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Help Keep Independence Alive! You like the world weird, crazy and cool, well help keep it that way, Click for how!

Published at: May 28, 2003, 9:53 p.m. CST

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.









GO TO FANTAGRAPHICS IMMEDIATELY AND HELP SAVE THEM!!!









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 clichéd 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

Readers Talkback

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  • May 28, 2003, 10:15 p.m. CST

    What I really want to say is......

    by b1gw0rm

    Dare I say it.....naw! I'll do what I can to help these guys!

  • Just kidding...Being an English graduate means all sorts of poking at weird connotations stemming from people using the ol' preposition-at-the-end-of-a-sentence mistake. But anyway, this is definitely a company to save. I really hope they get the cash fast. Make it like the film classic UHF and have...a telethon! They were able to drum up $75,000 in a flash. Just get Michael Richards to reprise his role as Stanley Spadowski, put him on the air, and in no time the bucks will come barreling in.

  • May 28, 2003, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Gary Groth is the sexiest tomboy bean pole on the planet.

    by ZeedarTeretz

    Imagine a phone call from Keira Knightly! That'd resonate with the emmotional intelligence of Grahame Greene for sure!

  • May 28, 2003, 10:33 p.m. CST

    For $500 I want breakfast with Stan Lee!

    by Darth Siskel III

    This would follow a long night of superhero lovin'. Excelsior!

  • May 28, 2003, 10:44 p.m. CST

    These guys promised werewolves and vampires without delivering..

    by HappyHamster

    ...so screw 'em. :) Just kidding. The werewolves and vampires thing is too funny to pass up on though. But seriously, these guys rule. Run out to check them out if you've never given them a chance before.

  • May 28, 2003, 10:51 p.m. CST

    Do they make books with vampires or werewolves? That's their onl

    by Jungleboy

    Just wondering...

  • May 28, 2003, 11:07 p.m. CST

    I did it!

    by The Gline

    Right after reading this I went over to their site and picked up the latest Peter Bagge title (and if you haven't read his stuff, you are depriving yourself of some of the most gut-busting work in English yet). Go for it. Drop a few dollars. It'll be worth it.

  • May 28, 2003, 11:09 p.m. CST

    Fantagraphics has terrible customer service

    by AlpoJones

    Not to be nitpicky, but I ordered about $100 dollars worth of books from Fantagraphics last November, they sent me only about half of what I ordered, including one book I didn't request. And then three months later they sent me a second copy of a book I did not order. The Lloyd Llewellyn book advertised was advertised as available, so were several other hard to get items that I paid for, but they sent me some completely different crap. I really think they swindled me.

  • May 28, 2003, 11:26 p.m. CST

    You're groveling me to buy stuff, and you're not offering any ki

    by Jaymin Pepper

  • May 29, 2003, 12:13 a.m. CST

    Fantagraphics is the PBS of comics??? Huh?

    by Andy Travis

    Fantagraphics is a rare company where the gems far outnumber the coal. I can't even imagine how you've come to any conclusion otherwise...Chris Ware, Los Bros Hernandez, Crumb, Deitch, Clowes, Woodring...the only decent magazine about comics, The Comics Journal...I'm sorry if I'm getting defensive, but Fantagraphics has published comics that have raised the standard of comics and what they are and could be to a whole new level. If they go under, a bright light in comics goes out, and we and future generations are the poorer for it.

  • May 29, 2003, 12:23 a.m. CST

    Buy from Fanta...the direct approach is best in this circumstanc

    by Andy Travis

    I generally like to help out local comics retailers, but buying direct would be best here. Not all comic stores will carry a lot of Fanta books, and if you buy 'em, it's up to the retailer to decide to order more, which he/she may not do. Go to the head of the line, instead, esp. since time is a factor.

  • May 29, 2003, 1:05 a.m. CST

    I've been telling you all, The American ecconemy is crumbling -

    by TheGinger Twit

  • May 29, 2003, 1:45 a.m. CST

    sorry, i like comics as much as the next guy but...

    by newc0253

    comics is a business like any other and nobody who walks this earth is owed a living. i'm sorry that these guys were screwed by their distributor and the replacements were screw-ups, but those are the risks. i'll buy the titles i like on their own merits, not because of charity. also, these guys are in financial trouble but they want to remain privately owned. hello? talk about having your cake and eating it. if you really care about your business guys, then suck it up and go public. then every pasty comic store owner could own a share. either that or shop for a white knight. it's not like they've got a shortage of decent titles - i'm sure there's some 30-something investment banker somewhere who's a fan of indie comics, and can sort out a deal.

  • May 29, 2003, 1:54 a.m. CST

    Gary Groth

    by SLEAZY DINOSAUR

    I haven't read comics in years, they just got to expensive, but when I was reading them back in the 80s, I remember Gary Groth as being one of the biggest assholes in the comics industry. I don't care that he's about to lose his busines, the creators of the comics you mentioned will continue to work somewhere, just not for a jerk like Gary Groth.

  • May 29, 2003, 1:54 a.m. CST

    I'll buy some. Not $500 worth, but I will buy some.

    by Reedster9898

  • May 29, 2003, 2:03 a.m. CST

    Fritz, Zippy, Vampire, Warewolf and Rocket

    by Tall_Boy

    Make that comic.

  • May 29, 2003, 2:14 a.m. CST

    Harry is now the MASTER of IRONY!

    by eraser_x

    His exhortation is a modern classic of irony: "If you don't [do as I say], 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 ..." Uh, okay, Harry. If I do exactly as you say, will that make me an individual and different? I'm so glad I have you and Sprite commercials to tell me exactly how I can be different.

  • May 29, 2003, 2:17 a.m. CST

    Whew! I thought Harry was gonna ask for Paypal donations to kee

    by Moriarity Report

    Relief to hear the sight ain't in trouble. Then my life would be over, and I would promptley shoot myself in the head. Anywho, about the Indy comics; I always respect these small Indy publishers since they are really the only living testament of the small buisness model working in the entertainment buisness. Well, outside of porn. Most of these guys don't make all that much money, and just have a few people doing all the work. Their world ain't Hollywood.

  • May 29, 2003, 2:45 a.m. CST

    ginger twit

    by BURDIZZO

    That is the second time(at least to my knowledge) that you have misspelled economy while bringing Bush into the picture...you are a moron.

  • May 29, 2003, 3:29 a.m. CST

    Old comics

    by tbrosz

    Fantagraphics has been really good at republishing classic comics in collectible form. Wish they'd kept up with their great "Orphan Annie" collections.

  • May 29, 2003, 3:56 a.m. CST

    ecconemy ?...what is this ecconemy you speak of?

    by Jon E Cin

  • May 29, 2003, 4:43 a.m. CST

    oh boo hoo

    by barnabooth

    Why is it that the only emotion I can muster up about this is on the level of "Burn Hollywood Burn"? I've enjoyed plenty of Fanta products over the years, but they stopped long ago being cutting edge, or even having any kind of clear identity, and have just become some sort of alternative comics clearing house. "Home of the world's greatest cartoonists," my ass. I guess that's why the top 100 issue of the Comics Journal, a few years ago, was basically an infomercial for Fanta product. These people have never heard in their life about such a thing as "conflict of interest." And if the company goes public, and stops putting money into the pockets of Messrs. Groth and Thompson, so what? Big deal. Does anybody who actually uses the phrase "coming and ominous century" in a press release deserve to own a comic-book company? I'd like to see some proof even that this thing is for real, or maybe it's just more melodrama, and they're hoping to profit from the sentimentality of their fans. I mean, hey, it worked for Top Shelf, it should work for us, right? Bah humbug. I think I'll sit this one out. Rant over.

  • May 29, 2003, 5:14 a.m. CST

    Fanta is the worst company I've ever done business with

    by Coercix

    You would think purchasing 600 dollars worth of merchandise would grant you a little respect and reasonable service. Not from Gary Groth and company. After receiving several wrong items and being charged for "unavailable items" you know what they had to say to me: "We do not legally have to refund your money" When you treat your customers like shit your bound to go out of business, serves them right.

  • May 29, 2003, 5:46 a.m. CST

    you guys suck

    by Vern

    I don't read comic strips or whatever but I decided to read this talkback to find out what goes on here. Turns out you guys are all a bunch of fucking assholes. Jesus, have some god damn sympathy for other human beings. You're saying you love their comics but that it's capitalism so you really don't mind - in fact it sounds like you even get a little bit of a twinge in the penis over the idea - if this company who you adore has to sell themselves to AOL-Time-Warner-Taco-Bell-Exxon-&-Noble or if they go under. No wonder our country is so far in the shitter if people actually enjoy watching their art and culture and independent business get crushed. Only the strong survive. If they wanted to make movies they should've known to make Kangaroo Jack, that's what the people want is worthless garbage, it's a business after all. "Yeah, I love that restaraunt, it was my favorite place to eat, that's where I met my wife. Still, it's funny that it burned down. That's the risk you take when you have a building." I mean seriously, fuck you guys. You suck. I live in Seattle and I'm going to hold every one of you bitches personally responsible for every small business that gets crushed here for now on. I'm taking names like santa claus. This is not a joke it is only a warning.

  • Like the above poster I'm not so eager to hand my cash over to a child molestor. It's actually nice to see Groth grovel and beg. I met him once a couple of years ago and he certainly lived up to his reputation, one of the biggest assholes you'll ever meet. This is what happens when you treat people like shit Groth!

  • May 29, 2003, 6:40 a.m. CST

    Nothing against Gary and Kim....

    by Leisure Suit

    What Gary did is in the past, his business took enough of a hit back then, no need to kick him while he's down. I used to be an avid fan/buyer of the Fantagraphics books, but after one too many "accidental" screw overs via direct purchase I've since ceased business with them. Sorry to hear them going down, worst part is the fact that that sexual assault charge seems to be rearing its ugly head again. Good luck Gary and Kim

  • May 29, 2003, 6:50 a.m. CST

    Well, who's fault izzat!!??

    by KONG33

    Just Kidding. I've been meaning to find some CRUMB books and CLOWES, but in my Canadian Comic Stores they just seem to like to hide from me.... Next time I have cash, I'll be sure to ask the cashier where those books are located! Hope it turns out for the best.

  • May 29, 2003, 7:15 a.m. CST

    proof, please?

    by MartinBlank

    This is the first I've heard of any sexual assault charges brought against Groth, what happened? I'll be supporting Fantagraphics when I can; they publish good stuff. (oh, and I'm glad Harry corrected his goof re: the Hernandez brothers and 'Trashman'). Vern's post kicks ass and pretty much sums up my feelings about some of the 'fuck you, jack, I got mine' idiots. Whoever said that Clowes et al. could get jobs elsewhere is forgetting that if not for Fantagraphics they probably wouldn't have been published at all; who else in the '80s would've even looked at their stuff? It's sad that so many indie comix artists have to do side stuff like illustrations for 'Entertainment Weekly' just to make ends meet, but this is America, where people are (sadly) free to shun quality and jizz over the latest mass-marketed shite.

  • May 29, 2003, 9:09 a.m. CST

    Usagi

    by Tinlantern

    I was reading into the depths of Fantagraphic's Usagi Yojimbo before Stan went on to sending Usagi into Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fame, and turned to Dark Horse. I have a full Usgagi collection, all except the elusive Albedo Volume 1 #2. So YOU BET I will help these old boys out. Super nasty, super sweet.

  • May 29, 2003, 9:30 a.m. CST

    Another Vote for Serves Them Right

    by soundingbrass

    A long time ago I sent in a one-page comic to one of their titles. Usually when one sends in something and it's rejected, one gets a polite form letter saying they can't use it or it's not up to par. That's fair. Somebody at Fantagraphics, however, and the name Groth sounds familiar, took time out of their busy day to type a full page rant against me about how horribly bad my art was and how unrefined my storytelling skills were. A whole page, single spaced. I don't know if he was having a really, really bad day or what, but I was up to that point a big supporter of Fantagraphics titles. I stopped immediately. Not because they didn't pick up my comic (art's subjective anyway), but because he felt like he had to spend his free time coming up with new and innovative put-downs to tell me how bad I was. I'm a fairly successful writer and illustrator--hell, I probably make more money than he does AND have a more fulfilling artistic life. I hope they go under. The underground ironic & cynical comic stories have been beat to death anyway.

  • May 29, 2003, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Poor customer service and poor product causes this.

    by AlpoJones

    I was a little apologetic in my first posting, but I'm interested to see a lot of other people have had bad experiences with Fanta. I want to be all "Up with INDY! Down with THE MAN!" But it's hard when you plunk down cash for their product and they jerk you around and send you crap they were trying to clear out. Much of the stuff listed in the catalog and on the web-site they have not stocked for years, they get you to lay down your cash thinking you've found a hard-to-get item and then they tell you that you can't have what you paid for and you can't have your money back. If you want to get Fanta graphic novels, do it off Amazon, at least that way you have some protection against their bad business practices.

  • May 29, 2003, 10:24 a.m. CST

    Still No Answer

    by Robert Newsome

    Could someone please post something regarding the accusations of "Child Molestor" against Gary Groth? That's a pretty strong allegation, and I've never heard anything about it before this discussion even after being involved with underground comics on several levels for many years now. To what specifically do these allegations refer, and can anyone provided links to articles / information that backs this up? I'm not saying that it isn't true, rather that if it is, I'd certainly like to have details and proof rather than wild accusations and hyperbole. Thanks in advance.

  • May 29, 2003, 12:09 p.m. CST

    Thank you Fishy Kotex!

    by Manaqua

    You took the words right out of my mouth. I was trying to stay silent on this one until we get Harry cronies on here threatening us? WTF? You kidding me? Unfuckingbelievable! I've never bought a fanta rag in my life and from the sounds of things I wont be starting now. Seems to be a consensus among past customers. Crap service = Deserve to go under. Plain and simple. Fucking Lemmings........

  • May 29, 2003, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Nothing on google on child molestation...

    by mbeemer

    ...charges against Groth. Where did *that* come from?

  • May 29, 2003, 12:46 p.m. CST

    I doubt

    by The Llama

    Harry even recognizes the irony in declaring how all people should buy Fantagraphics in order to NOT be the same.*****Also, just because Fantagraphics as a company goes under does not, in any way, mean that the writers and artists who work for them somehow disappear from the world; today is the most indie-friendly era ever for comic books. There are plenty of strong companies out there that welcome the sort of material Fantagraphics has published and that would provide a more stable outlet. Hell, even Dark Horse has managed to maintain all sorts of independent and creator-owned work at the same time it publishes its franchise series.*****And why in the world should I feel sorry for a company whose current disastrous problem is a result of its own mistakes in predicting customer demand for its products? You want to make money in a capitalist environment, then you run the risk of failing in a capitalist environment.

  • May 29, 2003, 12:50 p.m. CST

    The whole

    by The Llama

    "Support Fantagraphics, my lemmings!" tone of this "article" annoys me. But, for the record, I have never heard of any child molestation charges having been brought against Gary Groth. He's famous as a sort of sex fiend, but child molestation is a new one on me.

  • May 29, 2003, 1:28 p.m. CST

    Why subsidize shit that don't sell? Here's some deep and profoun

    by BannthisUcommies

    ) or they

  • May 29, 2003, 2:15 p.m. CST

    Good Riddance Fantassholes!

    by Eel3000

    Gary Groth and Kim Thompson are two of the bigggest assholes in the world. They've spent 20-years trashing, ridiculing, and attacking everyone else in comics...and now we're supposed to HELP them? You don't think geniuses like Crumb, Los Bros, and Clowes would find other publishers? Of course they would. The only difference is the money from their art wouldn't be lining the pockets of two complete assholes any more. Let Fanta die a slow death and in it's place good publishers like Top Shelf, D&Q and others will grow stronger from the residual manure left by Fantagraphics.

  • May 29, 2003, 3:50 p.m. CST

    can you feel the love tonight?

    by omarthesnake

    Man, there's some venom being spewed on this talkback, eh? I've picked up a few comics from this label over the years, esp. dan clowes' great work. But let's face it, if you're going down in flames but you steadfastly refuse to become a publicly traded co., then bye-bye to you. I know little of this thing they call "stock market", but howzabout keeping controlling interest in the company and selling the rest to keep yourselves from going under, rather than begging people to buy stuff they don't want? And like many posters above, i've never heard these child sex charges, and they certainly put a chill down my spine. Any facts out there about this case before i start hurling stones Grothwards? Because if I were God for a day, one of my first snaps-of-the-finger would be to spontaneously combust every single bastard who molested a child.

  • May 29, 2003, 5:42 p.m. CST

    WTF?

    by Deppey

    Hello there; my name is Dirk Deppey, and I'm webmaster for <i>The Comics Journal.</i> This whole "child molesting" thing is a troll; I've never heard this one before, and given the number of enemies Groth's accumulated over the years, I think it's safe to say that if this rumor had even <b>surfaced</b> prior to its appearance on this thread, it would've been all over the Web by now. What kind of scumbag would casually throw around allegations like this?

  • May 29, 2003, 5:52 p.m. CST

    $500 for a thank you phone call ???

    by RobinP

    I wouldn't even pay that for a week's worth of blowjobs !

  • May 29, 2003, 5:57 p.m. CST

    hey vern? put my name on your stupid 'list'

    by newc0253

    "have some god damn sympathy for other human beings?" sure I do. I have just have sympathy for more deserving folk, like actual poor people, or people who are sick, or all the billions of poor schmoes who live in developing countries who don't have the luxury of selling indie comics for a living, and then act like they're doing the rest of the world a fucking favour. you bitch about capitalism but your venom is misplaced. after all, it's not like these guys are giving their comic books away. and from the sounds of it, it's amazing they've managed to stay in business this long. i like the irony of someone in seattle complaining about small businesses going under too. i mean, i could bitch about starbucks being on every street corner in london but i don't: they're just good at what they do.

  • May 29, 2003, 7:26 p.m. CST

    Child Abuse Slander

    by David Weman

    This is slander, of a most vile sort, and not just in a moral but in the legal sense. I therefore humbly suggest the offending posts should be deleted.

  • May 29, 2003, 7:41 p.m. CST

    actually slander is spoken. in print it's libel

    by newc0253

    hard to believe you didn't remember that from Spiderman.

  • May 29, 2003, 7:57 p.m. CST

    The child molester thing isn't true.

    by Andy Travis

    Someone has been trolling, which isn't really that unusual around here, eh?

  • May 29, 2003, 9:59 p.m. CST

    On Groth:

    by fett's_mouthwash

    From http://www.everything2.com/index.pl?node_id=1146096: ****** Comic book editor and publisher. Groth is the co-owner of Fantagraphics Books, one of the most influential publishers of independent and small-press comics. Without Fantagraphics, we wouldn't have ever seen the Hernandez Brothers' "Love and Rockets" or Peter Bagge's "Hate" or Dan Clowes' "Eightball". Groth is also the editor of the Comics Journal, which rejects the "drooling fanboy" approach to comics and insists that comics should be read and reviewed the way you'd read a work of fine literature and art.**********Groth is strongly opinionated, which can be good when he's defending a neglected comics master or promoting an up-and-coming star, but in general, he comes across as not a very nice guy at all. He is the epitome of the angry, arrogant, faux intellectual, but inherently classless fanboy stereotype. He prefers to denounce his many enemies with invective, cheap shots, and slander. Though he's been a tireless crusader for Comics-as-an-Art-Form and was the primary force behind the movement to give comics vet Jack Kirby more credit and more money for his work for Marvel and DC, he's been most notable for his closed-mindedness and his constant courting of controversy. He once published a column attacking Carol Kalish, a Marvel exec--apparently, Kalish made herself a target by dying, and thus being unable to sue for libel. He denounced sci-fi god Harlan Ellison because of disagreements the two had after they were both sued by another comics writer (and Harlan doesn't like being denounced; he tends to respond to criticism by opening up on the critic with both barrels--the ongoing Groth/Ellison feud has sold a bunch of copies of the Journal). Groth has also denounced: acclaimed comics guru Scott McCloud because McCloud likes online comics; comics visionary Frank Miller because Miller writes about superheroes (Groth hates superheroes with far more passion than is healthy) and because Groth thinks Miller is a conservative and hence, a fascist; beloved comics vet Will Eisner, primarily because Groth needed to denounce someone prominent to get the Journal's readership up; and dozens and dozens of others, for crimes both great and small, real and imagined.***************Groth seems to believe that all independent comics (and in particular, all comics from Fantagraphics) are works of genius, while all comics from larger companies are crap. He believes the most offensive thing a comic book can do is be mediocre--too bad his definition of "mediocre" is so arbitrary...

  • May 29, 2003, 10:15 p.m. CST

    HOLY COW!!! DOES THIS MEAN EROS COMICS IS SHUTTING DOWN TOO!!??!

    by RickSlamu2

    Art books and good comics are one thing but mess with titles like Bondage Fairies, Slut Girl, S&M University and Silky WHIP! Good Lord a cavalcade of Full out, break the rules, balls (And MANY OTHER body parts) to the wall porn gone for good?!? This cannot be allowed to happen!!!! Come one people If you won't give for good fun and classic comic book stories , then give for the good dirty fun of unleashing your imaginations and Libidos. And other bodily Fluids!!!! ;)

  • May 30, 2003, 1:17 a.m. CST

    Fanta HATES All You Love, But Give Them Your Money!

    by Eel3000

    A Fanta employee who read these boards claims you're all heartless bastards for not caring about the fates of the couple of people employed in their warehouse. And so what if Groth & Thompson are gruesome assholes. Yet Fanta/TCJ staffers are the EXACT same people who have been like hyenas cheering on the failures of other companies for bad business practices. In their glee over Marvel's bankruptcy, they didn't seem to care much about all the Marvel employees who would suffer as a result. And wasn't that Groth chiding and ridiculing Kevin Eastman just a few years ago for the failure of Eastman's publishing ventures. But I guess everyone is right. When Tundra went under, little-known talents like Alan (From Hell, LOEG) Moore and Mike (Madman) Allred were never heard from again. I'm sure the same fate awaits Crumb, Clowes, Ware etc. if we don't all pony up cash for beloved Fanta. Bah!

  • May 30, 2003, 3:50 a.m. CST

    but seriously, folks...

    by fett's_mouthwash

    ...as much of an asshole as gary groth can be, fantagraphics absolutely deserves all the support it can get. help out a bit, show some heart. i know i'll be picking up some "love and rockets" and "hate" collections this weekend.

  • May 30, 2003, 3:56 a.m. CST

    rumors

    by SLEAZY DINOSAUR

    I used several search engines, and I can't find anything about Gary Groth and child molestation, maybe people are confusing him with Victor Salva, the director that is a convicted child molestor. There is plenty of stuff out there about what a complete piece of shit asshole that he is, when you spend 15 years verbally raping everybody you slightly disagree with in your industry, don't expect a lot of sympethy when your down on your luck. I seem to dimly remember reading something called Mechanics back in the day, but that's about the only book I read from Fantagraphics, except Amazing Heroes and sometimes The Comics Journal, where I decided Gary Groth was an asshole. I'm not glad when a business goes under, but some people are hard to feel sorry for, with Groths screw everybody attitude, and from what I've read on here about how they've treated their regular customers, I know I can't muster any sympathy for them, even if he didn't molest children. And for you folks that believed he was a child molestor, but somehow didn't care, you are some strange dudes.

  • May 30, 2003, 5:36 a.m. CST

    Jeez, Harry... you hyphenate the word "painstakingly, " but "gan

    by LlGHTST0RMER

    What the hell is gangrape? Is that like "gangreen?"

  • May 30, 2003, 6:58 a.m. CST

    newc0253

    by Vern

    First of all buddy you can't ASK to be put on my list, you gotta EARN it. But here is my rebuttal. I didn't ask you to have as much or more sympathy for these comic strip guys as for the suffering people of Afghanistan. In fact I didn't ask YOU to do anything, I was simply lashing out at the assortment of assholes and scumbags above who claim to love the work of this company and yet say that it serves them right for not having good business savvy. This is a pet peeve of mine because unless you yourself are a businessman/business nerd, you should be ashamed of yourself for holding business as a higher priority than art. It's the same phenomenon as the people who tally up box office totals for movies every week and find this more interesting than the actual artistic merit of said films. Or rappers who only talk about their diamonds and cars and not anything else. Would you rather hang out with Donald Trump or John Coltrane? If you are P Diddy, you will choose Trump, if you have a human soul you will choose Coltrane. There are too many people today in music, movies, and in real life who have an embarassing and counterproductive fascination with business over art and culture. I don't know jack shit about spiderman and little orphan fanny but if you really love these comics then fer crying out loud support the people who do a good job of them, don't say, "Ha ha, you only know about creating great art, you don't know how to pay your bills... SUCKERS!" It's like, "Yeah, I love Charles Mingus but he didn't pay his rent, so I laughed when he got thrown out on the street and had his handwritten sheet music dumped out the window." As for whether or not the famous cartoonists from this publisher will work again, that's not the point. The point is, would they have been published and published as well by other publishers if this one didn't exist? And what will happen to the not yet established younger versions of them if this company is gone? Or would you rather read Business Week anyway? And as for "i like the irony of someone in seattle complaining about small businesses going under too. i mean, i could bitch about starbucks being on every street corner in london but i don't: they're just good at what they do." This is an example of not getting it. There is no irony here because half the people in Seattle HATE Starbucks. There are literally Starbucks across the street from Starbucks all over the place. It's not something we are proud of or feel personally responsible for. You may remember in 1999 we had a war with the police which was sparked over a Starbucks window. I don't drink coffee but I do notice many independently owned coffee shops that seem to do just fine. Unfortunately this is often not the case with bookstores when Barnes and Noble comes to town, or mom and pop video stores when Blockbuster or Hollywood opens across the street, or many other cases. These chains (except for Blockbuster) usually have their advantages and offer good things, but by killing small businesses and replacing them with the same thing nationwide they are destroying localism and individuality. I would like to live in a world where you can go to different cities and hear different songs on the radio, or find different kinds of shops and restaraunts. It's just a thing I'm into, I guess. But more importantly if I can't have that world I don't want to see some god damn newsies going on the talkbacks saying that it's okay our culture has been destroyed for profit, because our culture was asking for it by the way it was dressed. thanks bud viva la england. and that's the truth, ruth.

  • May 30, 2003, 1:49 p.m. CST

    plenty of reasons to hate groth -- lying about pederasty a marke

    by duanejones

    ...say what you want about mr. groth's personality. fantagraphics has almost single-handedly raised the bar for comics and their appreciation in america, starting by hectoring the majors mercilessly beginning in the 70's with the comics journal, up through their strong support of raw and other indie comics as object lessons in the '80s, and then releasing some essential work from los bros., gil kane, r. crumb, ware, burns, clowes, etc., etc. i submit that the groundwork for the indie comics boom that resulted in the emergence of d&q &c. wasn't going to come out of the profits from _teenage mutant ninja turtles_ exclusively. no, not everything they've done is incredibly laudatory, but comics worldwide would be struck a serious blow if they went under. i love these right-wing market fabulists who act as though the fact of businesses going under was this inexorable, inexplicable force it's bad form to draw attention to. businesses do well when they are supported. i'm picking up 50 copies of _cold madnes_ for my friends, and if you love comics at all -- not, necessarily, those responsible for their distribution and/or critique -- you should consider doing the same. bravo, harry -- this is the best advocacy done yet for aicn.

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