The influence of Fantagraphics’ flagship anthology of new comic art and storytelling continues to grow with annual award nominations, a widely-acknowledged banner 2008 that found MOME on many year-end critics’ lists, increasing academic and library interest, several gallery exhibitions mounted nationwide, and an increasingly potent well of top-notch, known and unknown talent making every issue a surprising, dense and delightful read. With this season, the quarterly journal of comics will have brought over 2,000 pages of new comics to the world since its inception in 2005. Upcoming contributors of short stories to MOME include: Lilli Carré, Laura Park, Olivier Schrauwen, Tom Kaczynski, Dash Shaw, Ray Fenwick, Émile Bravo, Andrice Arp, Al Columbia, Eleanor Davis, Nathan Neal, Conor O’Keefe, Jon Vermilyea, Jonathan Bennett, Robert Goodin, Sara Edward-Corbett, Derek Van Gieson, and many more. 2009 saw the end of three serials for MOME—legendary cartoonist Gilbert Shelton’s serialized graphic novel, “Last Gig in Shngrlig,” Paul Hornschemeier’s “Life with Mr. Dangerous,” and Tim Hensley’s “Wally Gropius”— and the launch of two more. T. Edward Bak’s biography of German naturalist Georg Wilhelm Steller—who traveled with Vitus Bering on what is generally known as the Second Kamchatka Expedition in 1741—is certain to eventually become one of the most acclaimed graphic novels of the decade. In the hands of Bak, Steller’s narrative story transcends natural history, science and biography and becomes a riveting, beautifully illustrated drama. Ted Stearn’s cult favorite characters have struck a chord with comic lovers over the years (Matt Groening declares them “why I love comics”) in two previous graphic novels, Fuzz & Pluck and Fuzz & Pluck: Splitsville. Stearn now graces MOME with a new, serialized adventure in which the hap Fuzz & Pluck discover a literal money tree. The ensuing entanglement of intrigue and desire is a surrealist, picaresque tour de force of comics storytelling with strong thematical ties to America’s housing and financial meltdown, and the dreams that led to it. There’s also a pirate, and we all know that pirates sell.