Friday, December 16, 2005

In Praise of Seth

I was introduced to Seth while reading Comic Art magazine. In the article they visited him in his studio and talked about his influences and process. One of his projects was that he was building a 3D cardboard city in which his comic book "Clyde Fans" takes place. I was convinced and went out and bought his graphic novels. They were great. His line work an dbook design are amazing and at the same time very subtle. "Bannock, Beans and Black Tea" was my favorite with it's tales of Seth's father in depression era Canada.

Well yesturday the new Seth book "Wimbledon Green" appeared at the comic store. I had read about it a few months back and so eagerly snapped up a copy. I was not ready for what was inside. It is an understated masterwork. It deals with the life and times of Wimbledon Green, the Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World. He persues those rare and elusive comics in his own autogyro and spends his days studying their arcane secrets. The story is told from the many points of view of his friends and competitors.

What really made it work for me was that Seth creates another world not unlike are own and it is a world I would love to visit. In this other world a whole new slew of comics exist including comics like All Bedtime and Mighty Orbit which are shown only as thumbnail covers. He takes us a little deeper into the hobo comic "Fine and Dandy" and even reproduces a few tantilizing pages in the end papers. The artwork is throughout the book is stunning with everything done in loose ink wash sketchbook style and the design is top notch as it is with every Seth project.

But the thing that really stands out is how personal and intimate the entire book is. This gets back to the core of what comics are to me, a place where stories are told and where the artwork serves those stories. And the stories in this book are ones worth reading over and over again.

7 comments:

tone said...

I had the pleasure of doing some work with Drawn and Quarterly with Chris Oliveros. While I was there he let me see the raw work that Seth did, it is out of this world. I am a Sid Hoff fan and the ambiance of both artists present in their art is amazing. Pick up the latest Seth masterpiece, Christmas Days. The art is amazing, and the book montage is cool.

http://www.anansi.ca/titles.cfm?pub_subid=283

Dan Goodsell said...

wow that is great - I will pick that up - Seth had a show in Canada and there were posters and shirts but they weren't sold online - if anyone has them let me know

tone said...

Dan the best place to get the stuff you are looking for is at...
http://www.beguiling.com/home.htm. This is were Seth and his fellow artist hang out. I am pretty sure they can help you. Tell them who you are and they will help you. They are wonderful people there. I am sure you heard of them, they are a bit like Golden Apple or the Secret Stash, but carry cool stuff. Give it a try.

Tangaroa said...

I've not bought anthing by Seth yet (blowing too much cash on all the Chris Ware stuff & that Little Nemo oversize monstrosity) - but this is his first one I knew I'd buy sight unseen. Sounds like great subject matter!

Daniel Chappelle said...

Yes SETH is great. Can you tell me if 'Bannock Beans and Black Tea : Memories of a Prince Edward Island Childhood in the Great Depression' is hand written as shown 'INSIDE' the book on AMAZON?

I am writting a book and want it to look like that - way cool.

Also Dan G, great blog - I just stumbled onto it tonight! When did it start?

dan
madmanmagic@mac.com

Dan Goodsell said...

Bannock, Beans and Black Tea has a handwritten looking font - I think he digitized his writing and made a font of it - it looks great

Ward Jenkins said...

I love Seth. He's one of my favorites in the comic world right now. I picked up his "It's a Good Life if You Don't Weaken" and just fell in love with his work. Great linework and the subtle writing is perfect.