fantagraphics in trouble? help em out!
May 29, 2003 8:42 AM   Subscribe

UH OH, Fantagraphics Books in Seattle, home of chris ware, dan clowes, r. crumb, charles burns and a host of other awesome comic artists is facing desperate times!
posted by Peter H (22 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Let me just state the obvious: This is a worthy cause. Fantagraphics has put out some great stuff, and even if they're making up every word of their sob story, this is as good a time as any to show 'em some love. If nothing else, this alerted me to the fact that Crumb has a couple new comics (rather than scenes-of-France sketchbooks) out that I. Must. Have.

You too, maybe?
posted by soyjoy at 8:56 AM on May 29, 2003

And we can't leave out Joe Sacco, who rocks.

Sad to hear Fantagraphics is over the barrel. Didn't they do mostly porn for a long time? Maybe they can retreat to that territory in a pinch.
posted by scarabic at 8:57 AM on May 29, 2003

Didn't they do mostly porn for a long time? Maybe they can retreat to that territory in a pinch.

They're already there. Quite frequently, when I check out upcoming comic releases, I'm amazed at how trashy most of the Fantagraphics lineup looks.

(which is fine and all- it was just sort of surprising when Ghost World was the only Fanta product I'd encountered and I thought they were all highbrow and shit)
posted by COBRA! at 9:12 AM on May 29, 2003

My formative comic book experience centered around Love and Rockets. No other storytelling in any medium captured the punk to slacker aesthetic that Maggie and Hopey went through as realistically as Love and Rockets was able to. "The Death of Speedy" is a classic.
posted by dhacker at 9:12 AM on May 29, 2003

Don't do Fantagraphics a favor: do yourself a favor and buy all the Clowes, Herriman and Burns available from Fantagraphics. These are some of the very best comics artists ever, and the Fantagraphics editions do them justice. I challenge you to check out their site and not find at least five books you'll enjoy.
I also fully expect megastars Clowes, Bagge et al to chip in and do something for their alma mater asap.
posted by 111 at 9:26 AM on May 29, 2003

I was expecting someone to object to this post, to which I would reply, "SCREW YOU, PHILISTINE!"

This is indeed a worthy call to arms. LET THE TRUMPETS SOUND OUR ADVANCE!
posted by Shane at 9:31 AM on May 29, 2003

If the fiscal plights of comic books deserve an FPP certainly the financial troubles of Reading Rainbow, deserve a mention somewhere. This show had more impact on my life more than any comic book ever did.
posted by mnology at 10:08 AM on May 29, 2003

Just got off the phone with 'em, and looking forward to the shipment of sick, twisted comics. And that's just Reading Rainbow.

No, sorry, I mean Fantagraphics. RR is a related item, I guess, but the show has its own supposedly high-minded sources of funding. Fantagraphics only has consumers, so this is one time I join the all-American cry: Consume!

BTW, I failed to say: Thanks, Peter H, for making me aware of the latest additions to the Crumb oeuvre.
posted by soyjoy at 10:39 AM on May 29, 2003

Well, I just spent over $500. What the hell am I going to talk to Gary Groth about? Seriously, feed me ideas... I'm bad when I'm spontaneous and I can just imagine myself muttering "Uh, love your stuff, bye."
posted by elgoose at 10:50 AM on May 29, 2003

I'm not completely sure how we're helping here, so I think the best thing to do would be to offer some glowing reviews of specific books, so that others will be encouraged to actually buy them. Hope these links work for y'all (and no, I have no referral bonus attached).

Palestine is shocking and amazing. I'm not sure how people on the Israeli side of the issue feel about it, but I found it to be revealing, and pretty close to neutral. Sacco is jewish, but he focuses on life in the occupied territories. He portrays Palestinians and also Israelis as they live, their struggles and stories in their own words, and their respective failings. Whatever else the book accomplished, it shows the reader something qualitative about what it means to live as a Palestinian refugee. This simple ethnographic information is paradoxically absent from the ubiquitous press coverage of the Mideast conflict.

David Boring is a slow-moving tale about a morose guy obsessed with big butts. Seriously, you should buy it just to see how it's possible to make that engaging. I actually found it a pretty sexy book, too. The characters, all lacking solid roots in the world, were so unusual, and the plot so full of the unexpected that I was completely pulled in, ravenously turning the pages. By the end, it's enscribed a thoughtful circle around obsession over the past, sexual compulsion, jealousy, and armageddon.
posted by scarabic at 10:59 AM on May 29, 2003

scarabic, good thoughts! i think it doesnt help to link the link, tho

no dinero, or mucho less-o dinero goes to fantagraphics for things bought through amazon which would go through a distributor that's already bought their books. i think they're asking/pleaing/begging for purchases to go through fantagraphics directly.

gad, I FEEL LIKE A SHILL! but i love comics

fantagraphics books i would recommend:

the felix the cat collection is some of the most imaginative visual storytelling ever drawn

hysteria in remission by the amazing Robt Williams! - in my opinion it could take you decades to fully process all the art in this book which compiles every comic he's ever drawn, as well as ALL the advertising art he did for "daddy" roth ..this collection might be one of the most labored and interesting contributions to pop-culture and contemporary art in years. at its least it's certainly worth talking about. goes good on the coffeetables, people love diggin into my copy.

for variety and also for the coffeetables, any of the BLABs

and just scrolling down the new releases gives you a really good sense of the importance of this independant (not owned by time warner or clear-channel) publisher. damn, ya know? HELP KEEP EM ALIVE
posted by Peter H at 11:17 AM on May 29, 2003

What the hell am I going to talk to Gary Groth about?
Guns would be a fun subject. You could ask him whatever happened to Dwight Decker, or what Ted Rall is really like. Go limp and enjoy the ride.
posted by thirteen at 11:17 AM on May 29, 2003

metafilter: go limp and enjoy the ride
posted by GeekAnimator at 11:49 AM on May 29, 2003

Crazy. I see Gary Groth about once a week. I asked him last I saw him how business was, maybe last Friday, and he replied "Pretty Good." Well apparently not.

Time to buy my first round of graphic novels.
posted by crasspastor at 12:15 PM on May 29, 2003

Did my (small) part just now.

While you're buying the complete collections Crumb, Clowes, Burns, etc., do not fail to pick up all the excellent Chris Ware materials available. The man is a genius of the drawn line.
posted by me3dia at 12:40 PM on May 29, 2003

Hear, hear. I can't remember being as deeply moved or disturbed by any book in the last 20 years as I was by Jimmy Corrigan. I dunno whether its subject matter would play to females, but it should be required reading for every man (say, 14 or older) in America.
posted by soyjoy at 1:29 PM on May 29, 2003

Thanks for the notice, Peter H. I loved Jimmy Corrigan, and I've always planned on purchasing the other Acme Novelty books.

I'm certainly going to miss these guys if they go under.
posted by Kikkoman at 2:50 PM on May 29, 2003

thank you for the heads up.
posted by jann at 3:05 PM on May 29, 2003

We are proud of our long-term commitment to comics as an art form and our dogged determination to push excellence down everybody’s throats.

Maybe people find their outlook smug and off-putting, and thus decline to give them their business?
/declines to join bandwagon
posted by haqspan at 3:41 PM on May 29, 2003

everyone did you hear that!? haqspan isnt gonna join the bandwagon! they only needed one more gullible fool to save them and he wont join! THANKS FOR RUINING COMICS haqspan!

all jokes aside, i think they have every right to say they're proud of decades of excellent comics. and have even more of a right to say they've had to be insistant about the excellence of their books; any casual perusal of a DC or Marvel superhero book with the male-gender fantasies, spandex and awful formulaic and unfelt writing is a testament to how truly excellent (and unprecedented) fantagraphics' output has been. and i think their confidence in their artistic vision as a company is exactly why they're still around.

Maybe people find their outlook smug and off-putting, and thus decline to give them their business?

actually, no. in my experience, most people dont even know these kind of incredible comics exist. IF THEY KNEW they'd give em business, and i dont know anyone who isnt moved on some significant level by at least one of the books mentioned on this thread. some of the most significant pieces of literature of the last decade have come from this tiny company. so if you like comics let other people know about 'em.

DO A GOOD THING BUY GOOD COMICS (except haqspan who has declined and would prefer smug-filter for his cultural offrin)

thank you.
posted by Peter H at 5:54 PM on May 29, 2003

la perdida by jessica abel is really good! one of the better comix i've read in recent years :D
posted by kliuless at 7:11 PM on May 29, 2003

I highly recommend Love & Rockets. Read the volumes in order. Jaime and Gilbert both created their own worlds and developed them over the years, making a rich history on which the stories are built. If you jump in randomly you'll miss a lot.

There are a few low points. Volume 1 is a bit silly, but lays the groundwork for later volumes so it is essential. Volume 10 is not as good as the others. As it is a self-contained story with only a tenuous connection to Gilbert's excellent Palomar stories, it can be skipped by those who are not completests.

Love & Rockets is the best series I have read (and re-read). It was very influentual on many younger artists. Anyone who enjoyed Ghost World should check it out.
posted by D.C. at 8:32 AM on May 30, 2003

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