Frequently Asked Questions
Will Fantagraphics publish my comic?
Fantagraphics Books publishes comics for thinking readers – readers who like to put their minds to work, who have a sophisticated understanding of art and culture, and appreciate personal expression unfettered by uncritical use of cliché. Fantagraphics will practically always reject any submissions that fit neatly into (or combine in a gimmicky fashion) the mainstream genres of superhero, vigilante, horror, fantasy, and science fiction. While some of our publications are suitable for young readers, we do not publish children’s picture books.
Take note of the originality and diversity of the themes and approaches to drawing in such Fantagraphics titles as Love & Rockets (stories of life in Latin America and Chicano L.A. which draw on influences as diverse as Luis Buñuel, Frida Kahlo, and Hank Ketcham); Palestine (journalistic autobiography in the Middle East); Eightball (surrealism mixed with kitsch culture in stories alternately humorous and painfully personal); and our Ignatz series of comics (contemplative literary pieces that explore the limits of the medium). Try to develop your own, equally individual voice; originality, aesthetic maturity, and graphic storytelling skill are the signs by which Fantagraphics judges whether or not your submission is ripe for publication.
Will you look at my illustration portfolio?
We do not hire illustrators or pair artists with writers. We are looking for independently-created, publishable work (see “What should I submit?” below).
What formats do you publish?
We publish books of all dimensions and page counts (within reason) — there is no standard format. In recent years we have published very few comics in the standard comic book format (6-5/8″ wide by 10-1/4″ tall; 24, 32, or 48 pages plus covers, one-shot or series), though we certainly don’t rule that out. The format should serve the story.
What should I submit?
We want to see an idea that is fully fleshed-out in your mind, at least, if not on paper. Please submit a minimum of five pages of completed art (high-quality reproductions only, please — no original art!) so that we can get an idea of what you deem a finished product and so that we can adequately evaluate your skill at blending visual and textual storytelling elements. Please also include a synopsis of your storyline and indicate the length of the work (projected final page count). Please note that we do NOT look at work submitted in digital format, whether via internet (email, web, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) or disc.
Fantagraphics is an independent company with a modus operandi different from larger, factory-like corporate comics publishers. If your talents are limited to a specific area of expertise (i.e. writing, inking, pencilling etc.), then you will need to develop your own team before submitting a project to us. No matter how brilliant your idea, we will not pair you with another creator.
How and where should I send my submission? When will I hear back?
We do not assume responsibility for unsolicited submissions. This means sending nothing that you’d mind us throwing away, since we have neither the room to store rejected submissions nor the manpower to return them. Any return postage included with submissions should be considered forfeit to us.
Do not send original art, portfolios, or other expensive packages. Sending your work by any of the various express-mailing services will not speed our decision, so please save your money. Again, we do not look at digital and/or electronically transmitted submissions — printed material only, please.
Unless your submission is so brilliant we jump at the opportunity to publish it or, slightly less brilliant but good enough for us to want to keep our eye on you for a future project, due to a lack of manpower, it is unlikely we will reply. Repeatedly contacting us to check on the status of your submission will be futile (and may annoy us).
While we request that you include a cover letter (stating your name, address, etc.) with your submission, we need no resumé — your work stands or falls on its own merits.
Address all submissions to:
Submissions Editor, c/o Fantagraphics Books, 7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115 USA.
What does "out of print" mean?
On our website, "Out of Print" means that a product is permanently out of stock—our warehouse will not be receiving any more of the product and it cannot be ordered through us. However, used bookstores or other sources may still have copies. We recommend Indiebound or Bookshop.org, both of which can help locate hard-to-find books while supporting independent bookshops.
The product I want is out of stock. When will it come back?
We restock frequently, but sometimes a product has sold out of a print run and isn't due for a reprint right away, meaning that it may take a while to restock. We encourage you to use the "Temporarily Out of Stock—Notify When Available" button below the price on an out of stock product page, which will email you as soon as that product is restocked. Please note that we sometimes receive only small amounts of out of stock books and they may sell out quickly.
Shipping is really expensive! Do you offer free shipping?
Unfortunately, shipping is quite expensive worldwide right now due to short staffing, increased fuel prices, and other concerns. Our shipping prices are based on rates we receive through our shipping partners and unfortunately not something we can adjust on our own.
Generally speaking, domestic orders containing only books are cheapest with USPS Media Mail—due to issues with packages not arriving to our standards, we do not offer Media Mail internationally. If you want to add a shirt or other non-book product to your order, we cannot ship Media Mail, making the order more expensive. If you want to order both books and a different kind of product, such as a shirt, it may be more cost-effective to place two separate orders so that you can take advantage of the Media Mail rate for your books.
Because we are an independent company shipping heavy products, free shipping is not feasible for us because the shipping expense compounds with each additional product. However, we do offer a 10% discount off all orders over $100, which covers most of the cost of Media Mail shipping for domestic customers—simply use the code TAKETEN at checkout. Any customer, regardless of location or shipping option choice, can use this discount for one-time purchases (meaning no subscriptions).
How do subscriptions work?
Because we offer some ongoing products, such as NOW and The Comics Journal magazine, we offer subscriptions for those who want to pay in advance and receive new issues as they release. Subscriptions are billed on a one- or two-year cycle, regardless of how many issues come out in that time period. You will always receive all issues you pre-pay for, even if the subscription renews before you have received all previous issues you paid for.
For example, if you purchase a subscription to The Comics Journal, good for four issues, you will receive four issues even if one of the issues is delayed. If the next payment comes due before you have received four issues and you cancel your subscription, you will still receive all four issues you pre-paid for, unless you ask for a refund. If you continue your subscription, you will receive all four issues you paid for with the first payment, as well as the four additional issues in your second payment.
If you want to cancel your subscription before you have received all the issues you have pre-paid for, contact us and we can provide you with a refund for the issues you have not received yet as well as the remaining portion of your shipping costs.
Internships are suspended until further notice.
All internships are unpaid.
Interns at Fantagraphics receive the opportunity to learn about the comics-publishing process; they also gain knowledge of various aspects comics industry (the differences between the comic-shop market and the bookstore market, distribution, creator’s rights, etc.). Please be advised that all comics are created off-site: interns do not write or draw comics during internship hours, although if someone in the office has the spare time, they’re often happy to critique independent projects completed outside of the internship. In fact, no one at the office writes, draws, pencils, inks or hand-letters comics during business hours.
Interns’ hours are scheduled during the Monday-Friday 10:00-6:00 time period. A minimum of 10 hours a week is required.
Be advised that the office contains a large variety of comics material, so you will come across sexually explicit content. In light of this, we strongly encourage only people over 18 to apply.
Editorial interns research, proofread, transcribe, do digital cleanup, maintain the library and practice various writing registers.
To apply, send in a resume and cover letter. If there is a large volume of applicants for a specific time slot, there is a selection process involved. There are no set start and end dates for internships; once an applicant is chosen, we work with when they are available to come out.
Kristy Valenti, Internship Coordinator
kvalenti “at” fantagraphics.com