Symbolia screen

About Symbolia

Symbolia merges thrilling true stories with amazing illustration and comics. We’ve been hailed as one of the top reasons to switch to digital comics by io9 and FastCo named Symbolia one of 2012′s best digital comics. 

Every other month, we publish a themed issue containing 3 – 5 lively stories from around the world. Each issue includes sound, links, animations, interactive charts and more. Subscribe today using the links above. 


Support Symbolia

Want to help Symbolia keep going strong? Contribute and get some awesome gifts:

» Get a back issue bundle from Symbolia’s first year.

» Nab an art print for only $25!

» We’ll make you a cartoon avatar to use around the web.


From Our Blog

All three parts of our collaboration with Pacific Standard are live. Meet Maria Qadri, a doctoral student researching health quantifications and preventative care. Maria is also a Type 1 diabetic who depends on health quantification every day. 

Part One

Part Two

Part Three

The recent attack on Charlie Hebdo, a weekly satirical French newspaper featuring acerbic cartoons and comics, is shocking. Twelve people are dead, 11 injured. These attacks threaten the freedom of the press. But the media’s response has been troubling. Coverage lionizes Charlie Hebdo as an institution, while also taking advantage of the cartooning community.

-Symbolia’s cofounder Erin Polgreen on #charliehebdo. 

Our friends at The Illustrated Press are kickstarting a book of comics journalism about one Chicago street. Head on over and show them some love. There are some great rewards, including a package of books by emerging Chicago authors.

Collaborate with Symbolia

Symbolia merges brilliant illustrations, savvy reporting and clever interactive. We’re creating content for a new generation of newshounds.

We’ve collaborated with top tier media organizations to produce and promote amazing stories. Our partners include American Public Media’s Public Insight Network,, Common Cause, Minnesota Public Radio, Tumblr and Popular Science. They love working with us.

Do you have a story that needs to be told? Contact us today to learn more.

Our Team

Erin Polgreen works at the intersection of audience engagement, media innovation and entrepreneurship. An internationally-recognized strategist and consultant, Erin also works on the Media Ideation Fellowships. Erin is cofounder, editor and publisher of Symbolia. Follow Erin on Twitter.

Joyce Rice is an expert illustrator and interactive designer who specializes in sequential storytelling, interactive content and publication design. She’s also the cofounder and creative director of Symbolia. Follow Joyce on Twitter.

Need Help?

Symbolia giving you troubles? Glitches happen. We can help.

9.9 times out of 10 glitches are caused unintentionally and are quick fixes.

  • iPad: Audio Missing

    Make sure to check the little toggle on the side of your iPad. Sometimes it turns off and we don’t notice, so it’s worth taking a peek. In fact, most of the time, missing audio has to do with this setting. Here’s how the toggle works:

    If you lose sounds for keyboard clicks, games or other apps, email notifications and other notifications, system sounds may have been muted. System sounds can be muted and controlled two different ways. The screen lock rotation can be controlled in the same manner as well. Go to Settings>General>Use Side Switch to: Mute System sounds. If this option is selected, the switch on the side of the iPad above the volume rocker will mute system sounds.

    If you choose Lock Screen Rotation, then the switch locks the screen. If the screen is locked, you will see a lock icon in the upper right corner next to the battery indicator gauge. If you have the side switch set to lock screen rotation then the system sound control is in the task bar.

    Swipe up from the bottom of your screen for the control panel. The speaker icon is all the way to the left. Tap on it and system sounds will return.

    Older iPads can be a little slow to load audio, so try tapping the audio icon only once and waiting for a second to see if it just takes a moment to load and play.

  • iPad: Issue won’t open/crashes

    Depending on the make of your iPad, you might have too many applications running in the background—or the download might have been disrupted. To close extra apps:

    1. Go to the home screen first by tapping the home button.
    2. Double tap the home button and the task bar will appear with all of your recent/open apps displayed at the bottom.
    3. Hold tap the app that you want to close and slide upwards. This will close the app
    4. Tap the home button or anywhere above the task bar.

    If that doesn’t work, please archive the issue, then re-download it. Sometimes deleting and re-downloading the app works as well.

  • iPad: Can’t find new issue!

    First things first: Can you see the issue in the Newstand? This is how it should look:

    News standFrom here, tap on Symbolia’s app to open it. Once it loads, hold tap on any page to open the menu bar at the bottom of the page. Tap “library” for your whole Symbolia collection. The newest should be at the top. If you can’t see any issues of Symbolia, tap on “restore issues” in the upper left hand corner.

    If that doesn’t work, check to make sure that are you still signed into your Apple account by leaving Newsstand and going into System Settings.

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