Eric Hoffman and Dominick Grace, editors
University Press of Mississippi
256 pages, 22 b&w illustrations
This is part of an ongoing series from UPM. The same editors are also responsible for collections of interviews with Dave Sim and Chester Brown, and a book on Peter Bagge is due out next month. The present volume collects nine conversations conducted by different interviewers between 2009 and 2013, including a new career-spanning interrogation by the editors. This week’s Maclean’s magazine has a great excerpt from the book, accompanied by a wonderful video interview that includes a tour of Seth’s house in Guelph:
For completists, there is another comparatively recent interview with Seth here, where the cartoonist talks about Charlie Hebdo and David Rakoff.
From the publisher:
Canadian cartoonist Gregory Gallant, (b. 1962), pen name Seth, emerged as a cartoonist in the fertile period of the 1980s, when the alternative comics market boomed. Though he was influenced by mainstream comics in his teen years and did his earliest comics work on Mister X, a mainstream-style melodrama, Seth remains one of the least mainstream-inflected figures of the alternative comics’ movement. His primary influences are underground comix, newspaper strips, and classic cartooning.
These interviews, including one career-spanning, definitive interview between the volume editors and the artist published here for the first time, delve into Seth’s output from its earliest days to the present. Conversations offer insight into his influences, ideologies of comics and art, thematic preoccupations, and major works, from numerous perspectives–given Seth’s complex and multifaceted artistic endeavours. Seth’s first graphic novel, It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken, announced his fascination with the past and with earlier cartooning styles. Subsequent works expand on those preoccupations and themes. Clyde Fans, for example, balances present-day action against narratives set in the past. The visual style looks polished and contemplative, the narrative deliberately paced; plot seems less important than mood or characterization, as Seth deals with the inescapable grind of time and what it devours, themes which recur to varying degrees in George Sprott, Wimbledon Green, and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists.
Eric Hoffman, Vernon, Connecticut, is the author of Oppen: A Narrative, a biography of the poet George Oppen, and editor of Cerebus the Barbarian Messiah: Essays on the Epic Graphic Satire of Dave Sim and Gerhard. Dominick Grace, London, Ontario, Canada, is the author of The Science Fiction of Phyliss Gotlieb: A Critical Reading and an associate professor of English at Brescia University College. Together they have coedited Dave Sim: Conversations and Chester Brown: Conversations, both from University Press of Mississippi.