A masterful work by a legendary cartoonist about the decline of small bussiness and the subsequent erosion of familial relations and one's sanity. Twenty years in the making, Clyde Fans peels back the optimism of mid-twentieth capitalism. Legendary Canadian cartoonist Seth lovingly shows the rituals, hopes, and delusions of a middle-class that has long ceased to exist in North America - garrulous men in wool suits extolling the virtues of the wares to taciturn shopkeepers with an eye on the door. Much like the myth of an ever-growing economy, the CLYDE FANS family unit is a fraud - the patriarch has abandoned the business to mismatched sons, one who strives to keep the business afloat and the other who retreats into the arms of the remaining parent.
Abe and Simon Matchcard are brothers, the second generation struggling to save their archaic family business of selling oscillating fans in a world switching to air conditioning. At Clyde Fans'? center is Simon, who flirts with becoming a salesman as a last-ditch effort to leave the protective walls of the family home, but is ultimately unable to escape Abe's critical voice in his head. As the business crumbles so does any remaining relationship between the two men, both of whom choose very different life paths but still end up utterly unhappy.
Seth's intimate storytelling and gorgeous art allow urban landscapes and detailed period objects to tell their own stories as the brothers struggle to find themselves suffocating in an airless city home. An epic time capsule of a storyline that begs rereading.
Seth is the cartoonist behind the comic book series Palookaville, which started in the stone age as a pamphlet and is now a semi-annual hardcover. His comics have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, and McSweeneys Quarterly. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including the cover of the New Yorker, the Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. He is also Lemony Snicket's partner for the new Young Readers series, All the Wrong Questions, and has illustrated and designed a new, deluxe edition of Stephen Leacock's Sunshine Sketches of a little Town. He is the designer for several classic comics reprint series, notably collections of work by Charles Schulz, John Stanley, and Doug Wright.
He was the subject of a National Film Board documentary entitled Seth's Dominion. Seth lives in Guelph, Canada, with his wife Tania and two cats in a house he has named Inkwell's End.
“"Seth truly believes in his wares - the little meaning of regular lives. Though it may take some time before the second Clyde Fans collection comes out, I am sold.??" - The New York Times Book Review
"?[Seth] combines realistic, character-based storytelling with a muted, nostalgic visual style reminiscent of Edward Hopper." - ??Los Angeles Times
?"Clyde Fans is a nuanced fictional glimpse exploring everyday people in a forgotten time.??" - The Globe & Mail
"Clyde Fans is a masterpiece of storytelling that reinvents a medium as it goes along. Seth is one of Canada's great storytellers and writers who bounds from strength to strength. We are lucky to have him in our world." - Douglas Coupland
"Seth is one of the greatest cartoonists who's ever lived and Clyde Fans is one of the greatest graphic novels ever written. What more do you need to know?" - Chris Ware, author of Building Stories
"A tour de force that captures the strange sadness of nostalgia and how it betrays the past and makes the present unobtainable. Seth masterfully recreates the lives of two brothers - one too rough, the other too weak - by illuminating painfully bleak isolated moments in hotel rooms, coffee shops, and highways. He also chronicles collections of tiny knick knacks and household objects in mundane montages that will break your heart with their beauty. The drawings are a feat of wonder, their composition built on the architectural blueprint of loneliness." - Heather O?Neill author of The Lonely Hearts Hotel