It’s hard to imagine the field of comics being as diverse and vibrant as it is today without Fantagraphics Books. Founded in 1976 by Gary Groth and Mike Catron (joined by the late Kim Thompson in 1977), Fantagraphics began by publishing the collector’s magazine Amazing Heroes before starting to publish comics in 1979. During its existence, the company has published and championed such alternative-comics greats as Daniel Clowes, the Hernandez Brothers, Jessica Abel, and Charles Burns, along with reprints of classic comics and the influential Comics Journal.
In We Told You So: Comics as Art, comics historian and critic Tom Spurgeon (along with coauthor Michael Dean) provides a revealing and freewheeling oral history of the influential company, exploring not only the business side of the operation but the broader movement and acceptance of comics as an art form during the past 40 years. Those interviewed include a “Who’s Who” of American comics including Art Spiegelman, Stan Lee, Frank Miller, Dave Sim, Jim Shooter, and more.
Eight-time Eisner Award–winner, editor of Comics Reporter, and festival director of Cartoon Crossroads Columbus, Tom Spurgeon signs copies of We Told You So in the Wexner Center Store after the reading. Based in Columbus, Spurgeon has written extensively on comics history and served as editor of Comics Journal for five years. From 1999 to 2002 he was the coauthor of the syndicated strip Wildwood.