on 2 December 2010
After nearly twenty years since Issue #1 of Palookaville came out, the format has now changed from comics to hardback. As Seth explains in his introduction this is due to the fact that fewer and fewer people are buying indie comics and more are waiting for the hardback/paperback editions collecting the comics and buying that. So he's moved on to doing an annual Palookaville issue which is good news for fans of "Clyde Fans", possibly Seth's greatest series, as it means that Seth will wrap up the series in a couple of years. Finally!
So opening up the plush hardback (and for those who've read "George Sprott" this hardback is not a massive A3 book but a much more modest regular paperback sized hardback) and going through the introduction, "Clyde Fans, Part 4" begins at last and we see the final part of the saga unfold with Abraham Matchcard in 1975. I won't give away the details but the tone and story are of the same quality as the other parts in the series and the final page makes you wish you had the other parts to read right now.
Also included are a number of photographs of Seth's "Dominion City" - cardboard buildings reminiscent of those found within his comic books, brought to life. A lengthy essay accompanies this.
There are sketchbook pages similar to those found in "Vernacular Drawings", and a final comic about an autobiographical trip Seth made promoting his books. This comic is similar in tone to the kind he included in Aimee Mann's record "Lost in Space" which Seth designed. In the accompanying booklet there are some mini comics which were my first exposure to Seth's work (and one hell of a record by an incredible singer-songwriter - I urge anyone to listen to Aimee Mann's wonderful music) and was very moving to read. This one is no less interesting and rounds off an excellent book.
Seth puts so much into each book he puts out, it's no wonder they're joyous objects as well as fantastic books to read and enjoy the drawings. Everything from the design of the cover to the font of the contents to the blank pages in between, it's so well put together and a very persuasive argument in favour of the real thing rather than the e-book which so many are pushing for these days. A fantastic effort from Seth, "Palookaville 20" is one of the best comic books of 2010, no question.