When I tell people I’m a comics journalist, I’m often met with a few misconceptions: that I write about comic books; that I pen satire; that my work must be for kids. These are flattering, but another misconception gets under my skin: the idea that drawing the news in this form must trivialize serious topics and stories.
My reply is simple. Read our comics, and see for yourself.
Since the Lily launched five years ago, we’ve published hundreds of intimate, funny, personal and important stories in the form of comics. And this year was no different. We published comics about the year’s biggest stories: Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation hearings, the 50th anniversary of Title IX, American gun violence and of course, the end of Roe v. Wade. We featured thought-provoking conversations, hilarious satire and cultural deep dives.
Oh, and another thing I’m particularly proud of: We published our first long-form, enterprise comics story. It took six months (and a few Google Maps deep dives) to report and depict.
Far from trivializing these topics, the comic format brings them to life in ways that are intimate, visceral and deeply human. There’s something about sequential art that feels both personal and universal, accessible but wholly immediate. It’s why I fell in love with the genre, and why I’m so proud to be on a team that prioritizes it.
To close out another great year of comics storytelling, we rounded up 10 of our favorites for you to sink into. Yulia Vus wrote about her life in Ukraine after Russia’s invasion. Tenzing Lhamo Dorjee dove into the cultural discourse around changing your name after marriage. Pepita Sándwich detailed what it was like to freeze her eggs. LA Johnson depicted two vastly different stories of miscarriage in Post-Roe America.
We hope you see a bit of yourself in each of them. We hope that they surprise and delight you, make you laugh or teach you something new about the world around you.
Thanks for being with us for another year.
P.S. If you like our comics, there’s some good news: The Washington Post is expanding its comics journalism. In the next few months, I’ll be working across the newsroom to tell even more stories in this format.
As I begin this new journey, I’d love to hear your input: Send me an email and let me know what you think of our comics, what you’re loving in the world of graphic storytelling and what you’d like to see from this new initiative.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the people, and the whole country, will never be the same. We’ll be hearing phantom sirens for years. We’ll be afraid to plan our lives for more than a week. And I bet we’ll fight PTSD, too. But the main task now is to win, while still preserving our sanity. Read the comic by Yulia Vus.
I have a hard time adjusting to change. My husband, Arnav, on the other hand is super flexible when it comes to these things. Before we met, he had moved multiple times and traveled to many countries and cities. So after dealing with prenups, combining taxes and updating our insurance info when we got engaged, my maiden name was still lingering in the back of our minds.
I’ve always had complicated experiences with my name, which I’ve written about in previous comics. I’ve been called “Dorkey,” “Door Hinge” and “Dor-Hee.” I’ve heard it all. You’d think I would be happy to drop the name after all of those years. But it was a little more complicated than that. Read the comic by Tenzing Lhamo Dorjee.
In a post-Roe world, your Zip code can affect the kind of maternal medical care you receive. My sister and I got pregnant at about the same time this past summer, and we were completely unprepared for what would happen next. Read the comic by LA Johnson.
I wasn’t sure when or if I would ever have children, so I decided to go back to my home country and undergo an egg freezing procedure at a fertility clinic. I wasn’t thinking too much about it, but I soon realized I was unconsciously comparing myself to my friends who had undergone the procedure before.
The outcome was not what I expected, and I felt like my body had failed me. Experts say the younger you are, the better your results will be. But I learned it is important to be prepared for the emotional side of egg freezing — and the potential that it won’t work for you. Read the comic by Pepita Sándwich.
I may not have “glass skin” — a Korean complexion trend — and I never will. Instead, I have glowing golden olive skin that I’m proud to embrace this summer. Every skin tone is beautiful! Read the comic by Hyesu Lee.
Last summer, I had coffee with my grandmother. The woman who sat before me was a skilled textile artist, designer, weaver, upholsterer and woodcarver. And yet, in 83 years, she had never recognized her own artistry.
I began to wonder: How much talent has gone uncelebrated because we feel entitled to women’s work? Read the comic by Sólveig Eva Magnúsdóttir.
Having been raised as a boy, I spent my adolescence torn between the pressure to be masculine and the desire to be feminine. At age 26, I finally began “transitioning,” and in the five years since, I’ve lasered my facial hair down to peach fuzz, grown my hair out and started taking hormones. Now, I wear makeup and feminine clothing. And I’ve found that, because of these things, no one questions my gender.
Still, I can’t help but wonder — is it all enough? What will it take for me to be comfortable in my own skin? Read the comic by Bea Hayward.
“Can I pick your brain?” is a question I’ve gotten a lot as an artist, but it can be a predatory approach for creatives, especially for women in the workplace. Making friends as an adult has been tricky for me because of circumstances like this. Even then, setting boundaries can leave you questioning whether you expect the worst from others. But when I finally understood that my ideas and time were priceless, I began defending myself. Read the comic by Sharon De La Cruz.
As a disabled person, I’ve had to accept my body for what it is. But when my gender dysphoria sparked a desire for change, I learned a lesson in acceptance that I didn’t expect and discovered a newfound love of my body and self. Read the comic by A. Andrews.
Last fall, I began reflecting on my own childhood experiences as I prepared my daughter for her very first day of school. But something much darker loomed in the back of my mind: fear of the unspeakable. School shootings pepper our headlines each year and little seems to be done to prevent them at all. What will it take to ensure our kids can feel safe at school again? Read the comic by Gina McMillen.