"We Told You So serves as both a celebration of how far the medium has come since the Journal launched in 1977 and a reminder of the part Fantagraphics played. ... The book is nearly seven hundred pages, combining vintage photos and original comics with impressively detailed reminiscences from more than two hundred writers, artists, editors, and publishers whose work has defined the form in the late twentieth and early twenty-first centuries." — The Village Voice
"For those who already have some sort of relationship with Fantagraphics, or for any reader looking to learn more about comic-book history, We Told You So serves as an invaluable if imperfect primer." — The A.V. Club
"It took a certain kind of attitude to win that recognition [of comics as art] from the culture watchdogs. This book isn't just a description of that attitude, it's the embodiment of it. And that's a very necessary kind of arrogance." — NPR
"We Told You So is an excellent oral history of Fantagraphics. It makes a compelling case for the revolutionary nature of the undertaking while being pleasingly self-aware about the childish absurdity of the flawed humans involved." — Reason
"Fantagraphics’ history is also a history of the art form and industry, and the personal touches from candid interviews provide a fascinating insider’s perspective." — Publishers Weekly
"General audiences might find We Told You So to be too insider-y. ... But for the diehard comics fans and for young people who seek to sacrifice their lives on the altar of the publishing industry, this is a sumptuous buffet of a book, crammed full of gossip and anecdotes and comics legend." — Seattle Review of Books
"In 640 pages of oral history featuring all-new interviews from those inside and outside Fantagraphics, fans will find plenty to cheer and cringe at, given that Spurgeon and Dean left their rose-tinted lenses at home. It's all here, even gripes from ex-employees." — Omnivoracious
"The oral history corrals in one place the sprawling, profane, profound, occasionally contradictory experiences of cartoonists as varied in temperament as Daniel Clowes, Los Bros Hernandez, Peter Bagge, Joe Sacco, Robert Crumb, Benjamin Marra and many, many others." — Tripwire Magazine
Listen to the Process Party podcast about We Told You So.
In 1976, a group of young men and women coalesced around a fledgling magazine and the idea that comics could be art. In 2016, comics intended for an adult readership are reviewed favorably in the New York Times, enjoy panels devoted to them at Book Expo America, and sell in bookstores comparable to prose efforts of similar weight and intent. We Told You So: Comics as Art tells of Fantagraphics Books’ key role in helping build and shape an art movement around a discredited, ignored and fading expression of Americana the way insiders share the saga with one another other: in anecdotal form, in the words of the people who lived it and saw it happen. Comics historian and critic Tom Spurgeon and Michael Dean assemble an all-star cast of industry figures, critics, cartoonists, art objects, curios and groundbreaking publications to bring you a detailed account of Fantagraphics’ first 40 years. We Told You So is a detailed catalog of the look of a cultural awakening. It’s a story that includes appearances by Chris Ware, Art Spiegelman, Harlan Ellison, Jim Shooter, Stan Lee, Daniel Clowes, Frank Miller, Peter Bagge, Jaime Hernandez, Gilbert Hernandez, Dave Sim, Steve Geppi, Todd McFarlane and every other major figure in the arts or business end of modern comics. More than a corporate history or a fond look back, We Told You So: Comics as Art makes the warts and all case for Fantagraphics Books’ position near the heart of the modern reclamation of the comics art form.