Fantagrpahics meets its goal, saved by fans

Official Press Release

We have been awed and humbled by the voluminous response to our open letter of May 29, and want to thank everyone who spread the word, beat the drums on our behalf, endorsed our efforts, supported us, and defended us against our few but vociferous detractors. (See below forwhat we hope is a complete list of benefactors.)

We are pleased -and relieved- to announce that we reached our immediate goal by the end of the work day on Friday, June 6. We have moved from depression to elation to a state of dizzying exhaustion over the course of that long, frenzied week.

Our immediate crisis has subsided, but we still have a considerable back debt to whittle down, much of it in the form of royalties to our cartoonists and authors. It's no secret that over the course of 27 years of publishing he Comics Journal and 22 years of publishing comics, we've been woefully undercapitalized and have more often than not relied upon the patience, if not the kindness, of our authors, to weather difficult periods. Our cartoonists have stuck with us through thick and thin (and vice-versa, of course), many of them for 10, 15, 20 years now, andalthough we firmly believe we'll catch up in due time, we consider it an imperative to catch up sooner rather than later. The more books we sell now, the faster we can catch up on royalties to our authors. As a way of expressing our gratitude to everyone who placed an order in response to our initial letter (May 29) and through June 15, we'll be sending a special discount offer for future purchases.

The success of this grass roots campaign has given us a renewed sense of purpose in our publishing mission and we intend to fulfill the confidence you've expressed in e-mails, phone calls, and public comments. Here's a short (and abridged) list of forthcoming books that we hope will serve to affirm your decision to come to our aid. If you're interested in seeing our full Fall list (September 2003-March 2004), please click on this link to our Fall W.W. Norton catalogue:

THE PIRATES AND THE MOUSE: Bob Levin's meticulously researched, culturally astute, and utterly hilarious account of Walt Disney's legal war against the group of underground cartoonists called The Air Pirates.

WILL ELDER: MAD PLAYBOY OF ART. Harvey Kurtzman's lifetime collaborator finally gets his due in a coffee table format career retrospective with a long biographical essay and representative work from Mad, Panic, Trump, Humbug, Help!, Little Annie Fanny, and many obscure illustrations as well as his fine art paintings. Introduction by Dan Clowes.

KRIGSTEIN COMICS: A companion volume to Greg Sadowski's critical biography, B. Krigstein, this volume contains 240 pages of Krigstein's best 1950s comics, most of them from obscure publishers and never before reprinted. Many re-colored by Marie Severin.

YOUNG GODS: Finally, the first collection from Barry Windsor-Smith's Storyteller series, which was cancelled three issues before the three different storylines could reach their conclusions. Windsor-Smith has completed the last three chapters of his mythic screwball comedy starring his royally gorgeous, foul-mouthed spitfire Princess Adastra. With production values to die for.

QUIMBY THE MOUSE: The next big book from the esteemed Mr. Ware, now (literally) being printed, out next month. Starring, of course, Quimby, a kind of post/retro Krazy Kat, including cut-out-and-assemble paper projects. None of this material has appeared in Jimmy Corrigan. Available in both hard and soft cover.

THE ART OF JIM FLORA: Famed illustrator and designer Jim Flora gets the star treatment in a lovely coffee table book collecting all his LP designs and illustrations.

JIMBO IN PURGATORY: A new, oversized graphic novel by Gary Panter. A postmodern Divine Comedy, this may be Panter's masterpiece. And when we say oversized, we mean oversized.

We wish to thank the following Friends of Fantagraphics, who contributed to the cause in one way or another:

G. Beato, Matt Brady, Susannah Breslin, Dave Bug, Michele Catalano, Tim Cavanaugh, Jens Christoffersen, Mike Conroy, Jon B. Cooke, Colby Cosh, Jessa Crispin, Alan David Doane, Cory Doctorow, Evan Dorkin, Warren Ellis, Mark Evanier, Mark Frauenfelder, Neil Gaiman, G. Goria, Steven Grant, Jim Hanley, Franklin Harris, Jim Hensley, Lee Hester, Tony Isabella, Chris Jacobs & everyone at Sub Pop Records, Rich Johnston, Andrew Kahan, Chip Kidd, Harry Knowles, Kristine & everyone at Last Gasp, Heidi MacDonald, Paul Maliszewski, Marc Maron, Jeff Mason, Scott McCloud, Whitney Matheson, Jim Mortensen, Francoise Mouly, Markisan Naso, NeilAlien, Kevin Parrott, Ned Raggett, Calvin Reid, Larry Reid, John F. Ronan, Rory Root, Diana Schutz, Scott Shaw!, Jim Treacher, Matt Wagner, Brett Warnock, Steve Weiner, The Stranger, and the Cleveland Free Times. There were so many people who did us a good turn that we're sure we missed a few people; our apologies to anyone we accidentally left out;

We would also like to specially thank Chris Ware, Dave Cooper, Stan Sakai, Tony Millionaire, Bob Fingerman, Art Spiegelman, Gary Panter, and Ho Che Anderson for donating original artwork to auction for our benefit.

- Gary Groth and Kin Thompson,

Fantagraphics Books

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