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 While some of our publications are suitable for young readers, we do not publish children’s picture books.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.
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