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Review: Seth’s DOMINION CITY Books


“The Speculative Whimsy of Seth’s DOMINION CITY”
Wimbledon Green, George Sprott, and The Great Northern Brotherhood of Canadian Cartoonists
By Seth. Published by Drawn & Quarterly. Various prices.

Review by Jason Azzopardi

Welcome to Dominion, Ontario, where the buildings and citizens are double-bricked with good ol’ fashioned Canadian humility.

Dominionites are a practical bunch.  They belong to cultural societies and they play bridge.  They eat boiled cabbage and cottage roll during the week but also allow themselves the luxury of a pot roast on Sundays.  They listen to radio broadcasts in the evening, flood their yards for ice skating in the winter, and go to mass without fail.

Once prosperous but now, like so many other industrial towns surrounded by farmland, close to extinction, Dominion is a place to be filed away.

But not forgotten about.

While its pace of living might be described as slow by some or “old-fashioned” by others, in Dominion you are you are also just as likely to have to dodge a hail of bullets from a mad helicopter chase between comic book collectors as you are finding a deal on a good cut of meat. 

Dominion City and its citizens exist only in the paper worlds imagined by Canadian cartoonist, Seth, as heavily-weighted, long-in-the-toothed sketchbooks and painted and glued cardboard models.  And with its delicate balance of whimsy, nostalgia and pathos, Seth’s community is well worth its metaphoric hour drive outside of Toronto because Dominion’s empty greasy spoons and dusty department stores seem to cultivate a fascinating spate of petty jealousies, betrayals, and familial abandonments amongst the larger than life personalities that populate its boundaries. 

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