Summer's Reviews > It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken: A Picture Novella

It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth
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's review
Jun 22, 2007

liked it
bookshelves: 2007, graphic-narrative

I liked the art and design, but it was difficult for me to enjoy this book, as it's an autobiography of a rather repellant person. He's a 30 year old who has renamed himself "Seth" (no last name) and has contempt for modern pop culture and affectations while dressing like Clark Kent and obsessing over slightly older pop culture. He's vaguely depressed for no apparant reason, and starts and ends a relationship that has nothing to do with the story.

I want to reach into the frames and shake him. I want to tell him to get ahold of himself and take control of his stupid life; I want to tell him to stop pretending that nothing of worth is being produced currently. Charles Schulz was earnest and talented, but there are a thousand young artists who are just as creative and brilliant working today. Good lord, is Seth irritating. I would have enjoyed the story a lot mroe if it had nothing to do with him.
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06/06/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Brandy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:22AM) (new)

Brandy Given that Kalo [likely:] doesn't truly exist, I've never really taken It's a Good Life as autobiography. It may be based loosely on Seth's life, but I'm not convinced it's as true as autobiography, or even memoir, which tends to be a little more glossed-over anyway. I think he's even stated that much of this "autobiography" was fiction. He may have made himself a character, but I don't think it's supposed to be an accurate retelling of that point in his life. And for me, that made a difference.

And quite honestly, I'd read in-depth biographies of Paris Hilton if he drew them. I'm completely in love with his art.

That said: why would someone with the perfectly good name of "Gregory Gallant," a melodious name, an authorial name, choose to call himself just "Seth"? (Actually, it turns out he has reasons, detailed in this interview:

message 2: by Summer (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Summer Actually, the fact that it's fiction does make it better, though Seth does still bug me on a personal level. Hell of an artist though, and fantastic designer.

I wish my name was Gregory Gallant :(

message 3: by Adrianne (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Adrianne Mathiowetz There was a sense of self-awareness to Seth's obsession with the past that I liked: if he wasn't deprecating himself, his friend or girlfriend was doing it for him ("THAT's the best example of positive change you can think of? You really do think small! What about civil rights or the women's movement . . . or medical progress? Boy oh boy!").

While I wouldn't befriend the character if I met him on the street, the comic seemed to take place at a potential turning point for him: leaving us to wonder if just a few pages later he would put it all together and finally "get it."

(That said, I'd probably have an entirely different opinion of this if I'd read it in the wintertime, when I am generally bummed out myself and have a low tolerance for whine-y people. Thankfully it was a nice day outside, and I was enjoying some sorbet in front of J P Lick's.)

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