Seattle in the ’90s was in full control of the youthquake: Subpop gave us grunge and Fantagraphics, with Gary Groth and Kim Thompson leading the way, gave us alternative comics.
When you look at how comics are now held in high regard, among those you can thank for that is Kim Thompson. I met him once at a party held in his home. Yes, it’s true, he’s a quiet man. So am I and, well, so are most people to some degree. What sets Mr. Thompson apart from all the early supporters of alternative comics is that he was in a position, as co-publisher at Fantagraphics to really make a difference.
Kim Thompson helped foster the careers of some significant players in the game: Chris Ware, Daniel Clowes, Peter Bagge and Los Bros Hernandez to name a few. And he was a scholar on the subject of comics. In the last few years, he translated the works of such notable cartoonists as Jacques Tardi, Joost Swarte and Jason. At 56, he died much too young.