Headquartered in Seattle’s Maple Leaf community—with their Bookstore & Gallery in the industrial Georgetown neighborhood—Fantagraphics has quietly produced a stunning body of work over the last 40+ years. Their genres span alternative comics, classic comic strip anthologies, manga, magazines and graphic novels. The imprint’s stable of contemporary comics creators includes Jessica Abel, Peter Bagge, Ivan Brunetti, Charles Burns, Daniel Clowes, Mary Fleener, Roberta Gregory, Mega Kelso, Manny Murphy, Joe Sacco, and Chris Ware. They also include the enigmatic artistry of Jim Woodring as well as the magical realism of the Hernandez Brothers.
Eric’s passion for comics brought him to Seattle in the early 1990’s at age 20 to intern at Fantagraphics, whose owners soon promoted him to publicist. In this podcast, Eric explores synergies between the fledgling alternative comics movement and Sub Pop Records, as well as independent media (including The Rocket & The Stranger) during this watershed period. These and other stories reveal Eric’s purposeful stewardship of a vulnerable yet resolute enterprise through untold business obstacles, elevating comics into a mature art form along the way. For Eric, Fantagraphics remains a labor of love.
“Sometimes it’s a matter of be careful what you ask for; But it really is incredible to see comics taken seriously as art in a way that we could only dream about, years ago.” - Eric Reynolds
Here is Eric & Edward recording in the studio at Jack Straw Cultural Center, May 2022: