Picture Perfect

By Rifkind, Candida | Winnipeg Free Press, April 27, 2019 | Go to article overview

Picture Perfect


Rifkind, Candida, Winnipeg Free Press


Acclaimed cartoonist Seth is Canada’s great chronicler of the costs of 20th-century capitalism through the eyes of the white men who were supposed to be its greatest beneficiaries.

From brutish businessmen to sad sacks, he draws intimate portraits of mid-century men in southwestern Ontario, undertaking a forensic analysis of their behaviour and psychology.

Clyde Fans (which hits bookstore shelves on Tuesday, April 30) is the apex of Seth’s oeuvre. It achieves the near-impossible by producing great empathy for two very different aging brothers, one a gregarious extrovert and the other a perplexing introvert, whose prosaic lives don’t usually earn such epic storytelling.

Seth (the pseudonym for Gregory Gallant) is a Guelph, Ont., award-winning cartoonist, illustrator, book designer and gallery artist, and the subject of the 2014 NFB film Seth’s Dominion.

He emerged on the Toronto alternative/indie comics scene in the early 1990s and has maintained a steady flow of graphic novels — or, as he calls them, “picture novels” — ever since: It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken (1996); Wimbledon Green (2005); George Sprott (2009); The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists (2001); and Bannock, Beans and Black Tea (2004), an illustrated memoir of his father’s Depression-era childhood on Prince Edward Island.

It is not an exaggeration to say he is now considered one of North America’s greatest living cartoonists.

Clyde Fans is the complete edition of a serial graphic novel 20 years in the making. The story of Abe and Simon Matchcard, inheritors of their father’s oscillating fan business, appeared in issues of Seth’s comic book Palookaville between 1998 and 2017.

There were earlier collections, Clyde Fans: Part One (2000) and Part Two (2003), but this substantial complete edition was well worth the wait, not least because it is a beautifully designed book and a momentous object for any book collection.

The story moves back and forth over Abe’s and Simon’s lives, chronicling their difficult relationship as well as the economic and social changes around them.

The figure of their mother looms large, from early memories of her distress at being abandoned by their shady father to her present decline into dementia.

In one sense, very little happens: the primary (and primal) scene in the brothers’ relationship is a failed 1957 sales trip Abe set up for Simon to prove he could join the family business.

It didn’t work out, and thereafter Simon retreated to the family home above the shop, sharing his time between collecting “novelty freak postcards” of out-sized vegetables and farm animals and caring for their mother. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Picture Perfect
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.