Friday, Dec. 17, 2004

Clyde Fans - Book One By Seth

Using a dimmed palette of grey, black and pale blue and slowed down to the pace of a hot day, "Clyde Fans" masterfully evokes an apocryphal world of nostalgia. This first of a projected two-volume work begins with a retired circulating-fan salesman named Abraham puttering around his combined house and storefront, now out of business. For seventy pages he delivers a remarkable monologue about his sales technique, family history and so forth, while taking a bath or fixing himself some tea. The second half of the book follows Abraham's younger brother Simon 40 years earlier on an unsuccessful attempt at opening a new sales territory. Drawn in a style reminiscent of 1930s "New Yorker" cartoons and using quiet panels of still objects, landscapes and architecture, Seth plays radically with the form of a genre best known for its non-stop action. Deeply atmospheric, "Clyde Fans" goes low-key for an affect unlike any other in the medium.