While The New York Times Magazine’s New York issue is a regular, annual occurrence, the way in which editors went about it this year is a novelty. The graphic novel may be an established genre, but graphic newsmagazine, essentially what the Times has turned itself into for the issue, is less familiar territory.
The main portion of the issue is comprised of 11 comics inspired by 12 favorite stories from the Metro section. The intro explaining the decision to transform the stories into comics is itself in comic form. In fact, everything in the magazine, from Jake Silverstein’s editor’s letter to the crossword to the masthead, was hand-drawn.
Each comic was created by a different artist, creating a pleasing scroll of colors and styles, from Tillie Walden’s swirls of rasberry, salmon pink, orange and purple for Twin Flames to the expressive faces in Andrew Rae’s The Birdman of Queens. Each comic comes with a link to the original story that inspired it.
You can check out the digital version of the magazine here. The print issue will be out Sunday. The cover, if you’re wondering, is by Bill Bragg, and is a panel from his story inside the magazine called The Window Gazers, which not only comes with wonderfully detailed city streetscapes, but a great ending.
For more backstory, check out Silverstein’s interview about the issue in It’s Nice That.