The rise of crowd funding has been unprecedented over the last few years. We have seen a lot of well-known comic book creators take to Kickstarter with their self published work and bypassing the traditional distribution channels. Creators like Jimmy Palmiotti, Doug TenNapel, Jill Thompson, Batton Lash, James A. Owen, Amy Reeder, Mike Kunkel and Mark Schultz to name a few. There have also been thousands of unknown comic book creators that try to get their comic book project off the ground by using Kickstarter. Even Hollywood has gotten into the action with the surprise success of the Veronica Mars movie funded in less than a day. Yesterday on November 5th another milestone was started on Kickstarter. Fantagraphics Books is trying to finance their spring 2014 slate of books by offering to pre-purchase a number of the titles with special incentives such as signed books as well as prints, sketches, portfolio reviews, tours of the warehouse and one lucky person will get the chance for a 5 minute warehouse shopping spree to walk away with as many books as you can carry out. If you are not familiar with Fantagraphics Books then you should be. For nearly 40 years they have been publishing some of the greatest books and collections of comics in the US. Below are some of there really great books.
This last year was really tough for the company.
2013 has been a particularly hard year for all of us at Fantagraphics Books. 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. Many, if not most of them, will be re-scheduled (Jacques Tardi’s Run Like Crazy, Run Like Hell is scheduled for July 2014, for example) but in the meantime, we’ve suffered a severe shortfall that will impede our ability to produce next season’s books. That’s why we’re asking our faithful readers and new converts alike to help us recoup — and help finance our next season’s books. The money you contribute will go toward production, design, marketing, and printing our books.
So they have gone to Kickstarter to go direct to the buyers for some of their upcoming spring and summer 2014 books. Here are some of the books that they are planning to publish,
Our Spring-Summer season comprises 39 books by a stellar line-up of cartoonists. We’re biased, but we think it’s possibly our best ever. There are a number of books from names familiar to longtime Fantagraphics readers — do Peter Bagge, Dan Clowes, Joe Sacco, Drew Friedman, Michael Kupperman, Jim Woodring, Don Rosa, Tony Millionaire, or Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez ring a bell? —not to mention any number of other names that could anchor a comics Hall of Fame: Charles Schulz, Steve Ditko, Simon & Kirby, Hal Foster, Carl Barks, Floyd Gottfredson, L.B. Cole, Jacques Tardi, Joihn Severin, S. Clay Wilson, Wally Wood, and more. We also have one of our strongest seasons of original graphic novels ever, including new greaphic novels from Olivier Schrauwen, Simon Hanselmann, Esther Pearl Watson, Conor Stechschulte, Carol Swain, Lane Milburn, Eleanor Davis, and Ed Piskor.
From The Complete Witzend to The Complete Eightball, Buddy Bradley to Megg & Mogg, and Don Rosa’s ducks to S. Clay Wilson’s pirates, not to mention new Peanuts, Disney, EC and Love and Rockets books, our 2014 lineup truly features The World’s Greatest Cartoonists.
In a way by pre-purchasing these books you are investing into the company so they can continue to bring these great and important books to market. They are one of the few publishers who publish books because they believe in them not because they are going to turn a profit. A lot of the books for the Kickstarter campaign have sold out in hours and I’m sure that in the upcoming days of the Kickstarter goal of $150,000 that there will be more books and incentives added. As of this writing they are nearly half way to their goal. So head over to Kickstarter and help Fantagraphics keep publishing some of the best books available today. Here is a list of the 39 books that this campaign will help fund.
It only took a little over a week to reach there $150,000 goal. The total now stands at $157,341 with 21 day still left in the campaign. A number of books have been added and some warehouse finds are being added also. Groth posted this update on the site,
Worry not, this is not a daily update kinda thing but we had to again express our thanks when at about 6am PST on Tuesday, we hit $150,000. We are thankful for your support, passing on the word to your friends and taking up that coveted shelf space over the years. Making our goal within a week was an unexpected surprise.
Since we have so many books still available for pre-order and some great ‘warehouse finds’ like the Dave Stevens’ King Kong poster, a special Richard Sala premium (announcing soon….) and more, we have decided on our (first?!) stretch goal.
If we hit 200,000 we plan to: hire translators to help produce books that were previously scheduled and create an infrastructure to continue Kim Thompson‘s legacy of publishing the best bande dessinee.
So check those premiums out, we’re updating all the time, adding extra signed books and scouring the recesses of our punk house-cum-office for cool things that can touch your alternative and indie comics lovin’ heart