Graphica / October 19, 2011
Cartoonists Daniel Clowes and Seth talked to Leonard Lopate about comics and their new books, The Death-Ray and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists, on WNYC yesterday:
If you are in Toronto this week, Seth and Dan are in conversation at the Harbourfront Centre on Friday as part of the International Festival of Authors:
Daniel Clowes in conversation with Seth
Friday, October 21, 8:00pm, 2011
Brigantine Room, The Harbourfront Centre
Graphica / May 19, 2011
If you missed the excitement of Toronto Comics Art Festival (TCAF) a couple of weekends ago, never fear! The awesome online art magazine that is Squidface & The Meddler documented the event with a slew of photographs by talented Toronto photographer Sam Javanrouh.
It was the 6th gathering of the annual arts festival founded by The Beguiling's Peter Birkemoe and Chris Butcher and it was bigger than ever this year with artists, writers, publishers and fans from all over Canada and abroad attending.
Needless to say the folks from Drawn + Quarterly were out in force and Javanrouh snapped these great shots of pals Chester Brown, author of Paying For It, and Seth, whose new book The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists is published this fall, working away at the D+Q table:
More of Javanrouh's photos of TCAF — including snaps of Adrian Tomine (Scenes From An Impending Marriage), Chris Ware (The Acme Novelty Library #20) and Kate Beaton (Hark! A Vagrant) — can be seen at Squidface & The Meddler, and you can see new pics by Sam every day at his Toronto photoblog Daily Dose of Imagery.
(Special thx to Sam Javanrouh and Mike and Jes at Squidface and The Meddler for letting use these pics).
Acme Novelty Library #20 (AKA “Lint”)
Drawn & Quarterly ISBN 9781770460201
The past year has seen a superb bumper crop of new books come forth from Montreal’s Drawn and Quarterly, and Ware’s is among the best-of-the-best. Chris is such a reliably excellent cartoonist that he is almost taken for granted in the comics community. This is a shame, since the latest instalment of his long-running showcase comic is a revelation. Telling the cradle-to-almost-grave story of Jordan Lint, Ware delivers a warm and searing portrayal of human weakness while still flexing his considerable formalist chops.
Drawn & Quarterly ISBN 9781770460188
Ware’s colleague in comics, Seth, also hit a landmark in 2010 with the 20th issue of his long-running series Palookaville. As expected, Seth comes out swinging here with the latest instalment of his epic Clyde Fans serialized story. But that’s not all! Here he also offers a folio of his travelling “Dominion City” exhibition, an autobiographical strip that harkens back to the early issues of his comic and a touching eulogy of sorts to the humble comic book format, which is being eclipsed by the current graphic novel boom. An exquisite package from a Canadian treasure.
Drawn & Quarterly ISBN 9781770460072
As if the above wasn’t enough, 2010 also gave us Dan Clowes’ first-ever all-original graphic novel. Wilson received a mixed critical reception (some disparaged the main character for being “unlikable”) but lucky for me, I don’t expect made-up characters to always make the right choices or say the right things. As I have already said elsewhere, “Clowes shines in depicting self-loathing, cynical characters who eventually succumb to their human frailties.” Go buy this book now.
Brad Mackay is a writer and co-editor of The Collected Doug Wright: Canada's Master Cartoonist, to which he contributed a biographical essay. He is also the director and co-founder of the Doug Wright Awards for Canadian cartooning.
Graphica / July 13, 2010
Canadian cartoonist Seth (George Sprott, Wimbledon Green) has found time between drawing comics for D+Q and illustrations for The Walrus et al, to redesign the thrice-yearly Canadian Notes & Queries magazine in his trademark style. In an email to The National Post about the new design, he said:
“It’s a lot of work to redesign a magazine and I was pretty busy. But it was really something that sounded like a challenge. And it couldn’t have been more ‘up my alley.’ I love Canadiana of all sorts and I particularly loved the absolutely stiffness and dullness of the magazine’s title – I mean, you just couldn’t have a more quintessentially Canadian masthead title than Canadian Notes and Queries. If you made it up, no one would believe it. In a way, the name of the magazine hides the fact that it is a very smart and entertaining read – not stuffy at all. I figured I could do something amusing but elegant with the magazine to draw attention to that fact – perhaps poke some fun at it’s purcieved stuffiness while at the same time pointing out what a marvelous magazine of criticism it is by giving the interior a look of class and austerity, but still showing off some charm and sense of humour about the whole thing."
Read the full story at The National Post's The Afterword blog.
Graphica / June 18, 2010
The new July/August issue of The Walrus magazine features a beautiful cover by Seth:
The fabulously Canadian illustration was chosen by readers of the magazine.
Graphica / May 10, 2010
Founded in 2004, the annual awards recognize the best and brightest in English-language comics and graphic novels published in the previous year.
This year’s top honours included:
BEST BOOK: George Sprott: (1894-1975) by Seth (Drawn + Quarterly)
THE PIGSKIN PETERS AWARD: Hot Potatoe by Marc Bell (Drawn & Quarterly)
BEST EMERGING TALENT: Michael DeForge Lose #1 (Koyama Press)
The winners were decided by a jury comprised of Matt Forsythe (editor of Drawn.ca, winner of the 2009 Pigskin Peters Award for Ojingogo), Geoff Pevere (Toronto Star book critic; author of Mondo Canuck) Fiona Smyth (artist; cartoonist) and Carl Wilson (editor/writer Globe and Mail, author of Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste).
Speaking on behalf of the jury, Pevere praised the Best Book winner George Sprott as "a portrait of a character, of a country…a country that is no longer with us," adding that:
It is a work about memory, a work about culture, a work about the past and a work about the future.
Speaking for Wright Awards nominating committee, which chooses the annual Pigskin Peters Award, Matt Forsythe described Hot Potatoe as "a collection of seven years of work that is insulting and hilarious and sarcastic and sincere," and continued that it has "influenced a whole wave of comics and artists – myself included."
Congratulations to all the winners!
In what promises to be one of the highlights of this year's Vancouver International Writers Festival, Canadian cartoonist Seth will be in conversation with author Douglas Coupland on Friday, October 23 8:00 pm at the Waterfront Theatre.
Tickets, which go sale Friday, September 11, 2009, are $18 and are available from the VIWF box office.
I would get your in there early if I were you!
In the meantime, The Daily Cross Hatch have posted a great 3-part chat with Seth.
I wanted George to be someone who was in the public eye, but obviously not a genuine celebrity, because then you'd have to deal with the problems of real celebrity in the story. It's not a story about fame, because that's too easy. But George's limited fame is an essential ingredient. It's a story about things falling away with time. That minor fame of his simply gave me another element of his life to fall away.
Graphica / August 10, 2009
The graphic novel builds on the material of Seth's fictional biography of Sprott, a local TV host past his prime, which was originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine's Funny Pages in 2006. Within the constraints of that assignment, each one-page instalment functioned as a self-contained story; now collected and expanded, the chapters of the character study add up to a sprawling, unsentimental exploration of memory!
Though imaginary, Sprott's world is so fully realized that small-town settings occupy three-dimensions, sometimes literally. Photographs of Seth's painstakingly constructed cardboard maquettes of the narrative's important buildings are inserted, like pauses, throughout the story: the CKCK building, the Radio Hotel, the Melody Grill (once the stomping ground for the entertainers of the day) and Coronet Hall, home of Sprott's weekly lecture series.
A PDF preview of GEORGE SPROTT is available from the Drawn & Quarterly website, and Seth will be touring across Canada in the fall--details to come!