Clyde Fans: A Picture Novel | Summary and Q&A

February 3, 2021
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Clyde Fans: A Picture Novel


A review of Seth's graphic novel Clyde Fans, exploring its themes of nostalgia, commerce, and the changing face of small independent businesses.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What makes Clyde Fans unique in its inclusion on the Giller Prize list?

Clyde Fans is the first graphic novel to receive recognition on the Giller Prize list, making it a groundbreaking work in the world of literature, blending visual storytelling with a compelling narrative.

Q: How does Seth convey the passage of time and the artist's progression within Clyde Fans?

Seth started working on Clyde Fans in his 30s and finished it in his late 50s. The 20-year journey is evident in the artwork, as Seth admits to cringing at his earlier pages but refraining from redoing them. The book's heft and depth reflect the artist's growth and dedication.

Q: What role does nostalgia play in Clyde Fans?

Nostalgia is a prominent theme in Clyde Fans, as the story delves into the longing for a lost idyllic time, particularly the 1950s. The characters and setting evoke a longing for the past, highlighting the bittersweet nature of reminiscing about bygone eras.

Q: How does Seth explore the impact of changing commerce on small independent businesses?

Through the Matchcard brothers' struggle to adapt to the rise of air conditioning, Seth examines the changing landscape of commerce. The disappearance of manufacturing jobs and the dominance of big-box retailers, as well as the loss of locality and community involvement, are explored within the narrative.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Seth's Clyde Fans is a 500-page graphic novel that was long-listed for the Giller Prize in 2020, marking the first graphic novel to be considered for the prestigious award.

  • The story follows the Matchcard brothers, who run Clyde Fans, a failing company in the face of the rise of air conditioning in 1930s Canada.

  • The narrative shifts between the present day and the past, exploring themes of nostalgia, the changing landscape of commerce, and the loss of small independent businesses.

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