Illustrated PEN

The Illustrated PEN aspires to be at the intersection of literature, journalism, and visual storytelling, where images and words come together in an ever-emerging and essential creative form. We feature fiction and nonfiction graphic narratives, comics journalism and illustrated reportage, stories of social justice, and personal stories that can’t be told through words alone.

This year, we have three guest editors—Robert Kirby, Meg Lemke, and Whit Taylor—who will be soliciting pieces from the cartoonists and graphic artists they most admire.

Requiem for a Hot Comb

Getting your hair straightened for the first time was like being inducted into a black women’s secret society. The sisterhood of perpetual hair maintenance. The sisterhood had an awful... More

Tenements, Towers & Trash

The exact history of the egg cream is of some debate, but the most popular claim is that it was created in the 1890s by Louis Auster… More

A Story of Men

Welcome aboard flight BA 763 to London, Heathrow—would you please turn off all electronic devices, return your seats to the… More

Fetch

There is nothing in any manual instructing you how to defend yourself against a dog with inflatable ears. More

Hostage

Maybe they’ll come get me out of here tonight. Maybe all this is going to end at last. Please, let it be tonight. More

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