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Category >> Kim Thompson

Kim Thompson, RIP
Written by Gary Groth | Filed under Kim Thompson 19 Jun 2013 12:47 PM

Kim Thompson - photo by Lynn Emmert
(photo credit: Lynn Emmert)

Fantagraphics co-publisher Kim Thompson died at 6:30 this morning, June 19. "He was my partner and close friend for 36 years," said Gary Groth.

Thompson was born in Denmark in 1956. He grew up in Europe, a lifelong comics fan, reading both European and American comics in Denmark, France, and Germany. He was an active fan in his teen years, writing to comics — his letters appeared in Marvel's letter columns circa early 1970s — and contributing to fanzines from his various European perches. At the age of 21, he set foot, for the first time as an adult, on American soil, in late 1977 (he lived briefly in the U.S. as a child in twice in the late '50s and early '60s). One "fanzine" he had not contributed to was The Comics Journal, which Groth and Michael Catron began publishing in July of 1976. That was soon to change.

"Within a few weeks of his arrival," said Groth, "he came over to our 'office,' which was the spare bedroom of my apartment, and was introduced by a mutual friend — it was a fan visit. We were operating out of College Park, Maryland and Kim's parents had moved to Arlington, Virginia, both Washington DC suburbs. Kim loved the energy around the Journal and the whole idea of a magazine devoted to writing about comics, and asked if he could help. We needed all the help we could get, of course, so we gladly accepted his offer. He started to come over every day and was soon camping out on the floor. The three of us were living and breathing The Comics Journal 24 hours a day."

Thompson became an owner when Catron took a job at DC Comics in 1978. As he became more familiar with the editorial process, Thompson became more and more integral to the magazine, assembling and writing news and conducting interviews with professionals. Thompson's career in comics began here.

In 1981, Fantagraphics began publishing comics (such as Jack Jackson's Los Tejanos, Don Rosa's Comics and Stories, and, in 1982, Love and Rockets). Thompson was always evangelical about bandes dessinées and wanted to bring the best of European comics to America; in 1981, Thompson selected and translated the first of many European graphic novels for American publication — Herman Huppen's The Survivors: Talons of Blood (followed by a 2nd volume in 1983). Thompson's involvement in The Comics Journal diminished in 1982 when he took over the editorship of Amazing Heroes, a bi-weekly magazine devoted to more mainstream comics (with occasional forays into alternative and even foreign comics). Thompson helmed Amazing Heroes through 204 issues until 1992.

Among Thompson's signature achievements in comics were Critters, a funny-animal anthology that ran from 50 issues between 1985 to 1990 and is perhaps best known for introducing the world to Stan Sakai's Usagi Yojimbo; and Zero Zero, an alternative comics anthology that also ran for 50 issues over five years — between 1995 and 2000 — and featured work by, among others, Kim Deitch, Dave Cooper, Al Columbia, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, David Mazzuchelli, and Joyce Farmer. His most recent enthusiasm was spearheading a line of European graphic novel translations, including two major series of volumes by two of the most significant living European artists — Jacques Tardi (It Was the War of the Trenches, Like a Sniper Lining up His Shot, The Astonishing Exploits of Lucien Brindavoine) and Jason (Hey, Wait..., I Killed Adolf Hitler, Low Moon, The Left Bank Gang) — and such respected work as Ulli Lust's Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life, Lorenzo Mattotti's The Crackle of the Frost, Gabriella Giandelli's Interiorae, and what may be his crowning achievement as an editor/translator, Guy Peelaert's The Adventures of Jodelle.

Throughout his career at Fantagraphics, Thompson was active in every aspect of the company, selecting books, working closely with authors, guiding books through the editorial and production process. "Kim leaves an enormous legacy behind him," said Groth, "not just all the European graphic novels that would never have been published here if not or his devotion, knowledge, and skills, but for all the American cartoonists he edited, ranging from Stan Sakai to Joe Sacco to Chris Ware, and his too infrequent critical writing about the medium. His love and devotion to comics was unmatched. I can't truly convey how crushing this is for all of us who've known and loved and worked with him over the years."

Thompson was diagnosed with lung cancer in late February. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Emmert, his mother and father, Aase and John, and his brother Mark.

Daily OCD 5/24/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Ulli LustSteven WeissmanPeter BaggeMatthias WivelLove and RocketsKim ThompsonJulia GfrörerJohnny RyanJasonJames RombergerJaime HernandezJacques BoyreauJack DavisGuy PeellaertGilbert HernandezFloyd GottfredsonEd PiskorEC ComicsDrew FriedmanDisneyDavid WojnarowiczDash ShawDaily OCDChuck ForsmanAnders NilsenAl WilliamsonAl Feldstein 24 May 2013 11:30 AM

The coldest Dip'n'Dots of Online Commentaries & Marketing: 

Peter Bagge's Other Stuff

• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview Peter Bagge about Other Stuff and his favorite collaborations in the book, "The earliest one in the book, "Life in These United States," didn't come out looking at all like I had envisioned it…what Clowes did with it was truly remarkable. Also, Gilbert [Hernandez] radically changed the faces, ages and even genders of almost everyone in the "Me" strip. That threw me for a loop! Though it didn't negatively impact the story in the slightest."

• Review: The A.V. Club looks at Peter Bagge's Other Stuff. "Other Stuff also brings together strips Bagge has written about rock icons, along with a few cartoon essays, and strips featuring his characters Lovey and The Leeways, who respectively represent hipster adventurism and dogged domesticity. It’s a full picture of who Bagge has been as an artist and humorist over the past 20 years, and as such is as valuable for newcomers as fans…" writes Noel Murray.

• Interview: Peter Bagge is interviewed on Societe Perrier by Christian J Petersen on comics, Seattle and growing up clever. "Did your parents encourage your creativity? No, though they didn't discourage it. They were drunk."

The Adventures of Jodelle

• Review: The Quietus looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert and Pierre Bartier. Aug Stone writes, "Jodelle is fantastic in every sense of the word, filled with in-jokes and time-defying references, nudity and sex (not always coinciding), exaggerated violence, but most importantly a sense of pushing the edges of possibility…The original Pop Art comic and one of the first ‘adult comics’ (released a year after Barbarella by same publisher Eric Losfeld), Jodelle is an artistic tour de force."

• Review: Bookgasm looks at The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert. "…let the fleshy neon visuals explode into your eyeballs.…It won’t have the same impact today, as many of its visual ideas have been appropriated and subverted into the mainstream culture, but as both a time capsule of its era and as a visually stunning romp, it remains a unique experience that should certainly be at least sampled by any adventurous modern reader of comics. Playfully provocative, funny and smart, THE ADVENTURES OF JODELLE pops with a soft-lined splash of lurid color," writes JT Lindroos.

• Review: It's Nice That and look at The Adventures of Jodelle. "Peellaert was every bit the master of his craft and with enviable vision and flair managed to transform a previously safe medium into something exciting and dangerous…It’s intoxicating stuff!" exclaims James Cartwright.

• Plug: Russ Meyer and Juxtapoz plug The Adventures of Jodelle.
Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life

• Interview: Robin McConnell of Inkstuds interviews THE Ulli Lust, cartoonist of Today is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life.

Sexytime

• Review: Mr. Media looks at Sexytime and interviews editor Jacques Boyreau

Hip Hop Family Tree

• Interview: HeroesOnline and Seth Peagler interview Ed Piskor about comics, music and Hip Hop Family Tree. Piskor states, "There were some interesting things to look at while writing the book. It’s necessary to know the political/economic climate at the time. The fine art scene plays an integral role in the development of early Hip Hop as well, which many people might not know. If it wasn’t for the downtown scene gravitating toward graffiti culture it could have all died out in the early 80s."

Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 Julio's Day

• Review: I Reads You reads Love and Rockets: New Stories #5 by Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez. Leroy Douresseaux writes, "This publishing format is designed to appeal to the people who decide what will make the shelves of bookstores.…this is another volume of New Stories which proves that Love and Rockets is as strong as ever and is ready for 30 more great years."

• Review: Kotaku's roundtable discuss what they did and didn't like about Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez. Evan Narcisse posits "I did like how the family lived on the fringes of the 20th Century. It reminded me A LOT of Gabriel Garcia Marquez' 100 Years of Solitude. The weird almost-incest, characters with the same names and weird proclivities, home-as-a-black-hole-you-can't-escape, the outside world as an exotic dangerous place, nature as this karmic equalizer …"

7 Miles a Second

• Interview: Nicole Rudick of The Comics Journal interviews James Romberger and Marguerite Van Cook about 7 Miles A Second and their creative life together. James mentions, "…it is about empathy, the only thing we have that allows us to touch each other. So if there’s anything positive to be taken out of the book, it’s that we should be working toward a more empathetic experience while we’re on the planet."

EC Comics

• Review: Comic Book Resources looks at 50 Girls 50 by Al Williamson. "It’s interesting seeing how different some of the artwork is – Williamson liked science fiction, apparently, and was occasionally bored with the other stories William Gaines or Al Feldstein gave him, but there’s no story here that doesn’t at least offer something sublime…Fantagraphics has done a really nice job bringing a lot of the 1940s/1950s stuff back into print, and if they keep picking such cool stuff like this, I’ll just have to keep buying it!" exclaims Greg Burgas.

• Review: Spectrum Culture looks at 'Tain't the Meat by Jack Davis. "Davis was a phenomenal draftsman whose dynamic line work could imbue even static scenes with restless energy, and whose clean but detailed layouts could bring to life queasiness-inducing tableaux of rotting corpses and piled intestines…Al Feldstein and Carl Wessler wrote the lion’s share of these tales and had a knack for mixing cruel irony and creeping dread.…EC has been gone for decades now, but volumes like this help ensure that its influence won’t be forgotten." writes David Maine.
 
New School

• Review: The Portland Mercury on Dash Shaw's New School. "The experience of reading New School is like temporarily inhabiting the body and brain of an artist: This is what growing up might feel like for someone who lives and breathes colors and shapes," writes Allison Hallett. "It's heady, hallucinatory, and bizarre, but it's grounded in the simple experience of growing up in the shadow of a beloved older sibling."

Prison Pit Book 4

• Interview: Societe Perrier by Christian J Petersen interview Johnny Ryan. "You seem to be exploring a darkside in your work but you soften the blow with humor. What would your real darkside look like? Prison Pit. "

Black is the Color Barack Hussein Obama

• Plug: Buzzfeed tells you what you want to read in the webcomics department: Steven Weissman's Barack Hussein Obama (and co) and Julia Gfrorer's Black is the Color (coming out soon in print)!

Mickey Mouse Vol 1 Mickey Mouse Vol. 2

• Plug: Duckburg Weekly looks at Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Vol. 1: Race to Death Valley and Mickey Mouse Volume 2: Trapped on Treasure Island by Floyd Gottfredson. "With Walt Disney's Mickey Mouse Classic Collection Fantagraphics Books published a must-have for everyone who's interested in early works of the Walt Disney Company!…[Vol. 1]offers amazing articles about the 'birth' of Mickey Mouse, bonus panels which were never published and different artists in the spotlight (such as Al Taliaferro and Jack King)…Again [in Vol. 2] there is a chapter with incredible bonus material which informs about the villains, Floyd's colleagues and additional comic strips."

The End

• Interview: It's Nice That and James Cartwright interviewed Anders Nilsen about The End, coming out in print this fall. "…some of it is pretty raw, and that’s how I felt at the time. Some of it is funny, too, I think, which is also part of the experience. It can feel very absurd at times. If it feels like a crazy emotional roller coaster to read, then it’s doing the job."

The End of the Fucking World

• Plug: The Daily Rios reviews Chuck Forsman's The End of the Fucking World in its serialized form.

Kolor Klimax

• Review: The Comics Journal reviewed the Kolor Klimax anothology, edited by Matthias Wivel. Robert Kirby writes, "I found myself drawn back to each several times…That, for me, is the common vibe generated by this and other Euro-comics anthologies: the sense of possibility and novelty that comes from having available a whole new frontier of previously hard-to-come-by alt-comics by accomplished artists to explore. Comics speak a universal, intuitive language, but this 'Nordic Hypnotica' opens Americans up to previously unfamiliar dialects that are a pleasure to read, enjoy, and occasionally decode."

Any Similarity

• Review: Kitty Sneezes looks at Drew and Josh Alan Friedman's Any Similarity to Persons Living or Dead is Purely Coincidental. "Shemp acts both as a beacon of Drew Friedman's amazing artistic skill, but also as a signpost of what you'll find.…strips starring the semi-forgotten figures of old media. Figures like Abbott & Costello, Chet Huntley, Joe Franklin or Tor Johnson come up frequently. I especially love the Tor strips. And usually, though there's a surrealist bent like you'd find in the work of Michael Kupperman, there's usually a sense of love for the work of these people" writes Rev. Syung Myung Me.

• Plug: A JASON mural in Oslo!

• Commentary: Michael Netzer says some nice things and does a beautiful drawing of Kim Thompson. 

• Commentary: Casey Burbachy writes about the history of Fantagraphics and our partnership with digital comics publisher/distribution company, comiXology on Publishers Weekly.

• Cool: A lot of our cartoonists have contributed to the Exquisite Corpse comic on Trubble Club!

• Commentary (photos): Inkstuds host Robin McConnell took some loverly photos of Larry Reid, Jacq Cohen and me at Emerald City Comic Con.

• Interview: Jacq Cohen describes why TCAF rocks and our new books there on Forbidden Planet International and soon to be in a store near you.

Eisner Awards Nominations
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under Walt KellyThe Comics JournalSpain RodriguezspainRoy CraneRick MarschallNo Straight LinesMichel GagneMichael KuppermanLove and RocketsLos Bros HernandezLorenzo MattottiLilli CarréKim ThompsonJustin HallJohnny GruelleJasonJaime HernandezJacques TardiGilbert HernandezGary PanterGary GrothDisneyCarol TylerCarl BarksCaptain Easyawards 6 May 2013 3:47 PM

Beauty and the Beasts

We love all of our books but are especially happy for the creators of the Eisner-nominated books. You can vote until June 12 online. If you haven't read all of them, check 'em out individually or via our list!

Best Short Story: "Moon 1969: The True Story of the 1969 Moon Launch," by Michael Kupperman, in Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8

"Rainbow Moment," by Lilli Carré, in Heads or Tails

Best Single Issue (or One-Shot): Tales Designed to Thrizzle #8, by Michael Kupperman

Best Humor Publication: Naked Cartoonists, edited by Gary Groth

Best Anthology: No Straight Lines: Four Decades of Queer Comics, edited by Justin Hall

Best Reality-Based Work: You'll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier's Heart, by C. Tyler

Best Graphic Album-New: You'll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier's Heart, by C. Tyler

Best Graphic Album-Reprint: Cruisin' with the Hound, by Spain

Heads or Tails, by Lilli Carré

Best Archival Collection/Project-Strips: Mister Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann's Sprightly Cousin, by Johnny Gruelle, edited by Rick Marschall

Pogo, Vol. 2: Bona Fide Balderdash, by Walt Kelly, edited by Carolyn Kelly and Kim Thompson

Roy Crane's Captain Easy: The Complete Sunday Newspaper Strips, vol. 3, edited by Rick Norwood

Eisner spines

Best Archival Collection/Project-Comic Books: Walt Disney's Uncle Scrooge: Only a Poor Old Man, by Carl Barks, edited by Gary Groth

Young Romance: The Best of Simon & Kirby's Romance Comics, edited by Michel Gagné

Best U.S. Edition of International Material: Athos in America, by Jason

New York Mon Amour, by Benjamin LeGrand, Dominique Grange, and Jacques Tardi

Best Writer/Artist: Gilbert Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5

Jaime Hernandez, Love and Rockets New Stories, vol. 5

C. Tyler, You'll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier's Heart

Best Painter/Multimedia Artist (interior art): Lorenzo Mattotti, The Crackle of the Frost

Best Lettering: C. Tyler, You'll Never Know, Book 3: A Soldier's Heart

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: tcj.com, edited by Timothy Hodler and Dan Nadel

Best Publication Design: Dal Tokyo, designed by Gary Panter and Family Sohn

Mister Twee Deedle: Raggedy Ann's Sprightly Cousin, designed by Tony Ong

Still no sure which to read? Heidi MacDonald, Cal Reid and company discuss the nominations on the Publishers Weekly podcast. Meanwhile, Chris Sims, Matt D. Wilson and more of War Rocket Ajax discuss the nominations, although I'm not sure how long the podcast will be up at this link. 

Some of the nominations gather in our mail room. See you in JULY!

Eisner Nominations

 

Daily OCD 3/22/13
Written by Jen Vaughn | Filed under The Comics JournalSpain RodriguezspainRoy CraneRobert CrumbPeter BaggePaul NelsonNoah Van SciverMoto HagioMort MeskinMichael KuppermanLinda MedleyKim ThompsonKevin AveryJulia GfrörerJanet HamlinJaime HernandezJack JacksonGuy PeellaertGeorge HerrimanGary GrothEd PiskorDaily OCDcomics journalChuck ForsmanChris WrightB KrigsteinAlexander Theroux 22 Mar 2013 2:45 PM

The longest, unabridged edition of Online Commentaries & Diversions:

Tales Designed to Thrizzle Volume Two

• Review: The Village Voice is almost hospitalized while reading Michael Kupperman's Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2. "Kupperman heaps absurdity upon absurdity…The result is a jubilant rococo, the strips all thrilling ornamentation…No exaggeration: I coughed hot soup out of my nose while reading the new hardbound volume of deadpan dadaist Michael Kupperman" states Alan Scherstuhl.

• Review: Comic Book Resources looks at Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman. Brian Cronin loves the Moon 69 story. "The devolution of the ads as the story continues might be my favorite part…The second collection of Kupperman’s individual Thrizzle issues JUST came out and it includes [Moon 69]! So go buy it, dammit!"

• Review: Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 by Michael Kupperman shines at The AV Club. "Kupperman's work only gets funnier when read in bulk... Kupperman's comics take pre-existing popular culture-TV shows, advertising, other comics-and tweak them just a little until they become hilariously absurd," states Noel Murray.

• Plug: Time Out New York analyzes Tales Designed to Thrizzle Vol. 2 with one interactive panel. Cool!

The Comics Journal #302

• Review: Glen Weldon reviews The Comics Journal #302 on New Republic, exclusively the Maurice Sendak interview conducted by Gary Groth. "Why on earth would I want to read 100 pages of caustic carping? Because Sendak is funny.  Deeply, passionately so. Read in full, Sendak’s zingers lose their venom and evince a sincere and surprising warmth. He comes off as bitter, but not embittered—a fine distinction, perhaps, but a real one."

• Plug (video): Mark Judge made a music video for TCJ #302. Trust me, you'll want to see this.

• Plug: USA Today's Pop Candy mentions TCJ #302. "This week I've been reading the wonderful (and massive) issue No. 302, which contains a huge Maurice Sendak tribute as well as his final interview"

• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP writes on some of our new titles like The Comics Journal #302, edited by Gary Groth, Kristy Valenti and Michael Dean. "Probably my favorite single issue magazine of 2013, it is actually a freakily-elevated edition of the long-running only-trustable trade magazine devoted to comics…it gives us a chance to sample the gamut of an ever-evolving and surprisingly inspiring art-form."

The Grammar of Rock

• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP reviews our newest book of music criticism The Grammar of Rock by Alexander Theroux. "Ripping through this hilarious rage on banality and unexpected pleasures I thought, they don’t make writers like this anymore…Drop that boring band biography and fetch this, if only for the mountains of lists of rarely-heard missing gems he has sampled and tasted beforehand for you."

• Review: Pop Matters has to tune into The Grammar of Rock by Alexander Theroux. John L. Murphy writes, "Naturally, the fun of The Grammar of Rock lies in its acerbic prose as well as its aesthetic insight…You’ll either laugh or you won’t. I laughed."

• Review: Washington Independent Review of Books also looks at Alexander Theroux's The Grammar of Rock. "Reading Alexander Theroux’s The Grammar of Rock is like hitching a ride with a suspiciously awake truck driver who talks endlessly for hours…All in all, this book is a very cold love letter," says DJ Randy Cepuch.

Sketching Guantanamo

• Plug: Wired runs 10 sketches by Janet Hamlin featured in her upcoming book, Sketching Guantanamo. Hamlin remembers sketching Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, "He would turn and pose — a deliberate turn, facing me, holding very steady." 

Julio's Day

• Review: Julio's Day by Gilbert Hernandez gets reviewed on on The AV Club. "Julio's Day(Fantagraphics) is as much about what's not on the page as what is...Fashions, mores, and technologies change; but desires and disappointments do not," writes Noel Murray.

Los Tejanos and Lost Cause

• Review: Nerds of a Feather give an outstanding rating and review a recent reprint of Jack Jackson's work. Philippe Duhart writes, "Los Tejanos and Lost Cause are the products of serious historical research, and as such they are clear exhibitions of comics' potential as a viable media for academic and journalistic work…I appreciate that Johnson sticks with the perspective of the “losers” -- Juan Seguin's struggles against racism following Texas’ rebellion and Texan Confederates' struggle to regain a sense of honor following the defeat of their cause."

Castle Waiting Vol. 1

• Review: Fingers on Blast reads Linda Medley's Castle Waiting Vol. 1. "The tales weave their way together seamlessly thanks to Medley's art.  There is no simple way to describe it, but to say it draws you ever deeper into the story."

Peter Bagge's Other Stuff

• Revew: Chris Estey of KEXP writes on some of our new titles Peter Bagge's Other Stuff which" features Bagge doing some sharp-witted journalism (on comedy festivals, especially) and historical stories…it is an electric, howlingly funny, bona-fide classic mangle of manic music history, prickly satire, and perfectly rendered cartooning."

The Heart of Thomas The Adventures of Jodelle   

• Review: Novi Magazine picks apart feminist storytelling in Moto Hagio's The Heart of Thomas. "While Thomas depicts male characters, Hagio codes femininity into every element of the story, with every effort towards drawing in her assumedly female audience…" writes Dan Morrill.
 
•Review: BookDragon plugs The Heart of Thomas by Moto Hagio. "…it’s certainly proved its lasting effects. Never mind the rockets, sometimes turbulent feelings can take you much, much further…" writes Terry Hong.
 
• Plug: Comics Forge is looking foward to The Adventures of Jodelle by Guy Peellaert as much as we are! "This was one of the trend setting 1960’s comics that you will see echoed worldwide during that time and when this style of pop art was raging as the most important thing since sex was invented…It looks like it is going to be a beautiful book, like most of the books that Fantagraphics puts out, you can feel the love."

Buz Sawyer: Vol. 2 Out of the Shadows

• Review: Scoop covers Buz Sawyer Vol. 2: Sultry's Tiger by Roy Crane in one hell of a history lesson on newspaper and adventure comics. "Buz Sawyer may be the peak of the adventure strip as a genre…Crane’s ability to walk a fine line between hyper-realism while still incorporating an easy to read and understand style places him among the greats in comic history," says Mark Squirek. 

• Review: Scoop covers Mort Meskin's Out of the Shadows. "He is so skilled at body language that without reading a single word you can see the kid’s enthusiasm for his grandfather’s story grow across the first three panels," writes Mark Squirek.

Beta Testing the Apocalypse The Hypo Black Lung

• Interview: Comic Book Resources and Alex Dueben interview Tom Kacyznski about his books. Kacyznski says, "There's an easy willingness to imagine the collapse of everything instead of small changes in the political system that could fix a lot of the problems that we're having. Those kinds of themes interest me."

• Review: Beta Testing the Apocalypse by Tom Kaczynski gets a look-see on B-Sides & Rarities. Elizabeth Simins writes, "Kaczynski’s style involves a pretty dedicated commitment to setting scenes with lyrical descriptions as much as imagery, which is something I associate with the space between “regular” fiction and comics…You should read it."

• Review: Grovel reviews The Hypo by Noah Van Sciver. "It’s a surprising but fascinating insight into the psyche of a man that outsiders would normally assume to be a sort of political superhuman, but Sciver adds depth and soul to the two-dimensional image of the man with half a beard and a top hat," penned Andy Shaw.

• Review: Comic Pusher enjoys their read of Chris Wright's new book: "In Black Lung Wright presents a world of ceaseless violence and pain, his reflectively brutal cartooning interwoven with elegiac prose, with the very syntax of comic storytelling breaking down under the memory and transformative agony of loss and obsession," says Jeffrey O. Gustafson. 

Everything is an Afterthought Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me  

• Review: Warren Leming over at Logos Journal reviews Everything is an Afterthought: The life and times of Paul Nelson. "Author Kevin Avery has done us a great service in bringing Paul Nelson’s woefully neglected story and life on the music culture scene into focus. This is a book for all those interested in what made 20th Century American music an anthem for the world."

• Plug: Jade at D&Q Bookstore digs into Your Vigor for Life Appalls Me by R. Crumb. "The extraordinary title is only matched by the incredible insight into the iconoclast’s mind and the ultra-snazzy portrait of an early Crumb on the cover, sporting a corduroy jacket and tie… A definite must-read for any Crumb fan."

Black is the Color The End of the Fucking World Hip Hop Family Tree
• Review: The Comics Journal digs Black is the Color by Julia Gfrörer. Sean T. Collins writes, "Gfrörer’s most moving comic to date, Black Is the Color eroticizes suffering not to glamorize it, but to endure it."

• Interview: Robin McConnell interviews Julia Gfrörer about her webcomic and soon-to-be-in-print book, Black is the Color on Inkstuds.

• Review: Comics Bulletin loves Charles Forsman's The End of the
Fucking World
. Geoffrey Lapid writes "Instead of allowing you to step back and look at James and Alyssa through wistful adult hindsight, Forsman's fluid and subdued linework take us right into those moments that you only understand when you're 17 years-old, proudly oblivious and doomed…James and Alyssa feel like real, substantial characters rather than simple broad strokes alluding to a deeper history."

• Interview: Ed Piskor is interviewed by Jackie Mantey for Columbus Alive during his Ohio art residency and on Hip Hop Family Tree. "The purity of intent is something that’s important to me with anything I come across," Piskor believes. 

Love and Rockets New Stories 5 Cruisin' with the Hound

• Interview: Kelli Korducki interviews Jaime Hernandez on behalf of Hazlitt about Love and Rockets. Jaime answers, "I like the way women react to situations. Guys in a certain situation mostly try to keep it cool, keep their cover, keep things in control. With a lot of women I know, you get eight different reactions to a situation."

• Review: Jon Longhi looks at Spain Rodriguez in Having a Book Moment. Cruisin' with the Hound, a recent collection, is "it's all gang fights, hot rods, teenage mayhem and its wonderfully entertaining and beautifully illustrated."

Messages in a Bottle Krazy and Ignatz

• Plug: Craig Fischer on the Heroes Online Blog now looks at Messages in a Bottle: Comic Book Stories by B. Krisgstein. "Thanks to Sadowski, I’m now crazy for Krigstein."

• Plug: Earth Science Picture of the day is Elephant Feet, Arizona, (shot by Stu Witmer) as seen in the comic pages Krazy Kat by George Herriman

• Plug: Heidi MacDonald over at The Beat enjoyed Tom Spurgeon's interview with Gary Groth. Tom also put up a visit of Fantagraphics in pictures, but you know, didn't include the new office.

• Plug: The LA Times and David Ulin say some touching things after the announcement of Kim's cancer diagnosis. Thank you.

A Statement from Kim Thompson
Written by Kim Thompson | Filed under staffKim Thompson 6 Mar 2013 5:19 PM

Kim Thompson has been my partner at Fantagraphics Books for 35 years. He's contributed vastly and selflessly to this company and to the comics medium and worked closely with countless fine artists over that time. This is a tough announcement to make, but everyone who knows Kim knows he's a fighter and we remain optimistic that he'll get through this and report back to work, where he belongs, doing what he loves.

– Gary Groth


I'm sure that by now a number of people in the comics field who deal with me on a regular or semi-regular basis have noticed that I've been responding more spottily. This is because of ongoing health issues for the past month, which earlier this week resolved themselves in a diagnosis of lung cancer.

This is still very early in the diagnosis, so I have no way of knowing the severity of my condition. I'm relatively young and (otherwise) in good health, and my hospital is top-flight, so I'm hopeful and confident that we will soon have the specifics narrowed down, set me up with a course of treatment, proceed, and lick this thing.

It is quite possible that as treatment gets underway I'll be able to come back in and pick up some aspects of my job, maybe even quite soon. However, in the interests of keeping things rolling as smoothly as I can, I've transferred all my ongoing projects onto other members of the Fantagraphics team. So if you're expecting something from me, contact Gary Groth, Eric Reyolds, or Jason Miles and they can hook you up with whoever you need. If there are things that only I know and can deal with, lay it out for them and they'll contact me.


On behalf of Kim, we would like to encourage anyone who would like to reach out to him to feel free to send mail to him c/o Fantagraphics Books, 7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115, or email.

The Comics Journal #302 - Now in Stock
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalnew releasesmaurice fucking sendakKim ThompsonJacques TardiGary Groth 4 Feb 2013 4:34 PM

Just arrived and shipping now from our mail-order department: 

The Comics Journal #302 - Maurice Sendak cover

The Comics Journal #302
edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Executive Editor

672-page black & white/color 7" x 8.5" softcover
ISBN: 978-1-60699-603-4

See Previews / Order Now

The newly formatted, 600+ page Comics Journal proved a resounding success with 2011’s edition. 2012’s Volume 302 is sure to prove just as essential and exciting to comics readers worldwide.

This edition’s cover feature is a long, intimate interview-portrait with and of Maurice Sendak, the greatest and most successful children’s book author of the 20th — and 21st — century, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Piggelty Pop, and the illustrator of works by Herman Melville, Leo Tolstoy, and Randall Jarrell. In his longest published interview (and one of the last before his death in 2012), Sendak looks back over a career spanning over 60 years and talks to Gary Groth about art, life, and death (especially death), how his childhood, his parents, and his siblings affected his art and outlook, his search for meaning — and also, on the lighter side, about his love (and hate) of movies. And his unbridled comments on the political leadership of the previous decade have already garnered national media attention and controversy.

Sharing equal billing in this issue's flip-book format: Kim Thompson conducts a career-spanning interview with French graphic novel pioneer Jacques Tardi. The two explore the Eisner Award-winner’s genre-spanning oeuvre comprising historical fiction, action-adventure, crime-thriller, “icepunk” and more, focusing on Tardi's working methods (with step by step illustration), collaborations and other media (such as film and animation), and his fascination with World War I. Plus, Matthias Wivel examines Tardi's adaptation of Léo Malet's 120, Rue de la Gare.

Also in this issue, Art Spiegelman conducts a wide-ranging aesthetic colloquy on classic kids’ comics (Carl Barks’s Donald Duck, John Stanley’s Little Lulu, Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike, and many more) with a group of comics critics and historians. Bob Levin provides a revelatory investigation of the twisted history of the "Keep on Truckin’" litigation and a fascinating biographical portrait of R. Crumb’s lawyer, Albert Morse. Warren Bernard writes a ground-breaking historical investigation of the 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency. R.C. Harvey looks at Bill Hume's Babysan and Donald Phelps examines Percy Crosby's Skippy. And a tribute to the late Dylan Williams from his peers and the artists he published.

Plus: “How to Draw Buz Sawyer” by renowned newspaper cartoonist Roy Crane (and a previously unpublished interview), a new comic by Joe Sacco and one by Lewis Trondheim in English for the first time, Tim Kreider on Chester Brown, Tom Crippen on Mort Weisinger and Superman, Rich Kreiner on "difficult comics," and a visual gallery of and commentary on proto-comics.

The Comics Journal has been for 37 years the world’s foremost critical magazine about comics. It is now more vital than ever, a gigantic print compendium of critiques, interviews, and comics.

The Comics Journal #302 - Previews, Pre-Order
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under videoTim KreiderThe Comics JournalRoy CraneRobert CrumbRC Harveypreviewsnew releasesmaurice fucking sendakMatthias WivelLewis TrondheimKim ThompsonJoe SaccoJacques TardiGary GrothCarl Barks 19 Dec 2012 5:57 PM

The Comics Journal #302 - Maurice Sendak cover

The Comics Journal #302
edited by Mike Dean & Kristy Valenti; Gary Groth, Executive Editor

672-page black & white/color 7" x 8.5" softcover
ISBN: 978-1-60699-603-4

Ships in: February 2013 (subject to change) — Pre-Order Now

The newly formatted, 600+ page Comics Journal proved a resounding success with 2011’s edition. 2012’s Volume 302 is sure to prove just as essential and exciting to comics readers worldwide.

This edition’s cover feature is a long, intimate interview-portrait with and of Maurice Sendak, the greatest and most successful children’s book author of the 20th — and 21st — century, the author of Where the Wild Things Are, In the Night Kitchen, Outside Over There, Higglety Piggelty Pop, and the illustrator of works by Herman Melville, Leo Tolstoy, and Randall Jarrell. In his longest published interview (and one of the last before his death in 2012), Sendak looks back over a career spanning over 60 years and talks to Gary Groth about art, life, and death (especially death), how his childhood, his parents, and his siblings affected his art and outlook, his search for meaning — and also, on the lighter side, about his love (and hate) of movies. And his unbridled comments on the political leadership of the previous decade have already garnered national media attention and controversy.

Sharing equal billing in this issue's flip-book format: Kim Thompson conducts a career-spanning interview with French graphic novel pioneer Jacques Tardi. The two explore the Eisner Award-winner’s genre-spanning oeuvre comprising historical fiction, action-adventure, crime-thriller, “icepunk” and more, focusing on Tardi's working methods (with step by step illustration), collaborations and other media (such as film and animation), and his fascination with World War I. Plus, Matthias Wivel examines Tardi's adaptation of Léo Malet's 120, Rue de la Gare.

Also in this issue, Art Spiegelman conducts a wide-ranging aesthetic colloquy on classic kids’ comics (Carl Barks’s Donald Duck, John Stanley’s Little Lulu, Sheldon Mayer’s Sugar and Spike, and many more) with a group of comics critics and historians. Bob Levin provides a revelatory investigation of the twisted history of the "Keep on Truckin’" litigation and a fascinating biographical portrait of R. Crumb’s lawyer, Albert Morse. Warren Bernard writes a ground-breaking historical investigation of the 1954 Senate Subcommittee Hearing on Juvenile Delinquency. R.C. Harvey looks at Bill Hume's Babysan and Donald Phelps examines Percy Crosby's Skippy. And a tribute to the late Dylan Williams from his peers and the artists he published.

Plus: “How to Draw Buz Sawyer” by renowned newspaper cartoonist Roy Crane (and a previously unpublished interview), a new comic by Joe Sacco and one by Lewis Trondheim in English for the first time, Tim Kreider on Chester Brown, Tom Crippen on Mort Weisinger and Superman, Rich Kreiner on "difficult comics," and a visual gallery of and commentary on proto-comics.

The Comics Journal has been for 37 years the world’s foremost critical magazine about comics. It is now more vital than ever, a gigantic print compendium of critiques, interviews, and comics.

Video & Photo Slideshow Preview (view in new window):

The Comics Journal #302 - Tardi cover

First Look: The Comics Journal #302
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under The Comics Journalmaurice fucking sendakKim ThompsonJacques TardiGary GrothComing Attractions 10 Dec 2012 5:04 PM

The Comics Journal #302

Behold, the new issue of The Comics Journal, an edition so awesome we made it a flip-book with TWO cover features: Gary Groth's newsmaking interview with the late Maurice Sendak on one side, and Kim Thompson's interview with Jacques Tardi on the other side. (To clarify, there aren't two separate covers; every copy has both covers and which one's the "front" depends on which way you turn it.) And there's a whooole lotta stuff in between. Look for excerpts to be posted on TCJ.com as the release date nears (early February being our current best guess). TCJ sets the agenda for intelligent comics conversation, so pre-order your copy today and don't get left behind.

FEEL IT!

Kim Thompson interview at The Comics Reporter
Written by Mike Baehr | Filed under Kim ThompsoninterviewsDaily OCD 27 Dec 2011 2:07 PM

Kim Thompson

Your must-read of the day: The Comics Reporter's Tom Spurgeon talks to our second-in-command Kim Thompson. This, from Kim's very first answer:

"...[I]t was more the one-two combination of [Carl] Barks's duck stories and the acquisition of the EC material that gave me a sort of 'holy shit' moment of realizing that if you take, say, the Comics Journal's Top 100 list of yore and go down it, Fantagraphics is now so dominant it becomes almost ridiculous. I think the current Fantagraphics list is unambiguously the greatest list of cartoonists ever to be assembled under one publishing roof, period. I'm open to rebuttal, but, y'know, c'mon."

Always modest, that Kim! The conversation covers general publishing matters and then gets into detail about our current slate of Eurocomics translations. I found it super-informative — and I work here!

On Safari...
Written by Jason Miles | Filed under Olivier SchrauwenKim ThompsonJim WoodringAdventures in Slumberland 28 Oct 2011 1:51 PM

We're off road and on safari and I'm disappointed by the scenery and lack of wildlife. Who knew safari would be a web-ready-low-res-jpg. Tim Root is at the helm of his beautiful van  and very-sludgy-slow-dirge-metal spills from the speakers, punctuated by off-tempo-crunchy-fat-dub-beats. Eric Reynolds is sitting to my left and is giving me shit for not paying attention to Africa (both politically and aesthetically). I'm trying to draw comix despite the bumpy ride and "exotic" locale. Three dimensional shapes made of crosshatching rise from the panels I'm drawing. Sitting across from me is Kim Thompson, chortling. Kim's finding endless laffs and curiosity from my magical crosshatch comix. "Whatcha doing Jason? Haw! That's silly! Har Har! Are you cross-eyed from all that cross-hatching? Heh heh!" With every pot-hole my .001 Rapidograph slips resulting in a loud-sputtering-snort-guffaw from Kim. Rather pissed, I scold Kim, telling him he should expand his view of comix and that what I'm attempting is similar to what Lars Von Trier (one of Kim's favorite filmmakers) has done with Dogme 95 and his film-obstructions experiments. Without warning, Jim Woodring's visage oozes from the van's dome-light and declares "The content and flatulent ass eats horse-meat and white-corn from The Field of Ignorance and Tranquility." Kim overflows with laughter pointing at me and alleging, "I did that!"

Why is Eric kicking out the back window of Tim's van? "We've got company!!" yells Eric.

Eric, Olivier Schrauwen and myself are sitting with our legs dangling from the van's back window as a charging Audi approaches. The Audi is stuffed with spitting camels garbed in saris. The camels are keeping pace with us as they start cocking their Kalashnikov rifles.  

Jason: "What the fuck are we going to do!" Eric: "I don't know but I'm not happy about this and I'm not going to stand for it!" Eric tries to stand up. "Fucking camels! I'm not partial to their kind and I'll be damned if this will be the end of me!!"

Sparkly tears are streaming down Olivier's face. His tense cheeks frame the biggest-most-genuine-smile I've ever seen. Cheesy-retro-computer-generated-rotateey-things undulate around Olivier's eyes. He lovingly looks at the aggressive camels and starts barking. At this point I'm uncertain as to whether or not Olivier Schrauwen is Jesus Christ. With each bark the camels disintegrate. Eric sits down. The camels are almost gone. 

My crosshatched comic is now a finished book and as I ruefully hand a copy to Kim and point out that he's paid for the printing and distribution. Kim giggles as he flips through my book, "It's good work, Jason. My mother loves it." 

And then I woke up.