Wednesday, September 20, 2023

On the Coffee Table: Seth

Title: George Sprott: (1894-1975)
Writer and Artist: Seth

via Amazon

George Sprott was a fictional local television personality from the fictional Ontario city of Dominion.  Seth (the pen name of Gregory Gallant) presents his biography in graphic novel form.  In Sprott's show, he shares films and stories of his adventures exploring Arctic Canada.  Much of his life story is told from the perspective of others after his death.  Not all of it is flattering.

I enjoyed the book but I'm also grateful to get it off my shelves.  It's enormous, over 16 inches tall and over 12 inches wide!  Finding space for it has been challenging ever since I first bought it several years ago.  The story was first serialized in The New York Times Magazine, explaining the unusual size.  Most of the panels are too small to have survived scaling down.  In his review, Glen Weldon offers "8 Practical Uses" for the book after you have finished reading it.

Nostalgia for old local television and the Canadian romanticization of the Arctic are both lovingly rendered.  The loneliness of a "star" past his prime is the main theme, interesting timing for me in that we also recently watched Sunset Blvd.  Panel usage is clever, almost like a storyboard much of the time.

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