"A masterwork… Clyde Fans is a brilliant trip."—Brian Seznick, The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Legendary cartoonist Seth’s magnum opusClyde Fansappeared on twenty best of the year lists, includingThe New York Times, The Guardian, and Washington Post. The first graphic novel nominated for the Giller, Canada’s prestigious national fiction prize, it was also nominated for the Eisner and Trillium Awards.
Clyde Fans peels back the optimism of mid-twentieth century capitalism, showing the rituals, hopes, and delusions of a vanished middle-class—garrulous men in wool suits extolling their wares to taciturn shopkeepers. Like the myth of an ever-growing economy, the Clyde Fans family business is a fraud. The patriarch has abandoned it to mismatched sons, one who strives to keep the company afloat and the other who retreats into his memories.
Abe and Simon Matchcard are brothers, struggling to save their archaic family business selling oscillating fans in a world switching to air conditioning. Simon flirts with becoming a salesman as a last-ditch effort to leave the protective walls of the family home, but is ultimately unable to escape Abe’s critical voice in his head. As Clyde Fans Co. crumbles, so does the relationship between the two men, who choose very different life paths but both end up utterly unhappy.
Seth’s intimate storytelling and gorgeous art allow cityscapes and detailed period objects to tell their own stories as the brothers struggle to find themselves suffocating in an airless home.