Honk Fest West on Friday was a blast! Over 30 cacophonous brass bands from across the country descended on Georgetown for this annual gathering. As was the case last year, the event began on a somber note with a funeral march in front of Fantagraphics Bookstore in memory of Kim Thompson on the first anniversary of his passing. The concerts climaxed with a pitched percussion battle between the Super Bowl champion Seahawks Blue Thunder and the Garfield Drumline (alma mater of musicians like Jimi Hendrix, Quincy Jones, and Macklemore.) Too much fun!
Our good friend and former Mayor Mike McGinn dropped in to do some comix shopping during the festival. Lest we be accused of favoritism, we also played host to current Mayor Ed Murray a week earlier at the colorful Georgetown Carnival below. Good times.
From the Eric Reynolds archives: Kim Thompson hanging out with Eric, Rhea Patton, and Gary Groth, all celebrating Groth's 50th birthday. Kim passed away one year ago today. He still is and will always be missed by his family, friends, co-workers and the comics community.
Call it a Love Hate relationship: Visitors to the Fantagraphics booth #207 at this weekend's sold-out Emerald City Comicon in Seattle will be the first in the country to get copies of Buddy Buys a Dump. The third volume of Peter Bagge's Buddy Bradley stories includes the Hate Annual adventures with a new 20-page conclusion. Come see.
Ellen Forney and David Lasky will sign at our booth today at 4:30 following their informative panel discussion on health care in the comix community. Don't miss the panel on Fantagraphics' future on Saturday at 1:00 PM in room TCC 301 with panelists Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, Michael Catron and Kristy Valenti moderated by Paul Constant of The Stranger. (Check out this week's issue for Constant's panel preview.) This fascinating discussion will continue after the panel when the editors drop by our booth. Then meet the editor of Simon and Kirby's Young Romance series, Michel Gagné, at 3:00 PM.
Don't miss the booth appearance by Stan Sakai on Sunday at 11:00 AM. He'll be signing the first seven volumes of Usagi Yojimbo collections — a spectacular series brought to print by the late Kim Thompson. Here's a chance to meet one of America's most extraordinary artists. We'll have some seasonal Usagi treats in store for adoring fans.
Kim Thompson had an answer for a feature in the March, 1983 issue of Heavy Metal which asked just that question. Our own Kristy Valenti came across it and provided this scan.
It's interesting to revisit statements like this now. In terms of what Kim called "pop comics" his last couple of lines are oddly apropos now that 30 years later one of the most successful comic titles is a zombie comic.
As we approach our $200,000 stretch goal toward translating and publishing the European material that was left in the wake of Kim Thompson's untimely passing (which is what necessitated the campaign in the first place), and to show our gratitude on this day of giving thanks, we're turning a solo spotlight on the first "Kim book" to be rescheduled.
While no one can ever duplicate Kim as a translator, we're extraordinarily pleased that stepping into his shoes for this volume is Doug Headline, who happens to be the son of author Jean-Patrick Manchette, from whose work this book is adapted.
104-page black & white 7.25" x 10.5" hardcover • $19.99 ISBN: 978-1-60699-620-1
Following the acclaimed West Coast Blues and Like a Sniper Lining Up His Shot, Jacques Tardi makes a third appointment with ace crime writer Jean-Patrick Manchette, full of pitch-black humor and a strong current of socio-political satire beneath its bleak surface. A rich industrialist hires a troubled young woman straight out of a psychiatric asylum to nanny his bratty son. But this seemingly altruistic impulse to help rehabilitate a troubled soul hides a darker motive: plans to stage a fake kidnapping of the child, using the nanny as a scapegoat. But things go horribly wrong, and now nanny and child are on the run, pursued both by the police and by a dangerous contract killer with a Terminator-like tenacity.
We had to again express our thanks when at about 6am PST on Tuesday, we hit $150,000 on our Kickstarter campaign for our 2014 Spring-Summer Season. We are thankful for your support, passing on the word to your friends and taking up that coveted shelf space over the years. Making our goal within a week was an unexpected surprise.
Since we have so many books still available for pre-order and some great 'warehouse finds' like the Dave Stevens' King Kong poster, a special Richard Sala premium (announcing soon....) and more, we have decided on our (first?!) stretch goal.
If we hit 200,000 we plan to: hire translators to help produce books that were previously scheduled and create an infrastructure to continue Kim Thompson's legacy of publishing the best bande dessinee.
So check those premiums out, we're updating all the time, adding extra signed books and scouring the recesses of our punk house-cum-office for cool things that can touch your alternative and indie comics lovin' heart.
The Stranger, one of our local alt-weeklies that shares many ties with Fantagraphics throughout the ages ran a tribute to Kim Thompson written by former employee Robert Boyd. Giving context to the comics world as the more commercial spoke the art world wheel, Boyd touches on Kim's job as a creative enabler and rabid music fan.
"Kim encouraged and cajoled many cartoonists to produce art they never otherwise would have dreamed possible. I imagine that if Fantagraphics had not been there in 1982, Jaime Hernandez might have gone on to a successful, respectable career as a penciller for Marvel and DC."
The late Kim Thompson introduced the world to Stan Sakai in Fantagraphics' Critters anthology three decades ago. As Sakai's signature character Usagi Yojimbo nears its 30-year anniversary, the Baltimore Comic-Con honors this exceptional artist at the Baltimore Convention Center on Saturday.
Sakai will greet fans at booth 1902 before appearing at the Usagi Yojimbo Celebration with Dark Horse editor Diana Schutz in room 301 from 2:00 to 3:00 PM. An exclusive Usagi Yojimbo tee shirt (pictured below) and yearbook featuring homages of the intrepid Samurai warrior by over 40 artists will be available at the convention. At 5:00 PM you can bid on the original art by Sakai and other contributors at booth 2505 in the Main Hall. Don't miss this opportunity to meet one of the world's most gifted cartoonists, not to mention one of the nicest people in our industry.