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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Key Insights

  • 👂 Clyde Fans represents the first graphic novel to be long-listed for the Giller Prize, making it a significant achievement for the medium.
  • đŸĢĨ Seth's 20-year commitment to creating Clyde Fans is visible in the artist's progression and the depth of the graphic novel.
  • 🌸 The narrative explores themes of nostalgia, particularly the longing for the past and the loss of an idyllic time.
  • 👨‍đŸ’ŧ The graphic novel delves into the impact of changing commerce on small independent businesses, highlighting the struggles of adaptation and the disappearance of community-focused establishments.
  • đŸĢĨ Seth's artistic style, with its tight geometric lines and limited color palette, adds to the hypnotizing and visually appealing nature of Clyde Fans.
  • 🛩ī¸ The book touches upon the significance of supporting small independent bookshops, which contribute to the community and offer a more personalized experience.
  • 😀 Seth's exploration of nostalgia and commerce in Clyde Fans prompts reflection on the changing face of industries and the economic impact on individuals and communities.


so i got my hold from the library for seth's clyde fans i've been interested in picking this up ever since it was long listed for the giller prize back in 2020 this being the first graphic novel that's ever been long listed to the giller prize since its inception in 1994 though technically this was also the first year that graphic novels were eligi... Read More

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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