6.1 x 9.1
176 Pgs
$24.95 CAD/USD

An acknowledged classic returns gorgeously re-designed

In his first graphic novel, It’s a Good Life, if You Don’t Weaken, Seth pays homage to the wit and sophistication of the old-fashioned magazine cartoon. While trying to understand his dissatisfaction with the present, Seth discovers the life and work of Kalo, a forgotten New Yorker cartoonist from the 1940s. But his obsession blinds him to the needs of his lover and the quiet desperation of his family. Wry self-reflection and moody colours characterize Seth’s style in this tale about learning lessons from nostalgia. His playful and sophisticated experiment with memoir provoked a furious debate among cartoon historians and archivists about the existence of Kalo, and prompted a Details feature about Seth's "hoax".

Praise for It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken

[Seth] invites the reader to linger cozily in his ruminative, patient stories, each of which grows from Seth's obsession with the past.

Seth - the pen name of the Canadian comic artist Gregory Gallant - is perhaps best known as the designer of the complete Charles M Schultz’s Peanuts (25 volumes so far). But he is a star in his own right, too. It’s A Good Life… was originally serialised in his comic Palookaville, and details its author’s obsessional quest to discover more about Kalo, an elusive New Yorker cartoonist from the 1940s (whether this is fact or fiction, I’m not telling). Wry, funny and shot through with nostalgia, Seth’s sepia tones have an autumnal, elegiac quality all their own.

The Guardian

Rich, evocative...characterized by small moments revealing the author's sharp eye for detail

From the storyline to the graphics, this book is impeccably designed and that is what makes it great. Seth’s pictorial style consists of elegant, simple line brushwork accented with half-tone teal and solid black shadows (my copy is from 1996). Dynamic black pages with reverse type and drawings of buildings gracefully divide the chapters. Many panels are beautifully wordless, showing the passage of time. The reader gets to stroll silently, along with Seth, through different landscapes and cityscapes, passing birds, trees, landmarks, and buildings.

Boing Boing

Seth's art is perfect for the story—his drawings are clean and crisp, much like those of the gag cartoonist for whom he's searching—and it matches his struggle to find order in a disorderly world. It's Seth's anachronistic characteristics and refusal to accept the "joys" of modern life which make It's A Good Life so fun to read.

AV Club

Seth’s story is also one of discontentment, nostalgia haunts It’s a Good Life. Panels of wordless street scenes and landscapes brilliantly show the passing of time as Seth, an out-of-time curmudgeon, longs for a bygone era. 

3AM Magazine
Share on Facebook
Share on Tumblr
Share via Email