Sunday, May 13, 2012

Seth, 'Forty Cartoon Books of Interest'

Anyone following this review blog (and there are precious few of you, so I hope you feel special) will notice my preference for short books. In case you're wondering, I read long books too; just this last while I polished of 'The Book Thief' and I'm well into (and hugely liking) Tim Winton's 'Dirt Music,' not to mention Isabel Wilkerson's monumental 'The Warmth of Other Suns.' But I don't review everything I read, or for that matter most of what I read. That's the swell thing about a review blog. Nobody's underpaying me and I can do what I please. * I've dipped into the cartoonist Seth's books before and, while I've always liked his drawing style, frankly I've found his stories a bit dull. But this very little and most adorable book is different. It's a series of two-page spreads on books in Seth's personal collection, a miniature and highly personal essay on one side and a reproduction from inside the book on the other. Anyone who's interested in books or collecting would love this thing, but it can teach an uniformed lout like me quite a lot about the development of the comic form. Seth's voice is thoughtful, like
able, with no intention of being definitive. And the comic-strip introduction on the days of book-collecting pre-internet is delicious. (Seth, 'Forty Cartoon Books of Interest.' Buenaventura Press, 2006.)

1 comment:

  1. and if you're interested in the subject matter, this book is a primer for a range of cartooning history and style. I started collecting all the books Seth references within, and am about a dozen titles short. Seth wished me luck last fall, saying several of them are so obscure i'll never find them :)
    Now there's a challenge!