Fantagraphics

Fantagraphics

Fantagraphics Books
File:Fantagraphicslogo2.png
Founded 1976
Founder Gary Groth
Mike Catron
Country of origin United States
Headquarters location Seattle, Washington
Distribution W. W. Norton & Company
Key people Gary Groth
Kim Thompson
Eric Reynolds
Publication types Books, Comic books, Magazines
Imprints Eros Comix
Ignatz Series
Official website

Fantagraphics Books is an American publisher of alternative comics, classic comic strip anthologies, magazines, graphic novels, and the adult-oriented Eros Comix imprint. Many notable cartoonists publish their work through Fantagraphics, including Jessica Abel, Peter Bagge, Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Roberta Gregory, Joe Sacco, and Chris Ware.

History

Fantagraphics was founded in 1976 by Gary Groth and Mike Catron at College Park, Maryland. Kim Thompson joined the company in 1977, and soon became a co-owner with Groth.[1] Catron acted as Fantagraphics' co-publisher until 1985, also handling advertising and circulation for The Comics Journal from 1982–1985, when he left the company.[2]

Fantagraphics moved from Maryland to Stamford, Connecticut, then Los Angeles, and finally in 1989 to the Maple Leaf neighborhood of Seattle, Washington.[3]

Fantagraphics publishes The Comics Journal (TCJ), a magazine that covers comics as an art form from a critical perspective. From 1981 to 1992, Fantagraphics also published Amazing Heroes, which examined comics from a hobbyist's point of view.

Since 1982, Fantagraphics has also published critically acclaimed and award-winning series and graphic novels such as Acme Novelty Library, Eightball, Ghost World, Hate, and Love and Rockets. In 1990, the publisher introduced Eros Comix, a lucrative line of erotic comics. Since 2005, Fantagraphics has been co-publishing the Ignatz Series, edited and produced by the Italian artist Igort.

In 2003, comics journalist (and Fantagraphics employee) Michael Dean summed up the economic history of the company this way:

The publisher has alternated between flourishing and nearly perishing over the years. It would have been out of business as long ago as 1978 if Kim Thompson hadn't poured his inheritance into the company's survival. In 1991, Fantagraphics was saved from closing its doors by the launching of its relatively lucrative erotic comics line. As recently as 1998, the company was forced into a round of layoffs.[4]

In 2003 Fantagraphics almost went out of business, losing over $60,000 in the wake of the 2002 bankruptcy of debtor and book trade distributor Seven Hills Distribution.[5] One employee quit during the subsequent downsizing while denouncing Fantagraphic's "disorganization and poor management."[4] Fantagraphics was saved by a restructuring and a successful appeal to comic book fandom that resulted in a huge number of orders.[4] After restructuring, the company has had greater success with such hardcover collections as The Complete Peanuts, distributed by W. W. Norton & Company.[3]

In 2006, Fantagraphics opened its own retail store in Seattle's Georgetown neighborhood.

The publisher announced a deal with Jacques Tardi in March 2009, that would see Thompson translate a large number of his books.[6]

The Kirby Award and the Harvey Award

From 1985–1987, Fantagraphics coordinated and presented (through Amazing Heroes) The Jack Kirby Award for achievement in comic books, voted on by comic-book professionals. The Kirby Award was managed by Dave Olbrich, a Fantagraphics employee and later publisher of Malibu Comics. In 1987, a dispute arose when Olbrich and Fantagraphics each claimed ownership of the awards. A compromise was reached, and starting in 1988, the Kirby Award was discontinued and two new awards were created:[7] the Eisner Award, managed by Olbrich; and the Fantagraphics-managed Harvey Award, named for cartoonist Harvey Kurtzman.

Since their inception, the Harvey Awards have been presented at various fan conventions, such as the Chicago Comicon, the Dallas Fantasy Fair, WonderCon, the Pittsburgh Comicon, and the MoCCA Festival. In 2006 the awards' presentation was moved to the Baltimore Comic-Con, where it has been held ever since.

Imprints

Ignatz Series

The Ignatz Series is an international comic imprint. It is published by Fantagraphics Books (U.S.), Avant Verlag (Germany), Vertige (France), Oog & Blik (Holland), Coconino Press (Italy), and Sinsentido (Spain). It is named for Ignatz Mouse, a character in the comic strip Krazy Kat.

The books in the Ignatz series are designed midway between standard North American comic book pamphlet-size and graphic novel-size. Each title is 32-pages, 2-color, saddlestitched, 8½” × 11", with jacket, priced at $7.95.

The Ignatz collection is edited and produced by Italian artist Igort. Fantagraphics editor Kim Thompson frequently provides translations.

Eros Comix

Eros Comix is an adult-oriented imprint of Fantagraphics Books, established in 1990 to publish pornographic comic books. Eros Comix sells anime videos, DVDs, adult comic books, and books of erotic art and photography. The 2006 Eros Comix print catalog sells over 470 items, mostly adult comic books.

The late writer-artist Tom Sutton contributed work under the pseudonym "Dementia".

Titles

Comic book series

Ignatz Series

To be released:

  • IGNATZ XX: Babel #3 by David B.
  • IGNATZ XX: Baobab #4 by Igort [Italy]
  • IGNATZ XX: Calvario Hills #2 by Marti
  • IGNATZ XX: The End #2 by Anders Nilsen
  • IGNATZ XX: Wish You Were Here #3 by Gipi [Italy]

Eros Comix Titles

MangErotica Titles

  • Bondage Fairies (1996)
  • Hot Tails (1996)
  • Spunky Knight (1996)
  • Super Taboo (1996)
  • Countdown: Sex Bomb (1997)
  • Misty Girl Extreme (1997)
  • Silky Whip by Oh! great (1998)
  • New Bondage Fairies: Fairie Fetish (1998)
  • Slut Girl (2000)
  • Pink Sniper by Kengo Yonekura (2006)
  • Domin-8 Me! by Sesshu Takemura (2007, original title: Take On Me)
  • Milk Mama by Yukiyanagi (2008)
  • Love Selection by Gunma Kisaragi (2010)
  • Too Hot to Handle by Jogi Tsukino (2010, original title: ♭37°C)
  • Love & Hate by Enomoto Heights (2011)
  • A Strange Kind of Woman by Inu (2011)

Anthologies

  • Anything Goes!
  • Snake Eyes
  • Pictopia
  • Graphic Story Monthly
  • Hotwire Comix & Capers
  • BLAB!
  • MOME
  • Blood Orange
  • Zero Zero

Magazines

  • Amazing Heroes — a defunct publication devoted mostly to mainstream comics
  • The Comics Journal — magazine of comics news and criticism
  • Honk — magazine of comics news and criticism
  • Nemo, the Classic Comics Library — a defunct magazine devoted to classic comics

Graphic novels

Classic comics compilations

Books

Notes

References

  • Grand Comics Database
  • Fantagraphics Books at the Comic Book DB
  • Fantagraphics Books at the Big Comic Book Database
  • Eros Comix at the Comic Book DB

External links

  • Grand Comics Database
  • Fantagraphics Books at the Comic Book DB
  • Fantagraphics Books at the Big Comic Book Database
  • Template:Inducks publisher
  • Ignatz Series
  • Coconino Press

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Coordinates: 47°32′57″N 122°19′01″W / 47.549167°N 122.316885°W / 47.549167; -122.316885