Sunday, May 10, 2009

It's a Good Life


image from Seth's Clyde Fans Book One

Renowned illustrator, book designer and cartoonist Seth is on an honest to goodness, no holds barred, book tour. Seth is currently promoting both the recent book he designed about Canadian cartooning icon Douglas Wright and his own book, George Sprott. Is it unusual that a publisher send a cartoonist out on the road to promote a book? No, but in a world where most of the practitioners are reclusive loners who work in quiet isolation it's rare to find someone so good at it. Seth is an articulate, entertaining, engaging and knowledgeable speaker. As a guy who goes by a singular moniker and dresses like he's from the cast of the Philadelphia Story he's a reporter's wet dream. His profile almost writes itself. So it shouldn't be a surprise that here in Toronto we're seeing some kind of Seth-blitz. Friday evening I witnessed Seth's charm when, rather than discuss new work he re-imagined a John Cage piece by telling 12 unrelated anecdotes as a slide show of his sketches played on a screen behind him. After the talk, audience members received a copy of Walrus magazine featuring a profile of Seth. Saturday's Globe and Mail not only profiles the artist but includes a slideshow tour of his home (like many cartoonists, Seth is an avid collector of various ephemera). Ladies and Gentlemen, that's entertainment. I'm glad Seth is gaining confidence doing this kind of stuff because it not only raises his own profile but due to of his knowledge of comics he's also raising the profile of other artists and the medium of comic books. In general, I think other comic book artists should accept that doing promotion is sort of part of the job description and take Seth's example to just suck it up and get out there. Sometimes we like to hear your stories from your mouthes not just from your speech bubbles.

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