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Artwork made from digital colour and ink, depicts an individual standing beside a store with a text on the window that reads “BOOKS”. Also, there is a lit-up lamp post a bit ahead of the individual.

Seth: A Life, All Play

Featuring the work of graphic novelist and artist Seth, A Life, All Play focuses on the creative exploration that is integral to his storytelling, captured in a dense and lush installation that highlights his life in the studio as well as finished works – from sketchbooks, scrapbooks, and cardboard maquettes, to comic pages, ceramics and dioramas, including his model city Dominion. Illustrating a process-oriented practice that is not much different from the way he made things as a child, the work on view encompasses the same childhood inspirations – comic books, toys and models, as well as DIY materials such as cardboard, poster paint, and glue. Reflecting a practice infused with genuine play, Seth has noted, “Sometimes this process leads to finished works, but sometimes it is just about the process itself – following a road that doesn’t always lead to a destination. Sometimes just walking down the road is the point.”

Image detail: Seth, Window Shopper, 2017, ink on paper with digital colour. Collection of the artist

About the artist


The cartoonist behind the comic book series Palookaville and the recent publication Clyde Fans, Seth’s comics have appeared in the New York Times Magazine, Best American Comics, and McSweeneys Quarterly. His illustrations have also appeared in numerous publications including the cover of The New Yorker, The Walrus, and Canadian Notes & Queries. Based in Guelph, Seth’s work has been the focus of solo exhibitions, including Dominion (multiple venues), Bannock, Beans and Black Tea (Confederation Centre Art Gallery, 2005), Seth (Macdonald Stewart Art Centre, 2006), Dominion-Beaver (RENDER/University of Waterloo, 2008), and Heading to Palookaville (Peel Art Museum and Archives, 2017). Group exhibitions include Speak: Nine Cartoonists (Pratt Institute, 2006), Uninked (Phoenix Art Gallery, 2007), Every. Now. Then: Reframing Nationhood (Art Gallery of Ontario, 2017), Omnis Temporalis (Richmond Art Gallery, 2017), and This is Serious. Canadian Indie Comics (Hamilton Art Gallery, 2019). He is the subject of the documentary Seth’s Dominion and has been involved in several animated adaptations of his comic books.

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