Media Release — Fantagraphics Books is launching a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to help finance our Spring-Summer 2014 season of books. Earlier this Fantagraphics Co-Publisher Kim Thompson was diagnosed with cancer and died four months later, on June 19, 2013. Because Kim was such an active part of our company, his death has had repercussions — both emotionally and financially. Kim edited our European graphic novel line and, as a result of his illness, 13 of the books scheduled for the Spring and Summer of 2013 had to be cancelled or postponed. This represents the loss of one-third of the entire season. We have suffered a severe shortfall that will impede our ability to produce next season’s books. That’s why we’re asking our faithful readers and new converts alike to help us recoup — and help finance our 2014 Spring-Summer books through Kickstarter. We are offering a varied list of premium options, from signed copies of the books from that season to a target-shooting trip with Fantagraphics’ Publisher Gary Groth.
OUR NEXT SEASON: APRIL-AUGUST 2014
Fantagraphics’ Spring-Summer season is comprised of 39 books by a stellar line-up of cartoonists. There are a number of books from names familiar to longtime comics readers — Peter Bagge, Daniel Clowes, Joe Sacco, Drew Friedman, Michael Kupperman, Jim Woodring, Don Rosa, Tony Millionaire, and The Hernandez Brothers. Not to mention any number of other names that could anchor a comics Hall of Fame: Charles Schulz, Steve Ditko, Simon & Kirby, Hal Foster, Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson, L.B. Cole, Jacques Tardi, John Severin, S. Clay Wilson, Wally Wood, and more. We also have one of our strongest seasons of original graphic novels ever, including new books from Olivier Schrauwen, Simon Hanselmann, Esther Pearl Watson, Conor Stechschulte, Carol Swain, Lane Milburn, Eleanor Davis, and Ed Piskor.
From The Complete witzend to The Complete Eightball, Buddy Bradley to Megg & Mogg, and Don Rosa’s Ducks to S. Clay Wilson’s pirates, plus new Peanuts, Donald Duck, EC Comics and Love and Rockets books, our 2014 lineup truly features The World’s Greatest Cartoonists.
And that’s merely one publishing season of five months; we publish a virtual pantheon of cartoonists every season.
Fantagraphics Books has been waving the banner of cartooning for almost 40 years, and we have always believed in the artistic potential of comics — in the medium’s power and subtlety; its vast capaciousness and intimate smallness; its ability to transport us to different worlds or express the human heart in conflict with itself; its ability to vivify political and historical events or reveal intimate autobiographical truths; its hilariously vulgar humor, or its moving urban dramas. We strive to find the best and brightest comics from new cartoonists and from the classic archives.
THE PERENNIAL STRUGGLE
Ours is and always has been an intrinsically difficult commercial enterprise, and we have survived due to a combination of great taste, sheer will, good luck, and reasonable business acumen. Still, it has never been easy. Fantagraphics has always been a guerilla publisher — lean and mean. In order to do what we do, we have always kept our overhead low and our lifestyle modest. We publish about 100 books a year with a staff of less then 20 — a level of efficiency unheard of in corporate publishing. We pride ourselves on taking risks, publishing work based on merit, and a commitment to serious artistic standards.
Fantagraphics has never existed comfortably within the traditional capitalist model — ruthlessly competitive, obsessed with growth, and the endless accumulation of surplus money. Our artistic values have always tempered our profitability. Fantagraphics has managed to scrape by, but we realized that with the advent of crowd funding, we are in a position to make an end-run around the most brutish strictures of the marketplace and appeal directly to our readers through Kickstarter. We are asking the public to help us continue this quixotic enterprise. At the end of the day, we cannot rely on anyone but our readers.
We won’t sell out, so we need YOU to buy in.