Seth, born Gregory Gallant, is one of the seminal alternative cartoonists. His comic Palookaville, which began in 1991, continues today; issue 23 (summer 2017) will complete the serialization of Clyde Fans, twenty years in the making and arguably Seth’s magnum opus. He has produced the seminal It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken (1996; originally serialized in Palookaville), Wimbledon Green (2005), George Sprott (1894-1975) (2009; originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine), and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists (2011), in addition to numerous shorter strips and illustrations. He has kept one foot firmly planted in the world of alternative cartooning, where he produces idiosyncratic personal work, and the other in commercial illustration, where he has produced periodical, CD, and DVD covers, book illustrations, and other commissioned work. Consequently he has had a more broad and diverse career than many cartoonists, bridging as he does the worlds of comics and commercial art. Yet, despite his range and the importance of his work, he has received little critical attention. One monograph, Daniel Marrone’s Forging the Past: Seth and the Art of Memory (University Pres of Mississippi, 2016) joins only a handful of academic articles. This volume in the University Press of Mississippi’s Critical Approaches to Comics series proposes to address that gap.
The Critical Approaches to Comics series is conceived of to produce in-depth refereed essay collections focusing on comics artists. Each volume of essays will focus scholars on a single comics creator or graphic novelist. Interdisciplinary, comparative, and multicultural approaches to understanding comics are particularly welcome, and the series hopes to highlight a wide range of disciplinary, methodological, and theoretical approaches to comics scholarship. The series hopes to address these topics: artist's contributions to the medium's history, development, and reception; their cultural, contextual, and aesthetic influences and resonances; their accounts or elisions of class, race, gender, sexuality, and disability; their relationship to or distance from literature, art history, film, and other contiguous disciplines; their participation in or detachment from wider social and commercial currents for comics in popular culture; among many others. Individual volumes can touch upon many of these topics simultaneously.
Dominick Grace and Eric Hoffman solicit proposals for a volume on Seth. Keeping in mind the series focus above, authors may wish also to consider the following possible topics:
- Seth and autobiography
- Seth and nostalgia
- Seth and gender/masculinity
- Seth and representations of First Nations peoples
- Seth and/on classical cartooning
- Seth’s non-comics work (e.g. his Dominion models) and how they tie in to his cartooning
- Seth and Canadian literature
- Seth as collaborator/peer/mentor (e.g. Seth and the “Toronto School”)
- Seth and architecture
- Seth as illustrator/commercial artist
- Seth and design
- Seth compared/contrasted to other alternative (or other) cartoonists
- Seth’s early work (notably Mister X)
- Seth and history
- Seth’s role in the D&Q story
- Other topics focusing on Seth’s work, influence, or place in comics history
Proposals of 300-500 words should be submitted to Dominick Grace (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Eric Hoffman (email@example.com) by January 1 2018. Final papers should be between 5,000-7,000 words and be written in conformity to Chicago style.
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