Winnipeg Free Press review Seabrook

“Drawing on real life: Graphic novels grapple with gripping non-fiction topics” / Winnipeg Free Press / Candida Rifkind / February 25, 2017

The Abominable Mr. Seabrook is a fascinating graphic biography of a lesser-known American writer of the 1920s Lost Generation, William Seabrook. A sensational travel writer, he is perhaps best known for experimenting with cannibalism and introducing the word "zombie" after his participation in Haitian voodoo ceremonies. As this warts-and-all book shows, Seabrook was also a raging, self-pitying alcoholic who was obsessed with sadism and bondage.

Joe Ollmann is an award-winning Hamilton cartoonist who excels at graphic short stories of psychological complexity. The Abominable Mr. Seabrook is an entertaining full-length story of a man whose personality is not always likable. Nevertheless, Ollmann’s extensive research and critical yet affectionate take on his subject make for a compelling story, full of odd anecdotes and a rich cast of characters. The heavy ink lines and grey-blue washes convey the biographer’s cool gaze on this chaotic life, yet the funny caricatures and emotive facial expressions suggest he finds some sympathy with them too.

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