Two days ago, it was reported that Fantagraphics co-publisher and long-time underground pioneer Kim Thompson had passed away from lung cancer at age 56.
It’s hard to fully understand and appreciate the impact this man had on alternative comics unless it’s something you’re passionate about. He is an industry legend; with editing/publishing credentials such as Acme Novelty Library and (one of my all-time favourite things ever): the Zero Zero anthology.
On the Fantagraphics website, Gary Groth (co-founder and long-time friend to Kim), wrote an obituary celebrating Kim’s life that talks about his youth in Europe; growing up a comics fan and zine writer, moving to the US in 1977, and eventually becoming a co-owner and partner with fellow comix genius Gary.
His passing is felt by many; both by those who knew and worked with him personally and by those who merely enjoyed his work and contribution to the world of alternative comics. My thoughts are with his family and friends; specifically his wife Lynn Emerst, Gary Groth, Eric Reynolds, Larry Reid, and the many other awesome people he worked in close proximity with at Fantagraphics. I have a feeling the happiest place in the comics universe is a little somber this week.
Rest in peace, Kim. I never met or knew you, but as a fan I truly feel the need to celebrate your life’s work and pay my utmost respects. Thank you for all you did, and continue to do. Your legacy lives on and on.