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The Media News

And Now, the Cartoon News 107

Posted by Soulskill
from the picture-is-worth-a-thousand-words-depending-on-bitrate dept.
theodp writes "Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot? Quality stuff, not half-baked MS-Paint posts like 'Introducing Microsoft Monocle and Self-Driving Bentley'. Erin Polgreen has big plans for illustrated journalism. In October, Polgreen will be launching Symbolia, a tablet-based magazine of illustrated journalism, through Apple's App Store. 'Illustrated journalism draws you in, Polgreen explains. 'It's accessible in a way 5,000 words of text isn't. Regardless of age, gender or anything, you grasp it faster than most journalism.' Polgreen follows in the footsteps of other cartoonist-journalists, including Joe Kubert (RIP), Joe Sacco, and Josh Neufeld."
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And Now, the Cartoon News

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  • by milbournosphere (1273186) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @06:44PM (#41074969)
    "Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot?"

    At first I thought we'd be seeing a new /. page. Thank God it's just a story.

    • Sometimes it is a cartoon. But I don't think that a cartoon format would give the "picture is worth a thousand words" content transfer that correctly formed textual matter would give.

      Her premise, "'Illustrated journalism draws you in, Polgreen explains. 'It's accessible in a way 5,000 words of text isn't" is a seeming statement of fact, but certainly doesn't work for all cases. Yes, things like comic books are fun, but a treatise on why nosql dbs have scaling problems isn't going to turned into a cartoon an

    • by Idbar (1034346)
      But then editors would not work as hard as they do, because they will just talk (in a video).

      Now, if they can make the comment section look like a cartoon... that I would love to see^H^H^H read. :-)
    • by mcgrew (92797) *

      "Would you read a cartoon version of Slashdot?"

      No. Superman, Batman, and Spider man helped me learn to read, but I didn't have much use for comic books after maybe the second grade. The idea of presenting news in cartoon format? Maybe have the TV news folks dressed as clowns, too?

      Stupid idea IMO.

  • by mevets (322601)

    Even the name symbolia is too long to be bothered reading. They should condense it into an icon. Maybe rename it ADD-NEWS.

  • "...through Apple's App Store..."

    Way to limit your market to the elite who can afford apple products.

    • by tylikcat (1578365)

      There are plenty of reasons to avoid apple products even if one can afford them.

      I would certainly have been willing to try it, otherwise.

      (OTOH, I find myself annoyed by how many things are available only as video these days, so perhaps I should just admit that I'm old.)

      • by aitikin (909209)
        I hate that things are always video now and I'm only 25. Does that make me old?
      • by mcgrew (92797) *

        OTOH, I find myself annoyed by how many things are available only as video these days, so perhaps I should just admit that I'm old

        No, you should just admit that you're literate. I saw a figure a few weeks ago (and I don't know how accurate it is) that stated that 97% of people are either illiterate or aliterate; people seem to have stopped reading when TV was invented.

  • So... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Darkness404 (1287218) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @06:51PM (#41075047)
    So, why read a cartoon version when you can just watch the news? I really don't see what this is trying to accomplish that video won't.
    • So, why read a cartoon version when you can just watch the news? I really don't see what this is trying to accomplish that video won't.

      Why read manga when you can just sit back and watch anime? I really don't see what manga us trying to accomplish that anime doesn't.

      • So, why read a cartoon version when you can just watch the news? I really don't see what this is trying to accomplish that video won't.

        Why read manga when you can just sit back and watch anime? I really don't see what manga us trying to accomplish that anime doesn't.

        I couldn't agree more ;)

    • by blue_teeth (83171)
      It is an attempt to exploit the "trust" factor.  People are developing skepticism on news (which is healthy).  We tend to like cartoons (imagine a port opening in our minds).  The powers-to-be want to exploit this port and deliver their "news & opinions"  to us.

      No, I am not paranoid.

  • Let me be the first to say "indubitably!"
  • Wait wait hold on, what if I want to watch Homer unveil the 'Microsoft Monocle and Self-Driving Bentley'? I think you guys are on to something here
  • by koan (80826)

    I wonder if one day there will be little writing done and mostly video/photo with icons to tell you what's going on, like something you might see on an Egyptian temple, symbols not an alphabet or writing as we know it currently.

    Side Note: When I turned to youtube for some tutorials I found myself losing patience with video because (to me any how) it just plods along, I could read a tutorial much faster than I can watch it.

    That is all, let the dumbing down continue.

    • by Urza9814 (883915)

      Side Note: When I turned to youtube for some tutorials I found myself losing patience with video because (to me any how) it just plods along, I could read a tutorial much faster than I can watch it.

      That depends how well you know the subject. When I was attempting to use my mother's sewing machine for a quick repair while home from college a few years back, I couldn't figure out how to get the damn thing to work (It's an old machine -- much more complex than newer ones as I learned...). Every tutorial would have a step something along the lines of 'Next, thread the bobbin'. That's it. The really good ones maybe had a 'before' and 'after' photo, which was entirely useless. Once I figure out what the hel

  • Mickey Mouse for anchorman!

    Minnie could do weather and Donald Duck would be an excellent Bill O'Reilly.

  • Considering some of the drivel that makes the front page as of late, it would be easy to mistake this site for a parody of a tech news site. The only thing that makes that seem doubtful is that here, 110% of the editorial content is conservative.
  • by Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @07:04PM (#41075213)

    I also want my cornflakes to be blended - I don't have time to chew - then shot into my mouth.

    Because obviously that's better.

    • I also want my cornflakes to be blended - I don't have time to chew - then shot into my mouth.

      Because obviously that's better.

      Personally, the powdered stuff that settles to the bottom of the packet is my favorite part of Corn Flakes.

      • I also want my cornflakes to be blended - I don't have time to chew - then shot into my mouth.

        Because obviously that's better.

        Personally, the powdered stuff that settles to the bottom of the packet is my favorite part of Corn Flakes.

        This may be true, but remember the density we're talking about here... you're likely going to be getting a teaspoonfull of that powder a day as your "cereal". Hardly enough food fast enough to be nourishing.

        That said, the right picture *is* worth 1,000 words -- it just has to be the _right_ picture. Others are worth 3 words or less.

        • by mcgrew (92797) *

          That said, the right picture *is* worth 1,000 words

          Am I the only one who questions these old sayings? Draw me a picture that says "a picture is worth a thosand words" without it being a picture of the sentence itself. I don't think it can be done.

          Obviously, illustrations can sometimes be beneficial, but more often than not, writing is better.

          • ...-- it just has to be the _right_ picture. Others are worth 3 words or less.

            I never said all pictures are worth 1,000 words each. As your post just signified, sometimes even writing fails.

  • by thedarb (181754) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @07:05PM (#41075219) Homepage
    I'd prefer to read it on my Linux PC, Windows PC, Android phone, and even yes... my Mac laptop. But never if it comes through their app store and it's apps.
  • It's in the Sun, Mail, NY Post, Boston Herald, and last but not least, Fox.

    --
    BMO

  • Next Media Animation (also known as 'those crazy Taiwanese animators') seems to be doing a good enough job here.

  • When are they going to get to the fireworks factory?

  • You could read through a bland paragraph stating that the Greeks are desperate to eject from the Euro mess that they've gotten themselves into, but with Germany calling the shots they're finding it very difficult. Or you could just have a shuftie at this [economist.com]. Which gets the point across quicker?

    It takes a lot of skill to get information summarized into visually digestible forms, and it's a much more efficient way of communicating. It's the same as how a company's logo is more instantly recognizable than just the company name printed in plain text.

    There's no need to be such snobs about "dumbing down". I take it you all only read newspapers and never listen to the radio or watch TV news?

    • by Obfuscant (592200)

      You could read through a bland paragraph stating that the Greeks are desperate to eject from the Euro mess that they've gotten themselves into, but with Germany calling the shots they're finding it very difficult. Or you could just have a shuftie at this. Which gets the point across quicker?

      Your one sentence summary. Your one sentence summary didn't have a pop-up trying to get me to subscribe to your newsletter, and I didn't have to download several kb of graphic to start with. Then figure out that "Ms. Merkel" refers to Angela Merkel of Germany, and then try to figure out why everyone wasn't jumping the "bus".

      It takes a lot of skill to get information summarized into visually digestible forms, and it's a much more efficient way of communicating.

      It does take skill, but more efficient? A four panel editorial cartoon is more efficient than one sentence? I guess if you can't read it would be.

      It's the same as how a company's logo is more instantly recognizable than just the company name printed in plain text.

      Not really. Behind every iconic icon

      • Then figure out that "Ms. Merkel" refers to Angela Merkel of Germany

        At least Steve Bell gives you a hint by depicting her mit Pickelhaube [guardian.co.uk]

        • by Obfuscant (592200)
          Wow. That cartoon proves my point even better. The only hint that the woman in the cartoon is German is the funny hat, but I think other militaries have had helmets similar, haven't they?

          How someone is supposed to know that the sausage with a condom on its head is "Cameron" is beyond me. I'd think that sausages (or wirst) being a German thing, the thing in the condom was a member of some German political party. If I caught the hat reference to Germany at all.

          Otherwise, why is Joe Biden thumbing his nose

          • Sweden (or is it Norway?) still have them for ceremonial occasions, though few outside of military geeks and Swedes (or Norwegians?) would know that.
            But ask most members of the public what it is and they'll say it's a hat for a Hun from WW1.

            Cameron's features are sort of flattened, as if he has a condom over his head. Bit of an in-joke, perhaps.

            FWIW John Major didn't actually wear his underpants over his trousers, except perhaps in private with that woman who isn't Virginia Bottomley.

    • by tomhath (637240)
      It depends on whether your point is factual content or snarky sarcasm.
    • You missed out two key points: one, that countries leaving will potentially destabilize those that remain and two, the consequences for Greece (given the fact that the Drachma was a laughing stock) might be worse than staying.

  • I'd sue you for infringing my patent of making a comic from a slashdot article! http://www.legalwarfare.com/comics/PoLComic1.jpg [legalwarfare.com] (although you might do a GOOD comic so i guess that would invalidate my fake patent..) PS: I'd read it. Comments about information density appear silly given most people just seem to skim the article snippet.
  • Nooooo!! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pubwvj (1045960) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @07:33PM (#41075543)

    Please.
    No.
    Giga bandwidth wasting graphic simplification.

    Text is best.

    Be eloquent.

  • Seriously, it [youtube.com] is [youtube.com] really [youtube.com] awesome [youtube.com].

  • Sounds like a combination of Marvel Comics and USA Today. YUCK. POW. BAM.
  • ...you could leave out the words and only have the illustrations. Wait, I think I saw that movie.

  • So essentially, as a civilization we've devolved from being able to read, and need to go back to cartoon paintings on a wall to convey information?

  • by Cylix (55374) on Tuesday August 21, 2012 @09:12PM (#41076373) Homepage Journal

    This makes reporting so much simpler because actual interviews and reporting won't be necessary. Interviews can be completely written on the spot! It will be a huge time saver and a win for the readers.

    Distilled satire on an issue or simple gripe with a plain service make excellent candidates for cartoons. Penny-arcade is a wonderful example of satire in an industry I care about. The New Yorker has been doing much the same with political satire for years. However, both of these outlets do not represent their entire collection of view points with just simple quips.

    As a format for a news journal I think it's fairly laughable, but may likely draw in some viewers. There is a niche for everyone!

  • I would do so if it was available in a mobile version of slashdot optimized for both the iPhone5 and iPad4.

    But no animated GIFs, unless they are "click to launch animation on new page".

    Also, where is the successor to JPEG? Mumbledy PEG?

  • Considering /. has become somewhat of a joke for news lately anyway, sure.
  • I'm not saying you can't do serious work this way, since the Army has used Preventative Maintenance Monthly [army.mil] as one of their most successful ways of disseminating general technical knowledge.

    But I think it's going to have similar problems as TV journalism, which, except for C-SPAN, is generally awful.

  • ...all you can read is comics...

  • Still images to illustrate text are OK, I can take them or leave them, but not video. It annoys me that a lot of content on the BBC site is now video. If I wanted to watch a video, I'd watch TV. A lot of the time when I'm on the internet I can only read - not listen to audio as well.

    For example, it's acceptable at work to read the news sites over your lunchbreak, even Slashdot, but videos would be unacceptable (plus text based sites look sufficiently like work outside of break times on quiet afternoons!). I

    • It's infuriating. I'm outside of the UK, but I get some channels via cable. When I see something interesting (like a musician or other guest on the morning news) & I go to their trainwreck of a website to check their name for future reference all I get is the iPlayer which spins for two fucking minutes and then tells me the content isn't available where I am. Why invoke it all then - if it knows by my IP it could simply not put the bastarding tags in to start with. Often there's zero text content ex

  • I just finished Chris Hedges and Joe Sacco's new book , Days of Destruction, Days of Revolt. The book is about specific examples of unbounded capitalism in the US and how it destroys the communities.

    I found the illustrations made the book a faster read (of course it would have been shorter otherwise), but I really like the "comic" style used in each section to portray the events described in specific interviews. It was a really interesting approach that I hadn't really seen before, at least in non-fict
    • Yeah, I'm reading this now.. I'm not really a fan of comics, they generally overload my brain or something. But this book seems much more powerful with the graphical element. I'm so impressed. Hedges always complains that contemporary society has gone too far "visual" so i guess this is his response to that.
  • Swear I remember a story a year ago or so about a Taiwan news channel creating simple 3d videos to illustrate news stories they dont have footage of.

You can do this in a number of ways. IBM chose to do all of them. Why do you find that funny? -- D. Taylor, Computer Science 350

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