Fantagraphics Books hit its $150,000 Kickstarter funding goal Tuesday, only one week into its campaign to keep the company afloat after the death of co-Publisher Kim Thompson dealt it a serious financial blow earlier this year.
That's great news. Without that support, Fantagraphics would at the very least have had to drastically reduce its publishing schedule for 2014, and that would have left a big, gaping hole in the world of graphic novels and independent comics. But I do have to wonder if Fantagraphics set a precedent with its campaign, and whether it's a workable one.
When Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson died earlier this year, the company suffered more than just the loss of one of its key figures. As an editor, Thompson was responsible for a great deal of the translation and distribution of European comics, and with his sudden, unexpected diagnosis of lung cancer and his death just four months later, the publisher had to delay a third of their line. As you might expect, this caused a pretty significant financial shortfall.
Now, the company is turning to its readers to make up the difference. In order to support their Spring line of titles, including work by Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Floyd Gottfredson, Don Rosa, Dan Clowes, Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez and more, they're attempting to raise $150,000 via Kickstarter. Check out more information, as well as a very, very strange Kickstarter video, below.
Ed Piskor has been having a good year. His hacker culture graphic novel telling the story of Kevin "Boingthump" Phenicle, Wizzywig, was nominated for an Eisner Award for the cartoonist's distinctive book design, and was recently translated into a handsome French-language edition from Dargaud. Piskor also became the second recipient of the Columbus Museum of Art and Thurber House 2013 Graphic Novelist Residency. On November 2, Fantagraphics will release the first print edition in a series collecting the artist's widely-read webcomic, Hip Hop Family Tree, which chronicles the history of Hip Hop's most influential artists. ComicsAlliance contributor Tom Scioli got in touch with the artist to discuss his work, his approach to creating comics and more. You can read the full interview, after the jump.
Via The Comics Reporter, Fantagraphics has announced three notable collections coming in 2014: The Complete Eightball, collecting Daniel Clowes' celebrated series, a new baseball themed Peanuts book, and the latest volume of Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley comics.
Fantagraphics' reprints of the classic Carl Barks and Floyd Gottfredson Disney stories are some of my favorite things in comics today, so when eagle-eyed fans noticed that a new line had been added for pre-order on Amazon, I got pretty excited. Now, Fantagraphics has confirmed that next summer, they'll be publishing a series of hardcovers bringing the Duck stories by Don Rosa to America for the first time in a series of Don Rosa Library hardcovers.
Until a few years ago I'd never heard of Fletcher Hanks. But ever since I came across I Shall Destroy All The Civilized Planets! and You Shall Die By Your Own Evil Creation!, the Fantagraphics collections of the Golden Age cartoonists' work, I've been semi-obsessed. Hanks' most famous creation, Stardust The Super Wizard, is a twisted version of Nietzsche's Übermensch. His stories read like fever dreams, with a near omnipotent Adonis flying through the sky and handing out his flat out messed up version of justice to criminals -- turning them into rats, crushing their torsos with one hand, or throwing their heads into the deepest corners of space. Equal parts bizarre and fascinating, the stories somehow manage to tap into many of our subconscious fears. Basically, I love them.
And now collectible toy company Goldenagefigurines.com is making a dream of many Hanks fans come true, as they've created a figurine of Stardust, and have announced upcoming statues of other Hanks creations, including The Black Terror and Fantomah, believed to be the first comic book superheroine.
Charles Forsman’s recently concluded 16-part miniseries The End of the F**king World(or TEOTFW in Fantagraphics’s upcoming bookstore-friendly collection) is a rare bird, especially in today’s near-completely Balkanized comic book market; a genuine crowd pleaser. I’ve worked in comic book shops since before I started high school, and what pains me the most consistently about the otherwise delightful years I’ve put in is how little comics communicates with itself. The way so many comic book readers retrace their footsteps every Wednesday to the same superhero comics they bought last week, or the same mini comics they bought last week, or the same “indie” comics, or whatever is most familiar. As a fan of comics the medium more than any one set of stylistic gestures, I always just wish that everyone would reach across the aisles and try a little bit of everything. Of course, the reading public is hardly to blame for walking around in the blinders clapped on by an industry more comfortable with rehashing the stories that played five years ago or cannibalizing the signifiers of so-called “nerd culture” than creating books that honestly appeal to a wide group of people.
For the past year and change, though, TEOTFW did exactly what I wish every comic had the ability to do: grabbed anyone who took a look and forced them into a deeply compelling story much easier to stay inside of than leave.
Fantagraphics has announced that it will publish the first collection of work from acclaimed Australian cartoonist Simon Hanselmann. Titled Megahex, the deluxe hardcover will contain more than 200 pages from Hanselmann's celebrated Megg, Mogg, and Owl comics, which the artist posts on his Girl Mountain tumblr.
Industry professionals new and old gathered last night for the 2013 Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards at Comic-Con International in San Diego, and it proved to be a big night for Chris Ware, Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples. Ware's Building Stories took home four awards, including Best Writer/Artist and Best Publication Design, while Vaughan and Staples' Saga swept its three categories: Best Continuing Series, Best New Series and Best Writer. Among the highlights of the evening was several award recipients and presenters using their time on stage to offer a few kind words in remembrance of Kim Thompson, the legendary Fantagraphics co-publisher who passed away last month.
And while we regretfully inform you that ComicsAlliance was not among the evening's winners, we once again thank the judges for considering us.
You can see a complete list of nominees and winners below.
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