June 27, 2013

lareviewofbooks:

Ben Schwartz remembers the life and work of Fantagraphics co-founder Kim Thompson, and why the comics world is so hard hit by his loss:

That’s why the death of Fantagraphics co-founder Kim Thompson hits the comics world so hard. It’s a small world.  Everybody knows everybody in comics publishing. These people have stood at their convention hall folding-tables, stacked high with comics, staring at the other publisher with the folding-table stacked high with comics, for decades. Friendships, grudges, slights, favors, and competitors are remembered for a very, very long time. And Kim Thompson, whom everybody liked (as far as I know), will be remembered for a very long time, for his unique impact on the American comic book, which is somewhat substantial.

Read the whole thing here.

Man, I’m pretty bummed out about this.  I got a job at Fantagraphics when I first moved to Seattle.  Kim was one of many reasons why it was the best shitty, dead end job I’ll ever have, and why I still miss it 15 years later.  How many people can say they worked for a person who made an indelible mark and will remain a permanent influence on an entire industry?  How many people can say they worked in an office with an amazing drawing of a woman with long toenails and wearing nothing but knee high gladiator sandals standing in a victory pose on top of a defeated, trussed up naked man posted to the breakroom wall?  It included a photo of the sender being similarly stepped on, and also included a letter asking if we carried any comics that depicted his interests, asking for the drawing and photo to be returned.  Haw haw on that guy.  I still have laughing fits about it.  Anyway, that wouldn’t have happened anywhere but in the house Kim and Gary built.  Also, the job had bennies and an entire paid hour for lunch.  And if you think people were working and not just listening to Pere Ubu and reading comics while they ate tuna sandwiches (looking at you, Mr. Arm), you would be wildly incorrect.  One day we set up a hot wheels track in there and played with toy cars.  We brought in our game boys and played tetris head to head.  We rode skateboards in the enormous, derelict satellite dish out back.  Someone found an organ for $25 at the starvation army and hauled it in, and it was pressed into service immediately to play the theme from “gilligan’s island” in the handset as people used the phone to make prank calls.  It was the never-never land of workplaces.  I had to quit to go to school, which was why I moved to town in the first place.  I wonder if I moved back there if I could get my old job back.

BEST EMPLOYER OF ALL TIME.  THANK YOU, KIM.

(Source: lareviewofbooks, via fyloveandrockets)

3:44am  |   URL: http://tmblr.co/ZWwmAuoIiIVd
  
Filed under: kim thompson RIP 
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    Ben Schwartz remembers the life and work of Fantagraphics co-founder Kim Thompson, and why the comics world is so hard...
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    Man, I’m pretty bummed out about this. I got a job at Fantagraphics when I first moved to Seattle. Kim was one of many...
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