Too Busy–Again–To Continue my little Squadron Supreme Series, But I’m Never Too Busy to Point Out Some Questionable Rhetoric

Quoth Alan David Doane:

Noted Beagle Saves Noted Publisher — Great profile of Fantagraphics in the Seattle Weekly. The best part, to me, is that the newspaper isn’t afraid to come right out and call Fantagraphics “the most widely respected comics publisher in America.” The article is a terrific history of the company and its highs and lows, focusing on how The Complete Peanuts has turned things around financially, insuring even more great books from the publisher that brought you Ghost World, The Acme Novelty Library, Love and Rockets, and many of the other best comics published in the past couple of decades.

Now, we’ll set aside the question of exactly what the “best” comics published in the last two decades are (my list would include Animal Man #1-26; Cerebus–up until the point at which I stopped reading it, which was only a little more than one decade ago–; Doom Patrol #19-63; Watchmen; The Filth; and, yes, The Squadron Supreme…plus, for sure, the Fanta reprint(s) of Peanuts…bring ’em on!)–but, please, can someone explain to me why Alan thinks any reputable newspaper would be “afraid” to proclaim Fantagraphics the “most respected comics publsher in America”? What other company (other than D & Q, the “most respected comics publisher in Canada”, I suppose?) is even aiming for “respectability” (read: the approbation of an almost wholly bankrupt literary establishment)? More importantly, why the fuck should anyone be making this appeal?

Again, understand me, I have no problem with most of the Fantagraphics books I’ve read–what I dislike is the yearning for “prestige” that mars the critical discourse surrounding these books.

In the past year, I’ve come to the conclusion that “artcomix” is the dirtiest neologism of our time…

Good Night Friends!



  1. The only thing I can think ADD might mean is that he’s impressed a newspaper journalist would call any comics publisher “widely respected,” rather than being condescending and making sound-effects jokes.

  2. that’s a possibility I hadn’t considered Steven, and you may well be right!

    Still, from my perspective, I pray that the era of “Zap! Biff! Pow!” headlines never ends (of course, I’ve never once read one of those stories straight through–and I think that’s the way to deal with them, ignore them, don’t beg the establishment to take you “seriously”…the establishment itself is the least serious thing in the world!), because when it does, we’ll find ourselves staring at shelves filled with cookie-cutter “social critiques” with all of the “power” and “feeling” of American Beauty–and we’ll know who to blame for this catastrophe too!

    Go Team Comix!


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