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George Sprott, 1894-1975

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4.09  ·  Rating Details  ·  647 Ratings  ·  56 Reviews

First serialized in The New York Times Magazine “Funny Pages”

The celebrated cartoonist and New Yorker illustrator Seth weaves the fictional tale of George Sprott, the host of a long-running television program. The events forming the patchwork of George’s life are pieced together from the tenuous memories of several informants, who often have contradictory impressions. Hi

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Hardcover, 96 pages
Published May 26th 2009 by Drawn and Quarterly (first published January 1st 2009)
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Watchmen by Alan MooreThe Complete Maus by Art SpiegelmanV for Vendetta by Alan MooreThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanBatman by Frank Miller
Required Reading Graphic Novels
448th out of 821 books — 1,525 voters
Hark! A Vagrant by Kate BeatonAnt Colony by Michael DeForgeThe Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists by SethMarble Season by Gilbert HernándezThe Acme Novelty Library #20 by Chris Ware
The Best of Drawn and Quarterly
7th out of 104 books — 9 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,169)
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Greg
Jun 29, 2009 Greg rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
This book is really pretty, and it smells very nice. Yeah, so sometimes I sniff the books that I read, yeah it's a little weird, but with this book you can't help missing the smell, it's just so goddamn big that the smell hits you, it's a good smell of ink and paper though (some books don't smell nice, and I'm not talking about stinky mildew infested used ones, but some new books just smell like shit). And because the book is so fucking big reading it made me feel like a little kid sitting and r ...more
Hamish
Feb 15, 2013 Hamish rated it liked it
So obviously Seth's artwork is very charming, and that's the main appeal of the book. The large size gives him a lot of room to work with and the variety of tones and layouts he uses really pay off. Seth is unquestionably a great cartoonist. He is not much of a writer. The entire concept of the work, looking at an old man in the hours leading up to his death while jumping to different points in his life and seeing that he's made a lot of mistakes and is maybe not such a great guy after all, is v ...more
George Marshall
Oct 10, 2009 George Marshall rated it it was amazing
This book should be on the shelf (if you can find one high engough) of anyone who loves this art form. The opening two page spread - in my view one of the most remarkable in comics history- are the floating bodies and egg shaped heads of Sprott the old man about to die and Sprott the baby about to be born- united visually, as only comics can, through Seth's luscious curved drawing style. And this sets the tone for the book: an exploration of mortality, memory, loss, and guilt. That all sounds a ...more
Dan
Jun 19, 2012 Dan rated it it was amazing
If I was to provide a succint description vis a vis an analogy to a piece of pop culture to describe this absolutely fantastic work- I would most certainly declare Seth's George Sprott to be the Citzen Kane of graphic novels. Nope, I'm not mincing my words. Not at all. While Orson Well's Kane represents the rise and fall of not soley the eponymous character himself- but more grandiosly- the rise and fall of the very American Dream itself- George Sprott aims somewhat lower (He's Canadian you know ...more
Meghan
Sep 05, 2015 Meghan rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
The book is oversized, and the story is reflective of Seth's other work, but oversized as well, on a larger scale and more explicitly delineating the themes that run through everything he does. This originally ran as a weekly comic in the New York Times Magazine, and each page can be read separately, but they form into a longer story. Interspersed are photos of the intricate cardboard constructions he made of the buildings that appear in the story. Filled with nostalgia, loneliness, shades of gr ...more
Michael Martin
May 14, 2016 Michael Martin rated it it was amazing
I consider this book one of the best graphic novels I have read. It is beautifully written and drawn by "Seth", and the depth that it has exploring the life and death of a fictional Arctic explorer and an on-air Canadian tv personality is amazing. I loved it.
Garrett Zecker
Aug 06, 2014 Garrett Zecker rated it it was amazing
This is the biggest book I have ever read. Literally. And Seth’s artwork laid out in this gigantic fashion with the pungent aroma of paper and ink wafting over you as you turn the gorgeous pages printed by Drawn and Quarterly is an absolute pleasurable experience. I picked up several of Seth’s books after having listened to The Virtual Memories podcast (www.http://chimeraobscura.com/vm/) interview with the artist.

As I was reading I immediately recognized that I had actually read these before, an
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Derek Parker
Sep 12, 2015 Derek Parker rated it it was amazing
I wanted to reread this in the midst of my email-based interview with Seth. He had mentioned that this was his favorite work -- I wasn't aware of this until he told me -- so I felt compelled to become familiar with it once again, so as to ask him more pointed questions about it. I do find George Sprott one of Seth's most moving stories. It had a big impact on me when I first read upon its release in 2009. Seth truly has to be one of THE most important creators today, at least for me.
Shane Perry
Sep 22, 2015 Shane Perry rated it liked it
I really liked this a lot. A very nice, sweet story about an old man who became a television star and lived to see his career past its prime. Not that George Sprott was without faults, but I found most of these to feel a bit tacked on for the sake of character development. The real star of this graphic novel is Seth's art. The larger format of the book allows for it to seem like you're reading this right off the tablet he drew it on. Many of the scenes feel like storyboard panels for a cartoon. ...more
Richard
Oct 29, 2009 Richard rated it liked it
Mawkish sentimentality expertly drawn.
Carolyn
Dec 27, 2015 Carolyn rated it really liked it
What an intriguing way to tell a story. I have to hand it to Seth, this was incredibly creative. This time Seth weaves a fictional narrative, again stippled with truths (eg. HMS Erebus from the Franklin Expedition), with an interesting non-linear format (we do jump around in time and yet we do so seamlessly). As the title suggests, it is the biography of George Sprott, a fictitious television personality from CKCK (clearly CHCH-TV, based in Hamilton ON)from a time prior to the Cable television i ...more
Stephen
Oct 07, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
[INCOMPLETE REVIEW]
Where to place this book? Not within the pantheon of cartoonists that have come to push the art form to it's limits, which Seth has done here and continues to do. Rather I mean, literally, where can I place this book? This thin yet over-sized book is a collection of one-page "wonders", as I call them, that come together to form a cohesive fictional biography of a Canadian broadcasting legend whose life is defined by separation. George Sprott is separated not only from the read
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Stephen
Feb 05, 2014 Stephen rated it it was amazing
This was simply amazing. It is hard to believe, but I feel like I witnessed a real man's life take place before my very eyes, and in a funny book no less. It's a book about a man who will die in the course of the book, the author/artist makes that clear early on. And death is everywhere in this piece. The idea of having a chubby 80 year old hosting a local TV show, being a world explorer, or giving regular orations on local facts as a career - all those things dead and gone too.

Seth does his ma
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Sam Cavanagh
Feb 21, 2010 Sam Cavanagh rated it it was amazing
George Sprott by Seth is a masterpiece in both comic form and in collected edition design.
George Sprott is a mockumentry about the final days of renown Canadian Arctic Adventurer George Sprott. We see his final days as narrated by his niece Daisy as well as documentary style interviews with the people in his life and the people his life touched.
Seth is a master cartoonist, using different grids and colours to show what is the here and now and what is an interview. Seth uses a monochromatic colou
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Sean Kennedy
Jul 03, 2011 Sean Kennedy rated it really liked it
Seth has been my favourite graphic artist ever since I saw his brilliant cover to Aimee Mann's Lost in Space album. I found something immediately so appealing about his style, which is moody, atmospheric, nostalgic-twinged Americana - but despite the nostalgia there is still a healthy cynicism which refuses to look back through rose-tinted glasses.

This is apparent in George Sprott in which an unreliable narrator tells the life story of someone who was himself unreliable in the way that he told i
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Sam Quixote
Man alive, I love Seth but what was this?! "It's A Good Life If You Won't Weaken" was brilliant as was "Clyde Fans", while "Wimbledon Green" was a small masterwork. In fact it's from "Wimbledon Green" that he bases most of his new book "George Sprott" on (there's even one panel which I'm sure was in the endpapers of "Wimbledon Green" reproduced here). It's a similar fictional biography told in part by the subject, part by an omniscient narrator and part by people who knew him.

Here's the story o
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Sam Quixote
Sep 20, 2011 Sam Quixote rated it it was ok
Man alive, I love Seth but what was this?! "It's A Good Life If You Won't Weaken" was brilliant as was "Clyde Fans", while "Wimbledon Green" was a small masterwork. In fact it's from "Wimbledon Green" that he bases most of his new book "George Sprott" on (there's even one panel which I'm sure was in the endpapers of "Wimbledon Green" reproduced here). It's a similar fictional biography told in part by the subject, part by an omniscient narrator and part by people who knew him.

Here's the story o
...more
Sam Quixote
Man alive, I love Seth but what was this?! "It's A Good Life If You Won't Weaken" was brilliant as was "Clyde Fans", while "Wimbledon Green" was a small masterwork. In fact it's from "Wimbledon Green" that he bases most of his new book "George Sprott" on (there's even one panel which I'm sure was in the endpapers of "Wimbledon Green" reproduced here). It's a similar fictional biography told in part by the subject, part by an omniscient narrator and part by people who knew him.

Here's the story o
...more
Antoine
Mar 26, 2012 Antoine rated it really liked it
Tout le monde connait George Sprott, le célèbre aventurier-animateur de la télévision. Pendant plus de quarante ans, il a fait rêver petits et grands en leur racontant ses diverses expéditions dans le grand Nord. Au crépuscule de sa vie, voici un petit retour en arrière sur une existence bien remplie.

Le passé et une fascination avouée pour des époques qu’il n’a pas - ou très peu - connues, ont toujours été au cœur des albums de Seth. George Sprott ne déroge pas à la règle. L’auteur de La vie est
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Ricardo Baptista
Feb 04, 2012 Ricardo Baptista rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
David Schaafsma
I think the conception of this is awesome. Having just read Building Stories by his close friend and mentor Chris Ware, I see a conversation across texts. Both are works that look to explode story representation, in various ways. We have this large book format from Seth (as with Ware and his box of variously formatted books and magazines and posters), as he tries to capture a mundane (not an exciting or famous or "important" life (as Ware does with his three women in Building Stories), just a no ...more
Jason
Jan 31, 2011 Jason rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I put a bunch of comics on hold at the library, and of course they all came in at once. But this book was so big it wouldn't fit in my backpack (I was on foot), so I had to drive back later that night to pick it up. True story.

If I had to criticize this book, I would say it's a little bit too similar to his earlier book, Wimbledon Green, but Seth does such a good job here that I'm willing to overlook this. I love the way he draws, his timing and pacing is spot on, and the story hits all the rig
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Dominick
Aug 24, 2015 Dominick rated it it was amazing
Wow. Up until now, I'd have said Seth was a cartoonist I admired and respected but whose work was not really my thing. George Sprott has changed that. What an impressive piece of work. George's life and death are narrated with a complexity and economy that are astounding. But it's not really a narrative as you might expect--it's non-linear, reflective (emerging from interviews and reminiscences with and from those who knew George), subjective, and highly self-reflexive. Page design is remarkable ...more
Mark Victor Young
Aug 02, 2015 Mark Victor Young rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
Lots of important new information about the beautiful town of Dominion in this book. So much to know! This biography of one of its most interesting citizens is filled with Seth's trademark brand of retro-nostalgia. A warm and humourous treatment of a perfectly imperfect character. Lots of fun! Check out the cardboard city if it ever comes your way.
Sasha Boersma
Oct 11, 2014 Sasha Boersma rated it it was amazing
Probably my favourite books read this year. Beyond Seth's artistic and narrative talents, the little suggestions to the inspiration of elements within the story (fictionalization of a real TV station, people, places) were fun to discover.
Molly
Jun 26, 2011 Molly rated it it was ok
I picked this up initially because I liked the art, and only noticed when I was about halfway into it that it was by the same person who'd done It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken -- which, similarly, I'd picked up initially because I'd liked the art, but which by several pages in didn't seem to be going anywhere, and which I gave up when a friend who'd read it informed me that it never did get around to going anywhere.

This one being considerably shorter, I decided to press on to the end, but
...more
Chrissy
What a wonderful, sweetly melancholy little slice of Canadiana! There's not much more to say about it. If you grew up with Canadian public radio or television, it'll set your sense of nostalgia to vibrate in all the best ways.
Steve
Jan 19, 2010 Steve rated it really liked it
Shelves: comics
Seth, why must you make it so hard for me to love you? The book is brilliant, heart-wrenching, and beautifully drawn. But it's overly designed. you almost lost yourself a purchase from one of your hugest fans (a guy who has considered naming his unborn child after you someday in fact) because of the design of the book. Why did it have to be so huge? yes it's gorgeous, but it would have been equally gorgeous at two-thirds its size, and then it could fit on a bookshelf. Plus... $25? the book is 10 ...more
Andrew
Sep 07, 2014 Andrew rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A terrific piece of storytelling and book design from Seth. "George Sprott, 1894-1975" is a fictional biography of the titular character, an arctic adventurer and Ontario broadcaster, and a complex, not entirely sympathetic man. Seth's talent for gradually accumulating detail – from narration, "interviews," testimonials and vinettes – into a full portrait of character, time and place is on full display here. His deceptively simple artwork captures the smallest hints of emotion in the characters, ...more
David Quick
Apr 15, 2015 David Quick rated it it was amazing
Love this book! Based on a real guy from Detroit who had a travel show and used to fall asleep on air.
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Seth is the pen name of Gregory Gallant. Seth is the cartoonist behind the painfully infrequent comic book series PALOOKAVILLE. His novels, which have been translated into 8 languages, include IT'S A GOOD LIFE IF YOU DON'T WEAKEN, WIMBLEDON GREEN, CLYDE FANS BOOK ONE, and the illustrated memoir of his father, BANNOCK, BEANS AND BLACK TEA.

As a book designer, Seth has worked on a variety of projects
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“People claim that love is the deepest feeling, but don't you believe it. Loneliness is the most affecting of human emotions. Nothing makes life more vivid. If you wish to live in the moment, I recommend intense loneliness.” 16 likes
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