane, a comic interview with comic artist Lowell Thompson, and contributions from members of the Illustrated Press and the Ladydrawers Comics Collective. Alongside these works by experienced cartoonists and writers are comics made by sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from the mid-South Side. These aspiring storytellers learned about the history and craft of comics from cartoonist and Illustrated Press member Jamie Hibdon as part of StoryArts Summer Camp, a two-week program run out of the Logan Center for the Arts. These tweens’ first forays in the medium are published here as a nod to the Weekly’s commitment to giving young storytellers a platform for their work.
At the Weekly, we’ve always believed a comic is an engaging and effective way to tell stories. After reading through the stories that follow—stories of fact and fiction, of historical and current events, by professionals and newcomers—we hope you’ll come to agree.
RaceMan’s Answers: “This is where RaceMan was born.” | By Hannah Nyhart and Baci Weiler
Huelguistas & Abuelitas: “Signatures turned into strikers, and their work turned into a plan to build a new school.” | By Olivia Adams and Jean Cochrane
Longstreet: “Whether I’m on the North or South Side I say, ‘Hey, welcome to the bus’s.” | By Illustrated Press
Roots & Migrations: “Talking to people about food traditions is important.” | By Anne Elizabeth Moore and Sarah Becan
Jane: Underground Abortion on Chicago’s South Side: “Jane was anonymous, so there are few records of its volunteers.” | By Jean Cochrane and Amber Sollenberger
StoryArts Summer Camp Comics: Comics made by sixth, seventh, and eighth graders at StoryArts Summer Camp