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Conversations from Studio B

Reporter and Editorial Cartoonist Team-up to Create Web-based Graphic Story


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Long-time print reporter Lucy May and editorial cartoonist Kevin Necessary joined forces at WCPO.com to create a unique form of long-form journalism and storytelling.

They wrote and illustrated a six chapter “Graphic Non-fiction” piece called “Childhood Saved: From Needles and Neglect to Hugs and Hope.” It is a story of one family struggling with childhood poverty.

The story is available to the public for free at http://www.wcpo.com/longform/childhood-saved.

It is a unique form of storytelling, according to May. It incorporates the format of a graphic novel to tell a non-fiction story through both text and illustrations.

Some of the family members and major people in the story are undocumented immigrants. Other principals are children. Therefore, it was impossible for May to use traditional photography to visually assist in telling this family’s story.

Being inventive, they turned to illustrations and convinced their editor that this would be a new and appropriate way to tell this story online. Necessary was hired to add his artistic touch. He channeled his illustration ability to make the stories characters come-to-life in a meaningful way.

May is an award winning journalist who graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. Necessary was a free-lance cartoonist and is one of only 50 editorial cartoonists left in the country – a vanishing profession.

It is important to note that this new and exciting effort in long-form journalism is hosted on and was sponsored by a Cincinnati local television station’s website.