Fantagraphics Launches Imprint For "Off-Kilter, Obscure" Works

Publisher gives a big FU to indie cartoonists
Jonah Kinigstein/Fantagraphics

This weekend’s Small Press Expo in Bethesda, MD won’t just see the debut of new books from a variety of creators, it’ll also see the debut of an entire imprint from Fantagraphics Books that’s an FU to the establishment — literally.

FU Press — the acronym stands for “Fantagraphics Underground,” the publisher promises — will see the long-lived publisher of such critically-acclaimed works as Love & Rockets, Hate and Chris Ware’s Acme Novelty Library focus on work it describes as “off-kilter or too obscure to sustain a mass market release.” Each release from FU Press will be limited to between 100 and 500 editions.

The line will launch with two books, making their first appearance at this weekend’s show ahead of a wider release via comic stores next month, are Jonah Kinigstein’s The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Tower of Babel in the ‘Art’ World, an anthology of political cartoons from throughout the 20th century, and Fukitor, a collection of the self-published zine by cartoonist Jason Karns.

Planned future releases include books from Lemony Snickert collaborator Richard Sala, surrealist painter Guy Colwell and underground cartoonist George Metzher. “We're not placing any limitations on ourselves and aim to break new ground,” Jonathan Barli, who will be overseeing production on the new line, said in a statement accompanying the announcement of the imprint.