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.

The Wrong Side of History

Mike Dawson examines how we talk about gun control and how phrases like being on “the wrong side of history” are missing the point. More

Turning Japanese

Mari-san, why didn’t your mother teach you Japanese? That’s a question I’ve been asking for a long time. More

The Virgo Thing

New Illustrated PEN guest editor Robert Kirby examines the trials and tribulations of being a Virgo. More

Operation Ajax

This week, an excerpt from the graphic novel Operation Ajax about the 1953 CIA coup in Iran that remade the Middle East. More

The Arab of the Future

The French bestseller details the author's childhood in rural France, Libya, and Syria, in the shadows of three dictators—Muammar Gaddafi, Hafez al-Assad, and his own father. More

Ann Tenna

We feature an excerpt by Marissa Acocella Marchetto, a cartoonist for The New Yorker, from her upcoming graphic novel Ann Tenna, set in the bizarre world of New York-based… More

Lucille

Debeurme takes on the difficult world of adolescence, following the life of a young anorexic woman and the difficult relationships she has with others, who have significant problems of… More

One Way to Disappear

The graphic narratives in Nine Ways to Disappear are short, charmingly peculiar, and revolve loosely around the theme of disappearance. More

The Race to Incarcerate

This graphic retelling of an essential text for understanding the exponential growth of the U.S. prison system tells the story of how the U.S came to have the highest… More

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