Palookaville #17 (2004)

Yesterday I wrote about my trip to LA and mentioned that I was disappointed in Golden Apple Comics. There’s at least one thing about Golden Apple that I did enjoy: they had some interesting comics in their 50¢ bin. That’s where I found the first comic I’ve read by Gregory Gallant, better known as Seth. I think I’ve read some short tales by him in the distant past, but this is the first chapter I’ve read of his "Clyde Fans" book.
This is a terribly sad book about a man in his late middle age named Simon, who is painfully aware of both his own advancing age and what he sees as his insipid banality. He lives with his mother, who appears to be dealing with Alzheimer’s Disease, in a cold and lonely house full of momentos and objects that just remind Simon of how insipid his life has been:
Late in life you come to see it clearly, like a poorly written story – the tragedy of your own life. All those events – all those things that happened to you – they get added up into a lump sum. And there it is… "the tragedy of your own life." You can’t even take any pride in the uniqueness of your suffering… it’s all so second rate.
To me, what’s most impressive about this comic is its stillness and calm. We don’t just see and read about Simon feeling trapped in his banal life. Readers feel the quiet. It’s ever-present in the comic, palpable and intense. Simon’s life is terrible quiet and we readers experience it with great silence surrounding the story.
There’s also a nice comment on comic collectors in this issue. Simon collects old postcards, and genuflects to himself on the history and background of one card in his collection. As he does so, Simon’s internal monologue chastises himself for his insipidness. Even in a place of his greatest pleasure, Simon feels regret and sadness.
Seth’s art is gorgeous. Look at the scans below to see some of the finest rendering you could ever hope to see. His elegant and old-fashioned line work is the perfect companion for his story, adding an extra level of poignance to the tale.
This is not a cheerful comic, but it’s a great comic. I need to find the full "Clyde Fans."

One Response to “Palookaville #17 (2004)”

  1. cauwel3 Says:

    jason do you ever erad Wlking dead it\’s pretty awesome at least as far as I\’m cocerned

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