I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got no new comics but I did get a hard cover collection:

  • “Buffy The Vampire Slayer: Tales”
  • And now for a review of something I’ve read recently.

    “Palookaville -20” by Seth

    I normally don’t review individual issues of comics but “Palookaville” has shifted format from a comic to a small hardcover book. A regular issue of “Palookavile” used to contain whatever story Seth was working on. For the last decade or so, issues come out very infrequently, it’s been his story “Clyde Fans”. That continues here.

    So far “Clyde Fans” has been about a fan salesman telling the tale of his life. It’s not a tale of excitement and intrigue but a story that is non-the-less important to the teller. It’s filled with the mundaneness of existence and regret. But most of the regret is about growing old and having to die.

    This chapter of “Clyde Fans” takes a different tack. This chapter is about the owner/manager of the business machine company that also owns Clyde Fans. The business machine company is going out of business. The workers are on strike while the lead character is talking to his lawyer and making the final decision to declare bankruptcy.

    Once again this is a story all about human frailty and regret. You feel for the owner as it is a personal failure for him to close his business and Seth creates a feeling of a business as a part of the human community by giving us glimpses of the people who were involved with the business in the past. “Clyde Fans” is a favorite of mine.

    This issue/book also contains a photo section that is a look at an art show that displayed some of the small model houses Seth has made. As a personal project he started making these houses to give himself a feel for the small fictional Ontario city he was creating for use in his comic work. Eventually someone saw it and want to put it on display. There are some nice color photos and Seth’s written description of it all.

    After that we get a section on various sketches and drawings. Always good. And for the last section we get an autobiographical story of Seth going on a short book tour. This story is pretty dark. It’s well done and I liked it but Seth is not a happy guy. At least not in this tale. I can understand it. He’s traveling alone to places where he knows no one and doesn’t have anything to do when not speaking or signing books. He doesn’t make friends very easily either. It’s all decidedly unglamorous and highlight the distance we can have from life. Good stuff but not a pick-me-up tale.

    Seth is one of my favorite cartoonists and his work never disappoints me so I’m glad to have this new issue/book by him. Everyone should get one.