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Vernacular Drawings

by Seth

Cartoonist and illustrator Seth has played a definitive role in the modern underground comics movement. His illustration work has been seen in such publications as New York, The Globe and Mail, and The Washington Post, while his highly respected comics series Palookaville has serialized his quiet and melancholy stories for over 10 years. His newest book, Vernacular Drawings, is a rich, full-colour collection of drawings from his sketchbooks dating back to 1989.

Seth’s style is reminiscent of the old cartoon style of The New Yorker magazine – simple but expressive lines drawn with pen and ink. Both his graphic novels, It’s a Good Life if You Don’t Weaken and Clyde Fans, are set in a bygone Southern Ontario, and this collection illuminates the same dark subtle tones and locations, the same sentimental reaching back into the little pockets of another era. Seth writes in his introduction that he began the sketchbooks to try and recapture some spontaneity in his drawings, but then started trying to put onto paper another something that he can’t put into words. Here he draws just for the joy of it, for himself. Vernacular Drawings is an enormous, lusciously produced volume, and a definite asset to any book collection.