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. 


Support Symbolia

Contribute to Symbolia and get some awesome gifts:

» Get a back issue bundle.

» Nab an art print for only $25!

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


From Our Blog

A lot has changed since we launched Symbolia. It’s been an amazing two years, and we couldn’t be prouder. We’ve helped to both legitimize an industry and change the way people think about what journalism can be. We never dreamed that we would work with organizations like American Public Media, Tumblr, and the Showtime documentary series Years of Living Dangerously to create amazing visual narratives.

That said, we don’t want Symbolia to be a one-note media organization. There are other opportunities out there to tell stories using games, virtual reality, and other emerging technologies. That’s one of the reasons Joyce is pursuing game design and journalism leadership as part of her fellowship at American University.

With a little bit of sadness and a lot of excitement for new beginnings, we’re writing today to tell you that THE FUTURE, Symbolia’s latest issue, will be our last. Symbolia has published hundreds of pages of illustrated journalism in the past two years and launched the careers of some incredible artists. Our community has been amazingly supportive from day one and we’re incredibly grateful.

If you are a subscriber, you may have some questions. All PDF subscriptions will end with this issue and you will not be charged to renew. If your iTunes subscription has already renewed, we will work on getting you a refund. Email admin AT symboliamag DOT com with any other questions you might have. We’ll do everything possible to make sure you have access to Symbolia’s archive.

We also want to take a moment to thank the International Women’s Media Foundation, J-Lab, and the McCormick Foundation for their support. These organizations are doing so much to support women in media and we are eternally grateful.

All the best,

Erin and Joyce

Laurel Lynn Leake looks at the future of skilled labor in our latest issue. Read this story now on your iPad or via PDF.

In this issue of Symbolia, catch an exclusive excerpt from Jessica Clark’s forthcoming novel. This work of speculative fiction explores tomorrow’s privatized highways and features art by Roxanne Palmer. Read this story now on your iPad or via PDF.

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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