SEATTLE (AP) — Kim Thompson, co-publisher of influential Seattle-based publisher Fantagraphics Books — known for celebrated alternative comics, graphic novels and comic strip anthologies — has died.

Fantagraphics announced Thompson's death Wednesday, four months after he was diagnosed with lung cancer. He was 56.

Fantagraphics Books has been publishing alternative comics and graphic novels since 1976. Many of its titles are some of the best known among readers and collectors of graphic novels and books with works like "Love and Rockets" by Gilbert and Jaime Hernandez; Daniel Clowes' "Ghost World" and the "Acme Novelty Library."

Thompson was born in Denmark and moved to the U.S. when he was 21 in 1977. Soon after arriving, Thompson met Gary Groth and Michael Catron who founded Fantagraphics. He began contributing to "The Comics Journal" soon after.