A lot of comic lovers out there, especially of the alternative/indie comics, know the name Slave Labor Graphics, or SLG. Brilliant minds like Jhonen Vasquez (Johnny the Homicidal Maniac, I feel Sick, Fillerbunny), Aaron Alexovich (Serenity Rose), Roman Dirge (Lenore), to name a few, launched their careers from Slave Labor Graphics and SLG has quite a lengthy list of beautiful comic works attached to its name. Personally, I’m a huge fan of whatever SLG has published over the years and just the other day the publisher popped into my head. Curious about how they’ve been doing and what new comics were coming out, I checked out the SLG website only to find that things aren’t looking good. In fact, SLG Publishing is in need of our help, comic fans!
A Little History Lesson on Slave Labor Graphics
Dan Vado founded Slave Labor Graphics back in 1986 in San Jose, California. Since then, SLG has been a go-to publisher for many fresh, new artists breaking into the comics field to start. Naturally, SLG gained a reputation for supporting a variety of voices, artistic styles, and general narrative that is inconsistent and unpredictable. No comic series was the same and that’s one of the many things that made Slave Labor Graphics spectacular. In the 29 years in business, SLG has been respected all throughout the alternative comics world and celebrated for its uniqueness.
What’s Goin’ Down?
Sometime early 2014, things went downhill for Slave Labor Graphics when they were forced to relocate when their original building was being town down. But Slave Labor Graphics wasn’t going down without a fight and Dan Vado planned to keep his business alive and strong. He added extra sources of revenue for SLG (stores, t-shirt printing, live music hosting). Unfortunately, the financial situation didn’t smooth other thanks to running up the SLG credit upon relocation. When his bank reviewed the SLG account, it wanted a rather large payment ASAP which lead to a series of unfortunate financial occurrences that created a ton of debt. Dan utilized whatever assets he could to make payments and fix the situation but he still needed some help. For that, he turned to crowdfunding.
On June 26th, 2014, Dan launched a GoFundMe campaign aiming to raise $85K. In the nine months since, 279 people have raised $13,315 and thousands have spread the word about the situation by both Facebook and Twitter.
A Little Bit of Good Fortune
Several months later, Dan made a post on the SLG website about APE, or Alternative Press Expo; an indie comic convention that 20 years ago he conjured up in his mind, ran briefly, then just gave to Comic-Con. Comic-Con handled it in San Francisco and it grew incredibly for decades. Now after all these years, Comic-Con offered it back to Dan Vado, free of charge and without strings. At last, it is returning to the true owner and Vado accepted. With this good fortune comes all sorts of possibilities for the future of Slave Labor Graphics and alternative comics altogether. Nothing is confirmed about the financial and stability situation of SLG since Dan’s last post was back in October of 2014, but it seems like there is some light.
Thousands of people have spread the word about the SLG Publishing situation since the launch of the GoFundMe campaign and I’m spreadin’ the word too! If possible, please spread this around as much as you can.
As their website says, Too Stupid to Quite, Too Mean to Die. Let’s not let this one go, folks.
Thanks for reading!
Favorite game(s): Gone Home, Life is Strange, Back to Bed, Transistor
Non-indie: Mafia II, L.A. Noire, Dark Cloud II (Dark Chronicle), The Assassin's Creed Series (mainly Brotherhood and Black Flag)
Worked for Cliqist.com from Jan 2013 to Februrary 2014.
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