Douglas Wolk

Cover of Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez’s Love and Rockets, no. 1 (Fantagraphics, 1984).

TO UNDERSTAND what Fantagraphics Books publishers Gary Groth and the late Kim Thompson have done for comics as an art form over the past thirty-eight years, you have to imagine, say, Sylvia Beach and Lawrence Ferlinghetti and André Bazin and Edith Grossman and Barney Rosset and Clement Greenberg having all their roles in their respective media performed by two guys working from a converted two-story house in Seattle. If the only thing Fantagraphics had ever published had been Jaime and Gilbert Hernandez’s series Love and Rockets (which they’ve been doing since 1982), they’d still be Hall of Famers, but they’ve also nurtured subsequent generations of extraordinary cartoonists, from Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware to Lucy Knisley and Eleanor Davis. Their magazine the Comics Journal has demanded ever more expressiveness and range and intelligence from the comics form since its inception

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