Fantagraphics Seeks Support With a Kickstarter Campaign
By ALLAN KOZINN
Mr. Thompson, who died in June, was in charge of the company’s European graphic novel line, and was forced to set aside 13 projects that were to have been published during the spring and summer. Not having those books — about a third of the company’s planned releases — in the stores has caused a hiccup in the company’s cash flow, and that, in turn, has put Fantagraphics’s ability to publish some of its 2014 line in doubt.
The company’s solution is to turn to what it hopes is a devoted readership to help foot the bill. Gary Groth, the surviving founder and publisher, announced a Kickstarter campaign on Tuesday, with a goal of raising $150,000 by Dec. 5, with inducements that include signed copies of the company’s books and a target-shooting trip with Mr. Groth.
“If we were a big corporate publisher (or perhaps an avaricious smaller one),” Mr. Groth wrote on the campaign’s web page, “we’d have plenty of money to weather this temporary crisis. But we’re not.” He added that the company, which is based in Seattle, has a staff of 20 and publishes 100 titles a year.
The Kickstarter campaign is meant to support 39 books in the spring and summer line, including installments in its series of “Peanuts” and “Prince Valiant” reprints, as well Dan Clowes’s “The Complete Eightball 1-18,” in a two volume slipcase edition, and works by modern cartoonists and graphic novelists like Eleanor Davis, Simon Hanselmann, Jim Woodring and Tony Millionaire.
The company’s plea appears to have struck a chord among graphic novel fans. Early Wednesday afternoon, barely 24 hours after the campaign was announced, pledges exceeded $84,000.