Palookaville #20

Seth, Drawn & Quarterly, $19.95 (88p) ISBN 978-1-77046-018-8
The first volume of the long-running Palookaville series to be published in hardback, this gorgeous compilation underscores Seth’s status as a cartoonist, illustrator, and now installation artist. In part four of the ongoing Clyde Fans saga, set in 1975, the fan company—owned by brothers Simon and Abraham Matchcard—and its supplier are on the verge of bankruptcy. As workers at the Borealis Business Machines plant strike for higher wages, Abraham realizes that the company his father built decades ago is crumbling. The sequence of nearly wordless panels as Abraham leaves the plant, knowing the men have lost their jobs, is heartbreaking. Seth devotes the volume’s middle section to his own multiyear project creating a fictional Canadian city he dubs Dominion. Though it began in his sketchbooks, Dominion soon took the form of elaborate cardboard models, which were displayed at several galleries across Canada. The miniature streetscapes and enlargements of Seth’s sketchbooks detailing his planning stages for the city reflect the same elegiac tone as the lead story. The coda, an illustrated essay detailing Seth’s experiences at a Calgary author festival and his attempts to overcome his social anxiety, provides a strong finish to a memorable volume. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 12/20/2010
Release date: 10/01/2010
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