What a Classy Book: Seth's Palookaville 21

Hello, Humans! An unbound copy of the inimitable Seth's Palookaville 21 just arrived in the office! And it looks so so gorgeous! So much debossing. So much shine. So much stunning artwork.

Not only is Seth one of the greatest cartoonists to ever pick up an ink pot, but he's also a very talented painter, and it's always a treat when another of his paintings sees print. This, of course, is part of the front matter of PV21. Seth's books are always so well considered, from front to back cover, and it's all those little bits he adds in there that make his books extra special to me, as objects (as a book designer, anyway).

Palookaville 21 is comprised of three parts. The first part is a continuation of the Clyde Fans story, where in we actually get to see the two brothers sit down and talk, and have a substantial conversation. My memory ain't what it used to be, but I think this is the first time this has happened. And it says a lot, to say the least.

And of course, it wouldn't be a Seth book without a full page spread that bruises your chin.

The second section is a real treat—for the first time ever, Seth lets us take a peek at his rubber stamp diary—a series of diaries he's been keeping for the past ten years, composed using, you guessed it, rubber stamps. In the intro pictured above, Seth talks about suggesting the idea to Ivan Brunetti when they were lamenting about the difficulty of maintaining a comics diary, and then immediately revoking the suggestion so he could keep the idea for himself.

Seth's diary is far more interesting than the drivel I jot down—not so much a record of events, but just subtle observations of interest, delivered in that quiet way that Seth delivers, where you aren't really aware of what's happening but then you start to see things a little differently, a little more honestly, and then out of nowhere you start fantasizing about slowing things down a bit and buying a junk shop in the country somewhere and starting to wear suits.

The last section is my favorite. "Nothing Lasts" is autobiographical again, but this time it's from Seth's sketchbook, done in a style similar to that used in Wimbeldon Green or the Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists .

Though Seth is never shy about talking about his life, this autobiographical story is rare in that it covers his early years as a boy growing up in rural Ontario, moving from town to town, pissing under the stands at the horse-racing track, bullying the fat kid, raising pheasants…and making the conscious decision to stop kissing his mother goodnight—and how terribly he regrets it. Take a look-see here for a legible preview of the story.

I could talk about this book all day. Palookaville 21 just has so much great stuff in it, and I can't wait for all of you to read it so I have someone to talk about it with. It's just. So. Good. The book will debut at SPX (where Seth will be a special guest) and will be available in stores early October. GET READY.

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