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Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Fantagraphics Wants to Pre-Sell You Some Books

Posted by on Tue, Nov 5, 2013 at 3:27 PM

Today, local publisher Fantagraphics Books put their entire spring publishing lineup—39 books—on Kickstarter, with an eye on a $150,000 goal. This isn't an attempt to shift the publishing paradigm over to a crowdfunding model. It's because 2013 has been a really shitty year for Fantagraphics:

Earlier in the year, one of our founding partners, Kim Thompson, was diagnosed with lung cancer and died four and a half months later, on June 19. Because Kim was such an active part of our company, his death has had repercussions — emotionally, of course, but financially as well. Kim edited our European graphic novel line and as a result of his illness, 13 of his books scheduled for the Spring-Summer season had to be cancelled or postponed, representing the loss of nearly a third of that season. Our fixed costs stayed the same —because they’re fixed— but the income 13 books would’ve generated was lost, disrupting our cash flow, and leaving us in a tight spot.

There are a dizzying number of rewards, including finished copies of the books you'll be helping to fund, original art and signed copies from cartoonists including Stranger-certified literature Genius Jim Woodring, and various other weird and wonderful objects and services. I generally don't promote Kickstarter projects on Slog*, but Fantagraphics is the best damn comics publisher in the United States, period. They contribute immeasurably to Seattle's literary importance. And they've also got a proven track record of publishing books, which means that, unlike other Kickstarters, you're probably going to get to enjoy your rewards in a timely manner. Go see what you can give—and get.

* I don't link to Kickstarters on Slog for many reasons, but one huge reason is that every time I mention Kickstarter on Slog, I get deluged with people trying to get me to promote their Kickstarter or Indiegogo or Gofundme or Gimmemoney campaigns on Slog. So let me be clear about this: I'm not going to promote your Kickstarter on Slog. You are not the exception to this rule. Once you publish amazing comic books for decades and foster the careers of some of the greatest cartoonists the world has ever known, then you can come back to me and ask me to promote your Kickstarter. Otherwise, I'm just going to ignore you.


Comments (2) RSS

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stinkbug 1
I generally love Fantagraphics (although it's harder for me to get to their Georgetown location, and their pricey shipping rates means it's way cheaper to just order via Amazon even though I'd rather support them directly), but with these types of Kickstarters I always want to know more about the finances of the for-profit businesses that are asking for money.
Posted by stinkbug on November 5, 2013 at 4:16 PM · Report this
Pledged! We love Fantagraphics and visit them almost every week. They deserve our help.
Posted by cmuberti on November 10, 2013 at 12:35 PM · Report this

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