By Christopher Baggett

Fantagraphics has shared its programming plans for San Diego Comic-Con, including a massive schedule of signings at its show floor booth, #1721. It’s a huge weekend for the publisher, who boasts an impressive 9 Eisner nominations, including Best New Graphic Album and Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism. 

Fans will be able to get signatures from special guests like Garth Stein and Matthew Southworth, Simon Hanselmann and Josh Pettinger, and Bill Griffith. Fantagraphics will also be hosting a number of panels, including several on the creation of comics from a small press spotlight, a discussion on sci-fi & horror comics and a panel discussing newspaper comic strips. 

For fans who can’t make the show, worry not. Fantagraphics will be hosting a “Not-at-Comic-Con” sale via their official website. The coupon code SDCC will get visitors 25% off their order from Thursday, July 20 – Sunday, July 23. 

Comic-Con 2023 Panels, Programming and Web Sale!

We are beyond excited to be back at Comic-Con this year, along with our Special Guests Garth Stein and Matthew Southworth, Simon Hanselmann and Josh Pettinger, and Bill Griffith! We also have a full schedule of signings at our booth #1721 with a bunch of our amazing artists: Jaime Hernandez, Trina Robbins, Carol Tyler, Briana Loewinsohn, Conor Stechschulte, Charles Glaubitz, Mathew Klickstein, Chris Wisnia, and Robert Mailer Anderson! See the full schedule below, along with the panels and Fantagraphics Eisner nominations. And then of course, there’s our big annual Comic-Con Sale, with 25% off just about everything on! Scroll down for the 411 on that.

Fantagraphics Booth 1721 Signings:

Thursday, July 20th:
12:00-1:00 pm: Garth Stein + Matthew Southworth (The Cloven: Book Two)
1:00-3:00 pm: Jaime Hernandez (Love and Rockets)
3:00-4:00 pm: Simon Hanselmann + Josh Pettinger (Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer Fun Annual)
5:00-6:00 pm: Briana Loewinsohn (Ephemera: A Memoir)
6:00-7:00 pm: Chris Wisnia (Doris Danger: Giant Monsters Amok) + Mathew Klickstein (See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture)

Friday, July 21st:
10:00-11:00 am: Trina Robbins (Last Girl Standing)
11:00 am-12:00 pm: Charles Glaubitz (Starseeds 3) + Conor Stechschulte (Ultrasound)
12:00-1:00 pm: Chris Wisnia (Doris Danger: Giant Monsters Amok) + Briana Loewinsohn (Ephemera: A Memoir)
1:00-2:00 pm: Robert Mailer Anderson (Windows On the World)
2:00-3:00 pm: Simon Hanselmann + Josh Pettinger (Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer Fun Annual)
3:00-4:00 pm: Bill Griffith (The Buildings are Barking: Diane Noomin in Memoriam) + Mathew Klickstein (See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture)
4:00-5:00 pm: Garth Stein + Matthew Southworth (The Cloven: Book Two)
5:00-6:00 pm: Carol Tyler (Fab4 Mania)

Saturday, July 22nd:
10:00-11:00 am: Carol Tyler (Fab4 Mania)
11:00 am-12:00 pm: Briana Loewinsohn (Ephemera: A Memoir) + Conor Stechschulte (Ultrasound)
12:00-2:00 pm: Simon Hanselmann + Josh Pettinger (Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer Fun Annual)
2:00-3:00 pm: Trina Robbins (Last Girl Standing) + Mathew Klickstein (See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture)
4:00-5:00 pm: Garth Stein + Matthew Southworth (The Cloven: Book Two)
5:00-6:00 pm: Chris Wisnia (Doris Danger: Giant Monsters Amok) + Charles Glaubitz (Starseeds 3)

Sunday, July 23rd:
11:00 am-12:00 pm: Charles Glaubitz (Starseeds 3) + Mathew Klickstein (See You At San Diego: An Oral History of Comic-Con, Fandom, and the Triumph of Geek Culture)
12:00-1:00 pm: Trina Robbins (Last Girl Standing) + Briana Loewinsohn (Ephemera: A Memoir)
2:00-3:00 pm: Chris Wisnia (Doris Danger: Giant Monsters Amok) + Carol Tyler (Fab4 Mania)
3:00-4:30 pm: Conor Stechschulte (Ultrasound)


Thursday, July 20th, 11:00 am-12:00 pm, Fan Favorites: The Heroes We Love—They are the reason we love comics. They are the heroes that we can’t get enough of—but why? What endears these characters to us and what makes them a hero? Comic-Con Special Guests J. Scott Campbell, Jo Duffy, Beau Smith, and Matthew Southworth (The Cloven: Book Two) tell moderator Stephanie Gerk (The Debrief Weekly Report) why they love heroes of all kinds and which one will forever have their heart. Room 5AB

Thursday, July 20th, 11:30 am-12:30 pm, Adapting Stories to Graphic Novels—How do artists and writers adapt their experiences, short-form ideas, and the words and worlds of others into full-length graphic novels? Joel Christian Gill (Stamped from the Beginning), Briana Loewinsohn (Ephemera: A Memoir), Mattie Lubchansky (Boys Weekend), and Carrie Vaughn (Wild Cards: Now & Then) discuss a variety of starting points, from short-form concepts to entire established universes, and explain how they get to a finished graphic novel. Moderated by Chip Kidd (editor-at-large, The Pantheon Graphic Library). Room 29CD

Thursday, July 20th, 2:00-3:00 pm, Out of Their Heads: Graphic Novelists Bring Their Stories to Life—Everyone has a great idea for a graphic novel, but how do you get those concepts out of your head and onto the page? Rina Ayuyang (The Man in the McIntosh Suit), Jeffrey Brown (Thor and Loki: Midgard Mayhem), Simon Hanselmann and Josh Pettinger (Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer Fun Annual), Thien Pham (Family Style), and Jeff Smith (Tuki, Bone) join Cartoon Art Museum curator Andrew Farago in conversation as they discuss their latest books and the creative process behind them. Grand 12 & 13, Marriott Marquis San Diego Marina

Thursday, July 20th, 2:30-3:30 pm, Spotlight on Bill GriffithBill Griffith (Zippy the Pinhead) and Matt Groening (The Simpsons) talk about Bill’s new book, Three Rocks: The Story of Ernie Bushmiller: The Man Who Created Nancy (Abrams ComicArts). Room 4

Friday, July 21st, 10:00-11:00 am, Classic Stories, New Frontiers: Literary Sci-Fi + Horror Comics—Following the paths forged by–among others–Ursula LeGuin, Ray Bradbury, Victor LaValle, Gretchen Felker-Martin, and Octavia Butler, these comics creators have written sci-fi and horror stories that combine dazzling art with thought-provoking storylines. Join Matthew Southworth (The Cloven: Books 1 and 2), Charles Glaubitz (Starseeds 3), Mattie Lubchansky (Boys Weekend), Conor Stechschulte (Ultrasound), and Abby Jame (Emotional Data) as they discuss their modern takes on classic genres! The discussion will be moderated by Garth Stein (The Cloven: Books 1 and 2), with a Q&A session to follow. Room 4

Friday, July 21st, 10:30-11:30 am, Self-Publishing and Working with a Publisher: A Discussion—What’s it like to go from self-publishing your art to working with a publisher? Iconic comics creators Simon Hanselmann and Josh Pettinger (Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer Fun Annual), Sammy Harkham (Blood of the Virgin), Briana Loewinsohn (Ephemera: A Memoir), Rina Ayuyang (The Man in the McIntosh Suit), and Thien Pham (Family Style) will be discussing their publishing journeys with moderator Chris Wisnia (Doris Danger: Giant Monsters Amok)–Q&A session to follow! Room 10

Friday, July 21st, 12:00-1:00 pm, Comic Strips and Collections—Start your morning off right (or your afternoon or evening) with the best comic strips around. Dive into the strips you love with Comic-Con Special Guests Ricardo Caté, Simon Hanselmann (Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer Fun Annual), Keith Knight, Stephen Notley, and Steenz, with Jules Rivera (graphic novelist and cartoonist who took over Mark Trail) and moderator Henry Barajas (Gil Thorp). Room 29AB

Friday, July 21st, 12:30-1:30 pm, Walter Kelly’s Pogo—The brilliant newspaper strip Pogo was created, written, and drawn by one of the great geniuses of comic art, Walt Kelly. It’s currently being reprinted in full in a series of books from Fantagraphics, one of which is up for an Eisner Award tonight. Meanwhile, fans of Mr. Kelly and his zany swamp denizens can gather to discuss him, his work, and what it was that made his cartooning so very special. Come hear from artist Steve Leialoha, scholar Maggie Thompson, Kelly archivist Jane Plunkett, and the co-editors of the current reprint series, Eric Reynolds and Mark Evanier. Room 10

Friday, July 21st, 3:00-4:00 pm, Spotlight on Matthew Southworth and Garth Stein—Bestselling author Garth Stein (The Art of Racing in the Rain) and acclaimed cartoonist Matthew Southworth (Stumptown) teamed up to create an action-packed coming of age series about a mutant from the Pacific Northwest, The Cloven. Join them as they discuss the second book in their wildly imaginative bestselling series with moderator Eric Reynolds (VP/Associate Publisher at Fantagraphics)–Q&A session to follow! Room 28DE

Friday, July 21st, 4:30-5:30 pm, Found in Translation: Acquiring Comics From Around the World—There is gorgeous art being created all over the world–how do you find it? What are the ins and outs of foreign rights acquisition? And what are translation best practices? Join leading comics industry professionals Conrad Groth (Fantagraphics), Tom Devlin (Creative Director at Drawn & Quarterly), Michele Foschini (BAO Publishing), Michael Gombos (Sr. Director of Licensed Publications at Dark Horse), Charlotte Greenbaum (Abrams Books), and Olivier Jalabert (Senior Editor at Dupuis) as they discuss with moderator Amber Garza (Full Bleed Rights, LLC) to learn it all! Room 26AB

Saturday, July 22nd, 3:00-4:00 pm, Behind the Scenes of Comics Publishing: A Discussion—Whether self-publishing, working with an independent publisher, or one of the bigger houses, there’s a lot more to comics publishing than meets the eye! Join industry professionals from all sides of comics creation as they discuss the ins and outs of publishing: Eric Reynolds (VP/Associate Publisher at Fantagraphics), Simon Hanselmann (Werewolf Jones & Sons Deluxe Summer Fun Annual), Jacq Cohen (Executive Director of Communications & Publicity at Fantagraphics), Peggy Burns (Publisher of Drawn & Quarterly), Avi Ehrlich (Silver Sprocket), and Colin Turner (Last Gasp). Room 29AB

Saturday, July 22nd, 4:30-5:30 pm, Spotlight on Simon HanselmannSimon Hanselmann (Crisis Zone) along with Josh Pettinger (Power Wash) will be brutally and unrelentingly interrogated by Jacq Cohen (Fantagraphics director of marketing and publicity) regarding their new collaborative Werewolf Jones book, self-publishing versus the direct market, and more. Room 5AB

Eisner Nominations:

The “Oscars” of the comics industry honors comics creators and their works in 32 categories, including the Will Eisner Hall of Fame! Nominated Fantagraphics books and creators are:

Best Reality-Based Work: Invisible Wounds: Graphic Journalism, by Jess Ruliffson

Best Graphic Album—New: Ultrasound, by Conor Stechschulte

Best Graphic Album—Reprint: One Beautiful Spring Day, by Jim Woodring 

Best Comics-Related Periodical/Journalism: The Comics Journal #308, edited by Gary Groth, Kristy Valenti, and Rachel Miller 

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: The George Herriman Library: Krazy & Ignatz 1922-1924, by George Herriman, edited by J. Michael Catron

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Macanudo: Welcome to Elsewhere, by Liniers, edited by Gary Groth

Best Archival Collection/Project—Strips: Pogo The Complete Syndicated Comic Strips: Volume 8: Hijinks from the Horn of Plenty, by Walt Kelly, edited by Mark Evanier and Eric Reynolds

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: Home to Stay! The Complete Ray Bradbury EC Stories by Ray Bradbury and various; edited by J. Michael Catron 

Best Archival Collection/Project—Comic Books: Walt Disney’s Uncle Scrooge: The Diamond Jubilee Collection by Carl Barks; edited by David Gerstein

2023 Eisner Hall of Fame Judges’ Choices:

Aline Kominsky-Crumb (1948–2022)
Kominsky-Crumb was born Aline Goldsmith in 1948, in Long Island, New York. In 1971 she moved to San Francisco and fell in with the all-female collective that founded Wimmen’s Comix, and contributed stories to the anthology’s inaugural issues. In 1975, she departed Wimmen’s Comix and with fellow former contributor Diane Noomin launched Twisted Sisters, which would eventually spawn an anthology and a limited series featuring work by many Wimmen’s Comix contributors. Kominisky married Robert Crumb in 1978, a few years after the couple began co-creating the comic Dirty Laundry, about their life together. Aline drew her own character, “the Bunch,” later collected into Love That Bunch. In 1981 she took the editorial reins of Crumb’s Weirdo anthology and remained the series’ editor through its 1993 conclusion. In 1990, the Crumbs moved to a small village in southern France, where they continued to collaborate. Aline’s 2007 memoir, Need More Love, earned her critical acclaim.

Diane Noomin (1947–2022)
Pioneering female underground cartoonist Diane Noomin (married to cartoonist Bill Griffith) is best known for her character Didi Glitz and for editing the groundbreaking anthology series Twisted Sisters. Noomin’s comics career began in the early 1970s and included appearances in Wimmen’s Comix, Young Lust, Arcade, Titters, Weirdo, and many others. DiDi first appeared in a story called “Restless Reverie” in Short Order Comix #2 (Family Fun, 1974). Noomin has said that she used DiDi as a shield in addressing material which in later years was increasingly autobiographical. Most recently, Noomin edited the anthology Drawing Power: Women’s Stories of Sexual Violence, Harassment, and Survival (Abrams ComicArts, 2019), which was inspired by the global #MeToo Movement. The book won the 2020 Eisner Award for Best Anthology.

Kim Thompson (1956–2013)
Kim Thompson was born in Denmark in 1956 and grew up in the rich and varied publishing world of European comics. He arrived in the U.S. in the 1970s and immediately joined with Gary Groth, founder of Fantagraphics, to serve as co-publisher for the next three decades. Kim began working with The Comics Journal, helping produce the news reports, interviews, criticism, and commentary that would guide and outline the growth of both mainstream comics and the independent comics publishing movement going into the 1980s. By the early 1980s, Fantagraphics began publishing a list that included many of the most acclaimed comics and graphic novels of the era—among them the Hernandez Brothers’ Love and Rockets and many others—and Thompson was instrumental in their acquisition and publication. Thompson was also a key figure in bringing the best of European graphic novels to the U.S., acquiring and translating works.

Bill Griffith (1944– )
Known for his non sequitur-spouting character Zippy the Pinhead, Griffith had his first work published in 1969 in the East Village Other and Screw. His first major comic book titles included Tales of Toad and Young Lust, a bestselling series parodying romance comics. He was co-editor of Arcade, The Comics Revue for its seven-issue run in the mid-’70s. The first Zippy strip appeared in Real Pulp #1 (Print Mint) in 1970. The strip went weekly in 1976, first in the Berkeley Barb and then syndicated nationally. Today the daily Zippy appears in over 200 newspapers worldwide. Most recently, he produced the autobiographical Invisible Ink: My Mother’s Love Affair with a Famous Cartoonist.