Wednesday, June 30, 2010

George Sprott 1894-1975

I'll make certain to keep this blog from turning into a Seth fan page. But his evocative stuff continues to amaze me.

For example, toward the end of his 2009 book, George Sprott 1894-1975, the biography of an Ontario television personality, amateur Arctic explorer, lecturer and overall heel, parts of which ran in The New York Times Sunday Magazine, the narrator speculates on Sprott’s afterlife. Is he now a ghost hovering near the woods where he played as a child? Out on the tundra having more adventures? By the bar, in the now-defunct Melody Grill, where he drank his dinner for years?

In the 25 tight panels containing the text for this one-page chapter, the artist shows us angles of downtown buildings at night — office windows, a large clock, awnings, a streetlamp, a full moon. But as we pull back and view the page as a whole, we realize they’re not separate images. The two dozen-plus squares form one scene, one image, of the city bathed in moonlight and adorned with a clear night’s stars.

We need to see the big picture. Just as the artist is telling us we must view George Sprott’s life, not in snippets, but as a complete story.

This also might be Sprott’s view from his own office, the white lines holding the panels representing his window panes, and where he sits alone in the dark, late at night.

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