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December 27, 2011


CR Holiday Interview #8 -- Kim Thompson

imageKim Thompson is one of the smartest men I know and is certainly one of the most capable to ever work on the editorial side of the comics industry. He's a former employer of mine, and I consider him a friend. In 2011, Kim was one of the busiest editors working, continuing to spearhead Fantagraphics' vast array of European books and strip offerings as well as enough domestic comic book series and stand-alone to challenge any comics company employee. This is all in addition to his duties as co-publisher at the art comics institution.

I became fascinated this year by Thompson's work with those European comics. Not only does Fantagraphics have two successful series of such books going -- in the form of consistent author series with Jason and with Jacques Tardi -- they've added all sorts of interesting stand-alone books in the last 18 to 24 months, including potential book of the year candidates The Cabbie and The Armed Garden. In what follows, I try to touch on some general issues facing the art-comics publisher, but the bulk of it is more squarely focused on the translation work Thompson does both for his company and the occasional gig elsewhere. If at times I read like a fan that just wants to hear about what's coming out next, believe me, that's a big part of why I wanted to have this conversation. -- Tom Spurgeon

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TOM SPURGEON: Kim, I want to talk to you mostly about the translated work you've been doing, but I was hoping you'd let me ask some questions about Fantagraphics right up top. I don't know that we do publishing news very well, but it struck me thinking about the other day that you guys ended your 35th year by starting major series with Pogo and Carl Barks' duck comics, two all-time top ten works. Did that strike you at all, just the position you happen to be in right now? Is the company in general going as well as those two gets would seem to indicate?

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KIM THOMPSON: Yeah, although since we've had the Pogo license for five years now, it was more the one-two combination of Barks's duck stories and the acquisition of the EC material that gave me a sort of "holy shit" moment of realizing that if you take, say, the Comics Journal's Top 100 list of yore and go down it, Fantagraphics is now so dominant it becomes almost ridiculous. I think the current Fantagraphics list is unambiguously the greatest list of cartoonists ever to be assembled under one publishing roof, period. I'm open to rebuttal, but, y'know, c'mon.

Financially, of course these two will be helpful for our bottom line, but I do want to emphasize that there has not been one year since maybe the first flush of Eros 20 years ago that hasn't been a struggle for us, and every time we get a big windfall (like say Peanuts) the market or business has a way of readjusting itself so we're always racing to keep up, like your asshole college buddies pulling away from you just as you're getting ready to hop into the car... over and over again, for 35 years.

SPURGEON: I know that you and Gary Groth share the publishing responsibilities pretty thoroughly, but when I think of production at Fantagraphics I think of you mostly. It seems to me that you have a really good thing going on there the last few years in terms of the nuts and bolts of making your books -- a really fine crop of art directors, good people supporting those art directors. Could I nudge you into talking a bit about what it's like for a publisher on that end of things these days as opposed to ten, twenty years ago?

THOMPSON: Certainly the digital revolution has made editing and production ten times easier. I think it would be inconceivable to anyone under 40 working in the industry to imagine what it used to be like, when any piece of color art had to be photographed and four negatives individually stripped into a page that itself had been photographed from typesetting that had been manually pasted into shape, like a craft project. The increased sophistication of lettering fonts (and our designers' skill at wielding them) has made it far easier to do foreign comics, both in terms of cost and in terms of editorial flexibility -- and they look good. And so on. But I'm old enough that the idea that you can actually buy a copy of your favorite movie and play it on your TV still amazes me.

imageMore specifically, yes, I was just thinking about this... We do have a fantastic team. Three great full-time designers, the legendary Paul Baresh on production and digital cleaning of classical material for starters. Jason Miles has been a boon as a printer liaison and editorial assistant (and it's been great to have Eric Reynolds take a more active part in things on an editorial level), and we have an increasing galaxy of freelancers I know I can summon at will, like Gavin Lees, a former intern who turned out to be a fantastic calligrapher (he did all the special Tardi lettering we've needed); Jim Blanchard, who can do any logo you want (see the Cabbie "license plate" logo); Rich Tommaso, who's doing both coloring and re-lettering (his Peellaert relettering is even better than Peellaert's and he's now my go-to guy for any translation lettering that can't be font-ed out); and my Charlie's Angels-style trio of translators and co-translators: Helge Dascher, Katie LaBarbera, and Jenna Allen. (And Matt Thorn for the Japanese stuff.)

So yes, in terms of being able to produce the material and being able to produce it well, things have never been better.

SPURGEON: Usagi Yojimbo celebrated its 200th comic book issue this year. You were its original publisher back during a time when Fanta seemed more cleanly split between nurturing the post-underground alternatives and publishing high-end, idiosyncratically created genre comics. Given that history, and given your essay from a few years back about the need for more populist material in the marketplace, do you think comics still evinces a need for those kinds of books? Because what we used to call the "indy comic" seems like it's in a slight recess.

THOMPSON: I don't know. I think a solid core of high-selling mainstream-y genre comics would be nice, but it really hasn't happened (except for arguably the manga phenomenon, and I don't get the impression that the success of manga has bled back into non-manga comics) and "art comics" have achieved enough big successes now (Persepolis in particular) that we may be stuck with the image of book-sized graphic novels as being serious literary work... or archival collections of initially mainstream work that have since acquired the patina of art. (It's weird to see the Onion AV Club list reprints of comic strips like Peanuts and Popeye in their "art comics" review section given that these strips were originally read by an audience two or three orders of magnitude larger than whoever is reading the "mainstream" comics. But that's one of the paradoxes of culture for you.) I don't think American comics will ever have a Stieg Larsson or Stephen King. I know even Art Spiegelman is now pining for more vulgar, populist fare to shake out some of the graphic novel stuffiness (which he realizes he himself is to a large degree responsible for!) but it may just not be in the cards. We may be stuck with comics as art.

imageSPURGEON: The last general thing I was hoping to talk to you about, is I wondered if you had any reflection on what it's like to publish with so many rough if not exact publishing peers in the marketplace now. When I was younger you and Kitchen Sink had some overlap, but now it seems like there are a number of publishers that do some of the same things you do. Do you feel a rivalry with any of these publishers? Are you friendly with them? Does having so many folks interested in the cartoonists you're doing have any advantages?

THOMPSON: Well, it's been an interesting ten years, that's for sure. We're almost exactly a decade from when Pantheon swooped in and basically grabbed every major cartoonist they could think of, starting with the double whammy of Dan Clowes and Chris Ware. For a while there was, in the alternative press, a certain defeatist sense of "Well, shit, if someone the size of fuckin' Random House is going to come onto our turf there's not much we can do about that" (or W.W. Norton being able to throw a quarter million dollars at Crumb for Genesis) but I've got to admit that Drawn & Quarterly has managed to turn that tide around to a degree by signing Clowes, reminding all of us that size isn't everything. So I'm thinking the 'teens may see a return to a more even playing field in that regard, as alternative publishers (including us) re-discover how to beat the big boys at their own game by being cleverer and more committed, and willing to take bigger risks.

Obviously if I could wave a magic wand I would love to return to the halcyon days of cartoonists signing on with one publisher and sticking with him, but there's just too much money in the mix now. And as uncomfortable as that can make things for us on a case by case basis I think it's ultimately a net plus for cartoonists, and for the medium, for there to be this competition. Anyway, it would've been naive to think that commercial success for graphic novels wouldn't result in something along these lines eventually, and enough cartoonists who started elsewhere have ended up in Fantagraphics' basket that it would be a little whiny to complain too much when the tide runs the other way.

Now, this is in terms of new work by contemporary cartoonists. Classic comic strip reprints haven't really been much of an issue because it's only us and IDW for the most part, and fortuitously our tastes are divergent enough that we rarely intrude on one another's turf. Also, Dean Mullaney (who runs most of the IDW classic-strip stuff) and I are such ancient friends (going on 40 years) we do make an effort to stay in touch and not step on each other's toes. In any event, most of the truly, monumentally great strips have now been spoken for so I don't see any big potential wars out there. In fact, in some cases there are strips that I feel a sort of obligation to reprint because they're great but worry that a reprint would not be financially doable, so when Dean announces, say, an Otto Soglow collection, I'm pleased both because I'd love to read and own that, and because now I don't have to do it myself. And Dean really has been doing stellar work.

Foreign comics, same deal: Terry Nantier of NBM and I have fairly different tastes, so with one or two minor exceptions it's never been an issue. (We both like David B.; we also both like Lewis Trondheim, but Lewis produces more books than any three publishers can absorb.) I did kind of want the Smurfs, but NBM's done a genuinely superlative job on that project, and it does seem to fit into their program better than ours. But, look, there are so many great foreign books to do that if I told you my top 20 books to do next and you told me NBM and First Second had grabbed them all, I could pull out another 20 without blinking and still be happy.

There have been and I'm sure will be some bruised feelings and conflicts as part of this brave new world but I see it as ultimately part of a healthy, thriving field.

imageSPURGEON: Given the number of people relatively interested in the translated work right now, has there been a corresponding up tick in terms of the quality of production? How much of a struggle is it to do right by these books; do you consider them more difficult than some of the other things you supervise for Fantagraphics?

THOMPSON: More labor intensive, yes, but probably not more difficult. I don't know that I'd use the word "struggle." If you're good at it and work hard at it, they'll come out good, and my team and I have gotten better and better at it. NBM's production and translation have sometimes been on the iffy side in past decades but I think they're doing better now too, and Diana Schutz's Manara books are gorgeous. Last Gasp did a great job on that Winshluss Pinocchio book. So I think everyone is stepping up their game, yeah.

Part of it is, to return to what I said earlier, that the digital revolution has made it so much easier to do quality work. You can go back and look at the Catalan and Dark Horse/NBM releases of the 1980s and 1990s and feel smug, but working with negatives and hand lettering was a fucking bear. If we were still working under those technical constraints our current books wouldn't look half as nice.

SPURGEON: Let's talk about Tardi. Why was Jaques Tardi poisonous to the North American market for so long? Or was that even a fair description?

THOMPSON: Not really, I think. From 1990 to 1992 NBM released three Tardi books (collected from serialization in Cheval Noir) and they were, I gather, not successful. Around that time we'd serialized Tardi's Léo Malet adaptation Fog Over Tolbiac Bridge in Graphic Story Monthly and announced a book collection, whose advance sales were so feeble we cancelled it. Between that and the death of Catalan Communications, reprints of European material in general just didn't seem to be doing very well, so we all sort of stepped back for a while, except for Terry Nantier doggedly putting out more of the self-consciously "literary" books, and Lewis Trondheim. iBooks released a Tardi book in 2004, The Bloody Streets of Paris, but the publisher died in an accident shortly after that and his company fell apart, so who knows how it would have gone? So it's really hard to say whether the American market had any particular reluctance to embrace Tardi. I thought the time was ripe to try again, in any event. I'm a little surprised D+Q didn't follow up the partial serialization of War of the Trenches in their anthology with a full-on book edition, but no, they weren't interested. Trenches has since become one of our best sellers, so there you go.

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SPURGEON: How did this specific round of Tardi projects come about, and what is it you aimed to do differently with the books this time out? I believe that you didn't even start with one of the big-name projects.

THOMPSON: It came about because I thought it was silly that one of the two or three greatest cartoonists in the world wasn't available in English, so I went ahead and did it. I didn't so much decide to do anything differently as just really work hard to make them great -- I guess maybe the fact that we imposed a consistent visual format on the non-Adèle books. But I did decide not to back away from the European album format, which we all had been thinking was a problem, and instead embrace it unapologetically.

In terms of picking material, I had a couple of different agendas going in. I didn't want to start with It Was The War Of The Trenches because that one is such a monument I was afraid everything we did after it might be read as a bit of a disappointment. I wanted to do You Are Here first because that's a keystone of Tardi's career. I wanted to avoid treating Tardi as a "classic" by focusing on his decades-old work, which is why I also started with one of his recent Manchette books. And so on. But I always figured we'd be in it for the long haul, and since we're getting ready to solicit our tenth Tardi book now, I guess we are. We'll hit all the big ones!

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SPURGEON: We know his reputation as an artist, but the prose in the books he does, either his own or taken from somewhere else, does it pose any specific challenges to a translator? Does the oddness of some of the material, or its specificity, make some things a challenge?

THOMPSON: You Are Here (written by Jean-Claude Forest) was quite a challenge because it had a very discursive writing style and was full of wordplay. (Even the title, and the protagonist's name, comprise a pun which caused me endless headaches until I solved it.) The other books are actually easy for me in different, and radically opposite, ways. The Adèle books (and the Adèle spin-off The Arctic Marauder) are written in a purple, antiquated language that just rolls out of my (figurative) typewriter, doubtless because of a childhood spent reading P.G. Wodehouse; it's just a very natural style for me.

Conversely, the efficient, stripped-down, sardonic, hardboiled language of the Manchette books is also something I can do very easily: I instinctively understand it, on a mechanical level. Most of It Was the War of the Trenches was simple descriptive narration, which is easy; I just had to not screw up the period dialogue. And the next book we're doing is set in more or less contemporary New York, which should by definition be easy. I can see possible future projects that could pose problem, like the mammoth Voice of the People which is all written in this juicy mid-18th-century Parisian slang, but so far so good.

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SPURGEON: How has the Adèle material been received? It strikes me as one of those graphic novels where so much has been taken and re-used from them it might be hard to see those books in the same light as the first audiences for it did. What do you like about them, specifically?

THOMPSON: They're the only fictional graphic novels written by Tardi since his earliest beginnings, so I like the pure Tardi-ness of them. It's a really fun world to be immersed in; obviously as a Tintin fan, I like that aspect of it too. They've been received quite well, critically speaking; I was a little concerned that coming after War Of The Trenches the Adèle material, and in particular The Arctic Marauder, would be taken as too frivolous and silly, but that hasn't happened. People seem to dig them.

SPURGEON: Was there any bump for the movie? Because I remember the trailers and I don't remember the movie.

THOMPSON: No, the movie was never released in the U.S., not even so far as I know on Pay-Per-View. An all-regions DVD release snuck out but may have been on the margins of legality in terms of territories and doesn't seem available any more. So no bump. The funny thing is that I hurried out the first Adèle book expecting a U.S. release of the movie, which didn't happen, but then Adèle sold really well anyway.

imageSPURGEON: You've done at least two of Tardi's crime books and I know there's at least one more on the way. Is that because there's a context for crime work now for American comics audiences? How much of a passionate interest is there in that material in the French-language markets?

THOMPSON: Well, there is a huge interest for what Tardi does generally, and a huge appetite for crime fiction in comics, so the two together are definitely gold back in France. I honestly don't know much about Tardi's sales in terms of one book relative to the other but my guess is that the Manchette books are among his best-sellers (along with Adèle, especially after the movie).

As you indicate, between Sin City, 100 Bullets, Ed Brubaker, and the Parker graphic novels by Darwyn Cooke, there does seem to be a market/appetite there for that kind of material in the U.S. Note that several of the original Manchette prose novels have actually been translated to English, one of them quite recently, and Manchette's son tells me there's a consistent buzz of interest from Hollywood. If he was Scandinavian we'd really be cooking with gas, I suspect.

SPURGEON: To tie a couple of things together: First, when you say that the first Adèle book sold well, can you ballpark what that actually means, even if it's just in comparison to another type of book?

THOMPSON: Well, not huge. I honestly don't expect the vast majority of the foreign books to sell more than 2,000 or 2,500 copies, so having to go back to press on a 3,000-copy print run is a success by our standards but puny by most other standards.

SPURGEON: Second, do you have any sense of who's buying the Tardi books? Are there Tardi fans? Is there a difference between the crime books and the rest of them, for example, in terms of how they're moving?

THOMPSON: Honestly, I don't see any clear trends. I suspect there are Tardi fans who buy everything, and there are those who like the turn-of-the-century goofball Adèle stuff (there turned out to be more of those than I expected, in fact), and there are those who like crime, and War of the Trenches has sort of imposed itself as a "must-have" masterpiece that supersedes Tardi, so to speak, like Maus for Spiegelman. I expect the same breakdown occurs in France.

SPURGEON: Talk to me about The Armed Garden. Do you have a specific interest in that material besides the obvious quality of the visuals?

THOMPSON: No, not really. All that myth stuff isn't one of my interests. But I always like it when an artist whose work I love drags me into appreciating and enjoying something for which I have no intrinsic interest. I'm not a World War I buff either.

imageSPURGEON: Is there something about David B. working that mythological stuff that you think works really well?

THOMPSON: It seems to me, if you read Epileptic and in particular Babel, that David had a very real ability to use myth as a way of processing and dealing with his own life, which is what it was always there for. But it's also just something he digs, and it works great with his graphic style.

SPURGEON: That book has a very specific tone... does tone stand in the way of a translation ever, trying to capture a book's unique qualities in a different language?

THOMPSON: Not if the translator is any good, harrumpf. [Spurgeon laughs] Less glibly and smugly, there are times when it's tricky, but I don't find it to be the case at all with David's mythological stuff. Every culture in the world has some similar literary/mystical tradition, so it's not that hard to find an equivalent tone. And in most cases David, as a Frenchman, is already stretching to communicate Asian or African myths, so the stretch for an American is pretty equivalent. It's been some of the easiest translation I've done.

SPURGEON: A mutual friend of ours told me that he thought Stigmata was as close as Lorenzo Mattotti might come to that one big book that everyone points to for the remainder of his career. Were you as taken with the material?

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THOMPSON: Well, the fact that I chose it to kick off our Mattotti reprints should give you a hint. Yeah, it's my favorite of his books. I don't think the writing is on quite as extraordinary a level as the artwork (though that may be because I'm not religious), but the combination of the two is really something. It may in fact be that if the writing was as as rich and accomplished and evocative as the artwork, it wouldn't have needed to be illustrated: a script for a comic needs to be unfinished in some way.

In terms of how it compares to Mattotti's other work, I think Mattotti's more abstractly conceived and drawn stories like Fires are fantastic but they don't hit me on quite the same level, and I respond to Matttotti's black and white work as comics more easily than some of the color artwork, in terms of being drawn into it, in terms of reading it as comics. But Mattotti has been working on an enormous new graphic novel for a number of years now, so that may end up being The One.

SPURGEON: Is there a back story to how you started publishing Gil Jordan and Sibyl-Anne? Because of all the packages I received from any comics company this year, I think that was the biggest surprise. Were those projects related in some way to your own comics consumption as a young person? Is that a kind of material you'd like to see Fantagraphics pursue more explicitly?

THOMPSON: It was more or less pure indulgence. Stuff I love I wanted to share with everyone else, the global equivalent of walking around the office with a book in my hands saying, "Isn't this great?" That simple. Yes, we'll be doing more of it (I've just signed for the second Gil Jordan book, and I'm pursuing some other material) but probably not a huge amount, unless they start taking off sales-wise, which sure hasn't happened yet. Two or three a year, tops.

Look, as far as I'm concerned the 1950s/1960s Franco-Belgian comics are one of the supreme bursts of creativity the field has ever seen. That I grew up on them may be coloring my view of them but I don't necessarily think so; especially since some of my very favorites at this point are ones I didn't read at the time.

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SPURGEON: How long was The Cabbie in the works? That one also surprised me. I can't tell if that would be a completely accessible book or if that would be strangely unfamiliar to all but a few folks. How would you describe that one to someone who only reads a few comics a year?

THOMPSON: "Dick Tracy on crank" works for me. I actually think that to a reader who can deal with the grisly and gross subject matter, it's very accessible and doesn't need any real familiarity with comics to enjoy. (You might think the hyperstylized graphics could be a tripping point, but hey, tens of millions of regular middle-class Americans read and enjoyed Chester Gould on a daily basis, didn't they?)

It's been in the works at least since 2007, when the Ignatz Calvario Hills book appeared. But Martí has always been somewhere on my vast map of desired projects: I loved the Catalan edition and the two RAW stories, and we published a Martí story ourselves way back in Pictopia. By the way, if the first Cabbie is successful we'll have at least three more Martí books coming, none of which has been translated into Engish before and only one of which comprises further Cabbie material (the other stuff is even sicker than The Cabbie).

imageSPURGEON: How close are we to getting the Joost Swarte book?

THOMPSON: It's printed, we just got our advance copies, and it'll be in the U.S. in late January or early February. (First Pogo and then this! Chew on that, those of you who'd given up on both!)

SPURGEON: Can you talk about that project a bit? because he, like Tardi, seems to be someone with a recognizable visual imprimatur that could be argued hasn't ever really gotten over with an American reading audience. How are his comics different than his static images? How much material were you working with?

THOMPSON: We were working with pretty much the totality of Swarte's "adult" comics, of which there's barely about 120-130 pages' worth (the title of the book isn't entirely ironic): His famous two books Modern Art and Cultuur & Techniek, and various anthology short stories (RAW, et al.) in the 1990s and 2000s. I don't know that his comics are different than his static drawings insofar as his supreme narrative and visual intelligence carries over into the sophistication of the panel progressions, and his wicked sense of humor flowers even more fully.

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SPURGEON: What is Milo Manara like as a translation project? We see the images, but it seems like that might be playful prose with which to work.

THOMPSON: Well, as with Tardi, Manara isn't just Manara. I've more or less worked on translating at least five original writers on this so far: Hugo Pratt (who from what I understand provided full scripts, so I really am translating Pratt), Federico Fellini, Silverio Pisu (who did The Ape), the "satirical/serious" Manara of some of his shorts and the upcoming "Giuseppe Bergman" material, and the "porn" Manara... and some of his earliest journeyman material had other writers as well. So it's really like half a dozen different translation projects in a sense.

It's fun. I took this on in part because Diana Schutz asked me to and I've always wanted to work with Diana, in part because a little extra money never hurts, and in part because I like a lot of the material and I thought it would be nice for it to finally have a genuine first-class translation. (Dark Horse has also done a scrupulous job with the production and packaging. There's something nerdishly satisfying about having some of my words, even translated text, lettered by Tom Orzechowski.) I mean, it may be my only shot at translating Pratt, and I'm pretty sure my only shot at Fellini. I expect some of the porn may eventually become a slog, but so far it's been fun.

SPURGEON: Is it fair to say that your interests have helped drive Fantagraphics' new commitment to European work?

THOMPSON: To a degree. If I weren't around I'm sure Gary would be pursuing it regardless. We've always both been interested in European work, but the difficulty of producing it and limited popularity tended to circumscribe the degree to which we pursued it. The "new" commitment is mostly a matter of it being easier to do, and the market opening up, however slightly.

I end up doing almost all of it just because I have the knowledge and the language skills -- it's like being the six-foot-seven guy in the office who ends up changing all the ceiling lightbulbs -- but Eric drove the Man Who Grew His Beard project, Jason Miles is working on something, and Gary has pulled in a couple of projects.

SPURGEON: How do you see your work on those titles in terms of your overall responsibilities in your job?

THOMPSON: On the chore-to-fun scale it's definitely on the "fun" side, on the profitable-to-indulgence scale "indulgence." If we were really hurting financially and/or I had to pick and choose projects based on the degree to which each could help the company's bottom line, most of the foreign work would have to go: Sibyl-Anne is utterly unjustifiable as a wise expenditure of my time or Fantagraphics' printing dollars from a corporate viewpoint. But Eric and Gary have a similar set of judgments to make on their projects, as I guess any publisher does. And of course it's great when "fun" and "profitable" sync up: It's hard to imagine a more fun project than doing the definitive repackaging of Peanuts or Barks, and it's definitely profitable.

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SPURGEON: It's my understanding that you've picked up the rights to Lewis Trondheim's Ralph Azham, and that you'll start publishing it in 2013. I know that's a fantasy title, but I don't know much else about it. What can you tell me about that series -- how big a project is that?

THOMPSON: It's very much in the same vein as the Dungeon series, but focusing on a single character, and with Lewis working solo as opposed to with Joann Sfar and a raft of other artists. Solo except for the coloring, which is by his wife Brigitte [Findakly] and is stunningly lovely, her first work in watercolors on Lewis's work if I'm not mistaken. Lewis intends the series to run for at least six volumes, and has finished the fourth (the man is a machine). Standard 48-page European albums which on Lewis's recommendation we're breaking in half for 96-page landscape-format books. So by that standard we're talking a project that will run well over 500 pages. I'll send you a sneak at the first volume's cover (pre-color). Again, the final books will be landscape format so this isn't a wraparound, it's the full front cover image.

SPURGEON: Finally, one of the things you listed on your sheet of current responsibilities was Love And Rockets?

THOMPSON: Purely in the mechanical terms of getting it from the Bros. to the printer, but yeah.

SPURGEON: So did you know how good "Love Bunglers" was upon first reading it?

THOMPSON: I know how good everything the Bros. do is, but yes, both parts of "Love Bunglers" fall into the category of my emailing everyone in the office and saying, "Holy shit, you've got to read this, Jaime really knocked this one out of the fucking park." Never any doubt on "Bunglers," from the minute I finished reading the first part. Instant classic. Of course nobody expected the second part to be ever better, a year later.

*****

* Kim Thompson
* Fantagraphics

*****

* photo of Kim Thompson by I think me
* Fantagraphics is publishing Carl Barks
* that Cabbie license plate logo
* Otto Soglow
* Dark Horse is doing Milo Manara
* It Was The War Of The Trenches
* You Are There
* from one of Fantagraphics' Adèle collections
* Tardi draws crime
* David B. draws myth
* from The Cabbie
* cover image for impending Joost Swarte volume
* pictures by Manara; words by Pratt
* a Lewis Trondheim fantasy series to be published by Fantagraphics beginning in 2013
* Kim had no doubts about "Love Bunglers" (below)

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