- Hardcover: 488 pages
- Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly Pubns (30 April 2019)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1770463577
- ISBN-13: 978-1770463578
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 5.1 x 23.2 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.4 Kg
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 81,745 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Clyde Fans Hardcover – 30 Apr 2019
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Hardcover, 30 Apr 2019
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"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
"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
"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
"A sprawling yet intimate work of melancholy beauty... an impressive, beautifully constructed volume that is certain to be a benchmark for much of what will follow in graphic fiction."--Winnipeg Free Press
"Clyde Fans is Seth's magnum opus."--Paul Gravett, Times Literary Supplement
"Readers will be dazzled by this impressive graphic novel... This isn't just a story, or even, as it terms itself, a "picture novel"--it is a brilliant journey into the heart of midcentury darkness."--Publishers Weekly starred review
"Though Seth fills his comics with old buildings, vintage logos, and retro-looking toys, all drawn in a deft ink-and-wash style that would be at home in a New Yorker magazine from the 1940s, Seth uses these visual cues to draw the reader into stories that explore richer and deeper territory than mere longing for the past."--Publishers Weekly
"Rich with the melancholy and sad swagger of great salesmen stories like Death of a Salesman and Glengarry Glen Ross, Clyde Fans is fueled by its interrogation of, and nostalgia for, the past."--Lit Hub
About the Author
Seth is the cartoonist behind the comic book series Palookaville, which started as a pamphlet and is now a semiannual hardcover. His comics have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, and Timothy McSweeneys Quarterly Concern. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications, including the cover of The New Yorker, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. He is Lemony Snickets partner for the series All the Wrong Questions and he designs several classic comics reprint series, notably collections of work by Charles Schulz, John Stanley, and Doug Wright.
He was the subject of the National Film Board documentary Seths Dominion. Seth lives in Guelph, Canada, with his wife, Tania, and two cats in a house he has named Inkwells End.
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What can one say about the truly inimitable Seth -- one of the finest sequential ARTISTS striding this globe, mighty pen, and ever-clean-line, in hand, today?
Truly, here, in “Clyde Fans,” we take a deep, sonorous—for even its main characters’ speech patterns befit life's uncanny music in internal monologue, dialogue, and soliloquy of the uncompromising sort that lays the heart bare…without giving way to cloying cliché, and absent the tempting sugarcoating of tough reality, as two brothers who seemingly could not be less alike attend, across years, to their father’s electric fan business, first dying, and then soon dead, due to the upstart advent of affordable air-conditioning units, with their father’s considerable misapprehension that such units would never prosper and flower….
The fan itself is a kind of art object now, as evidenced by my favorite collectors, Mike and Frank, of History Channel’s “American Pickers,” who recently mined the work of a fan connoisseur—for such things, indeed, exist, in the same way Robert Crumb doted on old Vinyl, and I cannot sacrifice comics and books and toys, items I share with my children to tell the story of, in my case, an America, passed. In “Clyde Fans,” I gratefully land on subject matter generally regarded, or one may presume, as anathema, to the comics medium, saturated with its spandex heroes.
The towns housing fan stores, and shoe repair stores, and privately owned VHS shops, reveal a Main Street—here, in Seth’s work—in Canada, that makes me want to move away from chains and superstores, no matter the price losses.
But Seth’s unflinching sensitivity to both what makes for great art as well as what makes a great human reserves his nostalgia for the factories and towns, the lost diners, and simple general stores—he has even reconstructed a town that went on display in a San Francisco (?) art gallery, I believe. He seems to like “star anchors,” and sound brick buildings the way I do—which is also to say he in unafraid to show the brothers’ broken relationships: with one a salesman who does not enjoy people, and the other a neurotic, troubled “younger brother,” in the parlance of “The Parable of the Two Brothers,” a man in search of a calling who never escapes his older brother’s suffocating, controlling nature, with his declarative statements, “I do not believe you are ready (or will prosper) for sales.” Painful.
It can be hard seeing the younger brother, so fascinated with a certain kind of unique postcard that the book he writes about this odd medium only to abandon it -- is his one true self-expression, and still he never sees it blossom into that which could have, perhaps, saved some part of his soul ... his yearning .. his needs.
The clean-line illustration, the exactitude of the rendering—this is where Seth makes me very happy. Happy I found his work. Thank you, Seth.
Don't skip the afterword.
Clyde Fans is a graphic novel story set in the early 20th century and explores the decline of the 20th century way of life, from memories to family, industry to intimacy, main street to the expectations of the home. It tells the story of a company and the two brothers that inherited it from their absent father while juggling responsibilities that lie beyond the ledger page. As salesmen and the value of family-owned workmanship seem to dwindle alongside Toronto’s storefronts, the stakes are raised as memories flood back in dreamy grayscale. On every page, the stark realities of expectations and how those can shape our concept of our relationships with one another and with time come to a striking head as Seth peels back the inciting incidents that brought his protagonist to the dreary and confusing state he is in when we meet him. The end dissolves into a gorgeous visual poem unveiling the strange motivating factors our characters carried for decades.
Time dances with memory and Seth’s presentation of the timeline and how memories and the events of his characters intersect while carrying forward a beautifully structured plot is nothing less than genius. His illustrations are somehow visually Shakespearean, in that there is a simplicity in their composition, yet the way shadows bend across even the tiniest of frames in this book took my breath away with its geometric subtlety in communicating so much so well – these illustrations are misleadingly simple, but in diving into this book their complexity is all in the patience of your travels across the page. The edition I read was the slipcased hardcover, and as always, Drawn and Quarterly have constructed not only a sturdy monster of a book but have done it so beautifully and so well that it helps transport the reader to the time and place of the piece. There is no better respect for the work than I could imagine.
A beautiful, beautiful work that is a masterpiece for Seth’s work - and Canadian culture as a whole.