Seth (cartoonist)

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Seth
Born Gregory Gallant
(1962-09-16) September 16, 1962 (age 52)
Clinton, Ontario
Nationality Canadian
Area(s) Cartoonist, Writer, Artist
Pseudonym(s) Seth
Notable works
It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken
Palookaville
Awards Ignatz Award, 1997
Eisner Award, 2005
Harvey Award, 2005

Seth is the pen name of Gregory Gallant (born September 16, 1962 in Clinton, Ontario, Canada), a Canadian cartoonist best known for his series Palookaville and his mock-autobiographical graphic novel, It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken.

His drawing style is noted for being strongly influenced by the classic cartoonists of The New Yorker. His work is highly nostalgic, especially for the early-to-mid-20th Century period, and of Southern Ontario. His work also shows a great depth and breadth of knowledge of the history of comics and cartooning.

He is the subject of the 2014 documentary film Seth's Dominion, which received the grand prize for best animated feature at the Ottawa International Animation Film Festival.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Born in Clinton, Ontario, Seth attended the Ontario College of Art in Toronto. He currently lives in Guelph, Ontario, with his wife, Tania,[2] and two cats.[3]

Career[edit]

Seth's first published comics work was providing the artwork to the Vortex Comics series Mister X, shortly after Los Bros Hernandez left. He left after issue #13, and went into illustration for a few years. In 1990, he began his own series, Palooka-ville, which was one of the first series to be published by Montréal, Canada-based Drawn and Quarterly. It became part of a miniature boom in non-genre alternative comics from Canada in the 1990s. Seth, Chester Brown, and Joe Matt not only also began their own semi-autobiographical series at the same time, but were friends and sometimes depicted each other in their stories. Palooka-Ville began as a low-key chronicle of the artist's daily life but moved on to longer and more ambitious stories, including what was later collected as the graphic novel It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken.

He is also a magazine illustrator and book designer, perhaps best known for his work designing the complete collection of Charles M. Schulz's classic comic strip Peanuts. The books, released by Fantagraphics Books in 25 separate volumes (so far) combine Seth's signature aesthetic with Schulz's minimalistic comic creation. Similarly, he is designing the Collected Doug Wright, and the John Stanley Library.

He provided the artwork of Aimee Mann's 2001 album Lost in Space.

Clyde Fans, the story of two brothers whose trade in electric fans suffers and eventually goes out of business from the failure to adapt to the rise of air conditioning, was serialized in Palooka-ville. Seth's short graphic novel Wimbledon Green, about an eccentric comic-book collector, was published in November 2005.

In April 2006, Penguin Classics released the revised Portable Dorothy Parker, with a jacket and French flaps designed and illustrated by Seth. He said, "It’s fun when you care about the project, definitely. In fact, I’ve been a commercial illustrator for years, besides being a cartoonist, and that's not fun. That's like the kind of thing, I find, you're just selling style in a way."[4]

Graphic novels[edit]

From September 2006 to March 25, 2007, Seth serialized a graphic novel titled George Sprott (1894–1975), for the Funny Pages section of the New York Times Magazine.[5] Selections from George Sprott were featured in Best American Comics 2009. In the liner notes of that publication, Seth announced he was expanding Sprott into a book, filling in gaps that were cut to meet the restraints given by NYTM. The book was published by Drawn & Quarterly in May 2009.[3]

Seth's affection for early- and mid-20th century popular culture and his relative disdain for pop culture since then is a recurrent theme in his work, both in terms of the characters (who are often nostalgic for the period) and his artistic style.[6] Although, as a teenager, he was a vocal fan of mainstream superhero comics; he even had a couple of fan letters published.[citation needed]

Seth's artwork has landed on the cover of The New Yorker three times, which he said was a professional milestone he was happy to achieve.[4]

Seth will be collaborating with children's novelist Lemony Snicket in his upcoming series The Wrong Questions, starting with Book One: Who Could That Be At This Hour? released October 23, 2012.[7]

Model buildings[edit]

Seth's Dominion models on display at the Confederation Centre of the Arts in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

A selection of Seth's original models (studies for his fictional city, Dominion) was included in an exhibition at the Phoenix Art Museum in Phoenix, AZ from April 21 through August 19, 2007.[8]

In a collaboration between the Kitchener-Waterloo Art Gallery, Seth, and RENDER, one of the buildings from Seth’s Dominion City project has been re-built as a walk-in theatre in KW|AG’s Eastman Gallery

Awards[edit]

Seth has won a number of industry awards throughout is career, and in 2011 was honoured by being the first cartoonist to win the literary Harbourfront Festival Prize.[9]

Year Organization Award for Award
1997 Ignatz Awards Outstanding Artist[10] Seth
Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection[10] It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken
2005 Eisner Awards The Complete Peanuts Best Publication Design[11]
Harvey Awards Special Award for Excellence in Presentation[12]
2011 Authors at Harbourfront Centre Harbourfront Festival Prize[13][14] Seth

Bibliography[edit]

Books and collections[edit]

Year Title Publisher ISBN Notes
1996 It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken Drawn and Quarterly 1-896597-70-X originally serialized in Palookaville #4–9
2000 Clyde Fans: Part One 978-1-894937-09-2
2001 Vernacular Drawings 1-896597-41-6 Sketchbook
2003 Clyde Fans: Part Two 978-1894937603
2004 Clyde Fans: Book One 1-896597-84-X Collects the same contents as Clyde Fans parts one and two
2005 Wimbledon Green 1-896597-93-9
2009 George Sprott 978-1-897299-51-7
2011 The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists 978-1770460539
2012 Who Could That Be At This Hour? Little, Brown 978-0316123082 Written by Lemony Snicket

Other[edit]

  • (2002) Inner Drawings and Cover Art for the Record Lost In Space by Aimee Mann, Super Ego Records.
  • (2004) Editing, Illustrations and cover art for "Bannock, Beans & Black Tea" by J. H. Gallant - Montreal: Drawn and Quarterly, ISBN 1-896597-78-5
  • (2005) Design and Inner drawings for "Christmas Days", by Derek McCormack, Anansi, 2005, ISBN 978-0-88784-193-4.
  • (2006) Forty Books of Interest: A Supplement to Comic Art No. 8
  • (2007) Design and Inner drawings for "Cocktail Culture", by Mark Kingwell, 2007, ISBN 978-1-84627-114-4
  • (2008) Design and Inner drawings for "The Idler's Glossary," by Joshua Glenn and Mark Kingwell, Biblioasis, 2008, ISBN 978-1-897231-46-3.
  • (2009) Cover of the Criterion Collection's DVD release of Leo McCarey's Make Way for Tomorrow (spine #505).
  • (2011) Design and Inner drawings for "The Wage Slave's Glossary," by Joshua Glenn and Mark Kingwell, Biblioasis, 2011, ISBN 978-1-926845-17-3.
  • (2013) Cover of the Criterion Collection's Blu-ray/DVD release of Charlie Chaplin's "City Lights" (spine #680).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Brownstein, Bill (9 October 2014). "The life of Seth, animated". Montreal Gazette. Retrieved 10 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Miller, Bryan (June 2004). "An Interview with Seth". Bookslut. Retrieved 2011-12-29. 
  3. ^ a b "Drawn and quarterly". Drawn and quarterly. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  4. ^ a b "Dorothy Parker Society". Dorothyparker.com. 2006-03-15. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  5. ^ "Sequential | Canadian Comics News & Culture". Sequential.spiltink.org. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  6. ^ Bryan Miller. "An Interview with Seth". Bookslut. Retrieved 2012-11-09. 
  7. ^ Sacbee.com
  8. ^ Phxart.com[dead link]
  9. ^ Smith, Kenton (2011-12-23). "Cartoonists, too, wish things otherwise". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2012-01-06. 
  10. ^ a b "1997 Ignatz Award Recipients". Small Press Expo. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  11. ^ "The Eisner Awards: Complete List of Past Winners—2005 Eisner Awards". San Diego Comic-Con International. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  12. ^ "2005 Harvey Award Winners". Harvey Awards. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  13. ^ Medley, Mark (2011-09-21). "Seth wins 2011 Harbourfront Festival Prize". The National Post. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 
  14. ^ "Seth wins Harbourfront Festival Prize". The Globe and Mail. 2011-09-21. Retrieved 2011-12-27. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]