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#602193 - 06/19/13 04:39 PM R.I.P. Kim Thompson
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Fantagraphics Books co-publisher Kim Thompson died early Wednesday morning.

“He was my partner and close friend for 36 years,” said Gary Groth, founder and president of Fantagraphics.

Thompson was born in Denmark in 1956 and grew up reading European and American comics. He was an active fan in his teen years, writing to comics — his letters appeared in Marvel’s letter columns circa early 1970s — and contributing to fanzines from his various European perches.

He set foot on American soil in 1977 and began contributing to The Comics Journal, which Groth and Michael Catron had launched the previous year. Thompson became an owner when Catron took a job at DC Comics in 1978.

Thompson was always evangelical about bandes dessinées and wanted to bring the best of European comics to America. In 1981, Thompson selected and translated the first of many European graphic novels for American publication — Herman Huppen’s The Survivors: Talons of Blood (followed by a 2nd volume in 1983). Thompson’s involvement in The Comics Journal diminished in 1982 when he took over the editorship of Amazing Heroes, a bi-weekly magazine devoted to more mainstream comics (with occasional forays into alternative and even foreign comics). Thompson helmed Amazing Heroes through 204 issues until 1992.

Among Thompson’s signature achievements in comics were Critters, a funny-animal anthology that ran from 50 issues between 1985 to 1990 and is perhaps best known for introducing the world to Stan Sakai’s Usagi Yojimbo; and Zero Zero, an alternative comics anthology that also ran for 50 issues over five years — between 1995 and 2000 — and featured work by, among others, Kim Deitch, Dave Cooper, Al Columbia, Spain Rodriguez, Joe Sacco, David Mazzuchelli, and Joyce Farmer.

Thompson was diagnosed with lung cancer in late February. He is survived by his wife, Lynn Emmert, his mother and father, Aase and John, and his brother Mark.

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#602194 - 06/19/13 10:13 PM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: Lawson]
stroh Offline
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Registered: 12/19/99
Posts: 360
Loc: Baltimore, MD U.S.A.
Condolences to Mr. Thompson's family and friends.

I learned a lot about the comics artform from his articles, interviews and his posts on the Comics Journal message board. What a huge loss.

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#602198 - 06/20/13 10:17 AM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: stroh]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
I've always admired the Fantagraphics crew, including Kim Thompson, for promoting lesser-known artists and pushing comics to be better. And they've been doing it for nearly 40 years.

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#602199 - 06/20/13 10:44 AM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: Lawson]
Ceci n'est pas une chaussette Offline
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Registered: 12/19/05
Posts: 2840
That is a damn shame. RIP.
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#602200 - 06/20/13 01:27 PM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: Ceci n'est pas une chaussette]
Allen Montgomery Online   content
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Registered: 05/08/00
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I enjoyed Critters and Amazing Heroes (although it became somewhat indistinguishable from other media rags in its last few years), and appreciated Thompson's more sensible counterpoint to Gary Groth.
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If one wants the credit, one has to cease being a ghost and become a leader or innovator."
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#602201 - 06/20/13 02:31 PM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: Allen Montgomery]
Lawson Offline
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Registered: 11/11/02
Posts: 11978
Loc: Lexington, Ky.
Originally Posted By: Allen Montgomery
more sensible counterpoint to Gary Groth.


Last night I read a lengthy interview by Groth with Maurice Sendak, the children's book illustrator who died last year. It was published recently in THE COMICS JOURNAL.

Sendak, famously grumpy at the best of times, was downright angry during this interview, given at age 83. The fucking morons have taken over -- the world has turned to shit and there's no coming back -- no good book has been written since 1900, no good movie has been produced since 1950, the golden age for America and humanity was my young adulthood and now it's gone forever. Death will be a relief!

Anyone who's had an elderly relative in poor health, on the way out, may have heard something similar.

But the whole time, Groth is nodding and agreeing and telling Sendak "You're so right, the world is total shit, they all are total morons, it's hopeless!" And Groth at the time was, like, 50 years old. And he's sounded like a bitter old man for 25 years!

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#602205 - 06/22/13 03:14 PM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: Lawson]
Peter Urkowitz Offline
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Registered: 08/28/00
Posts: 3231
Loc: Salem, MA, USA
He did a lot of good in his lifetime, through his publishing efforts, translations, and being a generally decent person. Kim Thompson will be greatly missed.

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#602206 - 06/24/13 03:30 AM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: Peter Urkowitz]
Non Nonsense Online   content
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Registered: 07/07/09
Posts: 2279
WOW I didn't expect to read that really sucks I had that minor run in on the TCJ board but that was all I knew about him at the time.
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#602213 - 06/26/13 08:39 AM Re: R.I.P. Kim Thompson [Re: Non Nonsense]
granfalloon Offline
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Registered: 10/27/03
Posts: 724
Loc: Toronto, Canada
Too bad. He added a lot to the hobby. I met him once and he seemed to be a nice fellow.
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Jeez, granfalloon, that longer post above might be one of the most thoughtful, best written things I've ever read on Comicon.
--Lawson

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