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Comics & Graphic Novels Literary

Palookaville #21

by (author) Seth

Drawn & Quarterly
Initial publish date
Oct 2013
  • Hardback

    Publish Date
    Oct 2013
    List Price

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A lavish volume with all-new autobio comics, from the author of It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken
Continuing the new semiannual hardcover format for Palookaville in volume 21, Seth presents two very different autobiographical pieces, and the continuation of Part Four of the ongoing Clyde Fans serial. In the latest dispatch from the beautifully crafted Clyde Fans, Abraham muses further on the ruins of his life. Then, in the first sustained sequence of the two Matchcard brothers, Abraham and Simon finally sit down together and begin to talk.
"Nothing Lasts" is the first half of a sketchbook memoir about Seth's childhood and adolescence in small-town Ontario. It is a wryly self-conscious, often moving visit to the attic of Seth's memories: from his first attempts at cartooning to the last time he kissed his mother good night, "Nothing Lasts" is a masterpiece of the graphic short story.
Finally, the third section of Palookaville #21 consists of entries from the comic-strip diary Seth has been keeping for almost a decade. He employs a mixture of hand-drawn panels and rubber stamps of his own work to tell anecdotes about moments from his life. Nothing from this diary has ever been made public before. This lushly designed collection of stories comprises an anthology of the different types of cartooning work Seth has done over his two-decade-long career.

About the author

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 McSweeney’s Quarterly. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including the cover of the New Yorker, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. He is the subject of a recent documentary from the National Film Board of Canada, Seth’s Dominion. Seth lives in Guelph, Ontario, with his wife Tania and their two cats in an old house he has named “Inkwell’s End.”

Seth's profile page

Editorial Reviews

“Reading Seth, the great Canadian cartoonist who dresses and draws like a man out of time, is an act of ever-shifting reconciliation . . . Seth keeps sliding and eliding our feel for the past -- which in turn challenges our perspective on the present. Missed kisses, or conversations unspoken, or paths untraceable, keep lapping back from our personal histories, beating against our assumptions of accumulated wisdom.” —Washington Post
“Tinged with an undeniable melancholy, these are stories that capture that acute pain that comes from looking back at yourself, the mixture of pathos and helpless desire to change some of what you went through, not to make it better, but just to make it slightly less uncomfortable...but what emerges is a dual sense that we are formed unfortunately early as people and that the letting go that marks the passage from youth to adulthood is only the most memorable of an endless series of the same.” —National Post
“Seth's seemingly autobiographical stories drew immediate acclaim when he began Palookaville two decades ago. His heartbreakingly melancholy return to that mode shows how completely he has mastered his craft in the ensuing two decades.” —Booklist

Other titles by Seth