Hey folks, Harry here... I don't do this much, only when the cool get down, then it's time for AICN and folks like you to help out! That's right, a Call To Arms!
You loved GHOST WORLD, most of us did, but right now, the publisher that keeps Daniel Clowes in all 4 colors at an obscure comic shop near you or me is in dire need. You see, they've been corn-holed and are still tied to that splintery barrel spread eagle for a gangrape unless we cut the ropes and let them walk the earth and continue to print the stories we want to read. The work of Robert Crumb, the aforementioned Daniel Clowes, the brilliance of Charles Burns, the real brothers cool... yeah The Hernandez Brothers - WHERE'S MY FUCKING LOVE & ROCKETS MOVIE???, Bill Griffith's ZIPPY THE PINHEAD, the depraved lunacy of the god Robert Williams, the king of Conan - Barry Windsor-Smith, the absolutely pain-stakingly exacting detailed genius of Chris Ware or the surreal hilarity of Jim Woodring and all the others. Meanwhile, they're keeping the genius of Hal Foster's PRINCE VALIANT alive, the brilliance of George Herriman's KRAZY KAT, as well as that cat with the endless bag of tricks - yup, Otto Mesmer's Felix the Cat. Plus if ya love Paul Dini's MUTANT, TEXAS - check out Walt Kelly's POGO! Pick up those issues of BLAB! Or finally get the entire collection of Robert Crumb - If you've been putting it off, do so no more... Right now this publisher is in DIRE NEED for your patronage.
FANTAGRAPHICS is the soul of the intellectually stimulating field of comics. That bastion of class and classless. KEEP THEM ALIVE, by buying their comics immediately. What do you get? GREATNESS and KARMA! If you don't, then you remain ignorant and dull, doomed to spend your life walking in the exact steps the person in front of you walked in. FANTAGRAPHICS represents a different path, one of great enlightenment.
Fantagraphics Books Needs Your Help!
Buy Books! Keep Us Alive!
To Comics Lovers Throughout the World:
Fantagraphics Books has just celebrated its 27th year publishing many of the finest cartoonists from all over the world as well as our flagship publication, the magazine people love to hate, The Comics Journal. We are proud of our long-term commitment to comics as an art form and our dogged determination to push excellence down everybody’s throats. This is all very well and good but it doesn’t mean much in the face of brute economics — and it’s the wall of brute economics that we’ve just hit, hard.
Due to two major financial obstacles over the last two years, we’re hard against it.
Our former and now bankrupt book trade distributor went out of business owing us over $70,000 — which we will never see. (To add insult to injury, we learned that the owner is selling copies of our books that he should’ve returned on e-bay!) This unexpected shortfall necessitated taking out a couple loans which have now come due. In late 2001, our line was picked up by the W.W. NORTON COMPANY, who took over our bookstore distribution, and has done a magnificent job of providing us unprecedented access to the bookstore market. Inexperience with the book trade resulted in our erring on the side of overprinting our books too heavily throughout 2002, so that our anticipated profit is in fact sitting in our warehouse in the form of books. Loans must be paid in cash, not books. The only way to get out of this hole we’ve dug ourselves into is to sell those books. Which is where, we hope, you come in.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve worked to fix our in-house problems (which included, most painfully, laying off several fine and long-term employees). We have put in place a system of checks and balances by which we will watch our inventory growth scrupulously. But, we have a debt to pay down and wolves at the door. It’s so severe that this month we envisaged shutting down our active publishing, seeking outside investors, or similarly odious measures. (Fantagraphics continues to be owned 100% by Messrs. Gary Groth and Kim Thompson. We’d like it to remain that way.)
If you’ve respected what Fantagraphics stands for and what we’ve done for the medium, if you’ve enjoyed our books, and if you want to insure that this proud tradition continues into this new and ominous century, we’re asking you to help us now in our especial hour of need by buying some books. Put simply, we need to raise about $80,000 above our usual sales over the next month, and the only way to do that is to convert books into cash.
We’ve spent the last quarter century trying hard to produce the best comics the world has ever seen. You’ve rewarded us over the years with your loyal patronage, your moral support, your praise, your intelligent and honest feedback, all of which are more than we could ever have hoped for. We know we have tens of thousands of loyal readers: if even a fraction of you come forward and order two or three books that you’ve been meaning to buy, we’ll be over this hump. We’ve published some some of the best books ever over the last year —Gene Deitch’s (yes, that Gene Deitch!) THE CAT ON A HOT THIN GROOVE; B. KRIGSTEIN, Greg Sadowski’s definitive biography of the pioneering artist from the '50s; the magnificent FRANK collection; and the third volume of the extraordinary KRAZY KAT series. Our publishing plans for 2003 include a huge coffee table book by Will Elder (WILL ELDER: MAD PLAYBOY OF ART); KRIGSTEIN COMICS, a 240 page follow-up collection of Krigstein’s best comics from the ’50s, and new collections and graphic novels by Gilbert Hernandez, Jason, Dave Cooper, Robert Crumb, A.B. Frost, Bill Griffith, Gary Panter...
We already sell books by mail, so, as clichÃ©d as it sounds, we really do have operators standing by. You can view out catalogue online. You can order by calling our 800 number or on-line at our web site (all ordering information below.)
If this was a standard pitch, we’d offer you some extra incentive — a discount or free books or knicknacks or whatnot. But, it’s not. We’re asking those of you who believe we’ve contributed something worthwhile and meaningful to help us continue to do so, that’s all. We need the full retail value of our books. But we can offer something that won’t cost us any money: anyone (individually or collectively) who buys $500 worth of books from us will get a personal phone call from Gary Groth thanking you for saving Fantagraphics’ ass. Think how much fun this could be at a party!
via FAX: 206-524-2104
via mail: FANTAGRAPHICS , 7563 Lake City Way NE, Seattle, WA 98115
Secure Internet Orders: http://www.fantagraphics.com
phone: 206-524-6165 or 800-657-1100