Palooka-Ville (or Palookaville) is a comic book written and drawn by cartoonist Seth and published by Drawn & Quarterly. Seth is the pen name of Canadian cartoonist Gregory Gallant (born September 16, 1962 in Clinton, Ontario). His drawing style is noted for being strongly influenced by the classic cartoonists of The New Yorker. His work is highly nostalgic, especially for the early-to-mid-20th Century period, and of Southern Ontario.
The first issue of Palookaville appeared in April 1991 and it has been irregularly published ever since. The issues have switched to hardcover book format starting with #20. (This pack includes the first 19 single issues and a 10-page preview from issue #20.) Issue #21 is scheduled for an October 2014 release.
The series and its creator have won multiple awards. Seth has won the 1997 Ignatz Award for “Outstanding Artist” (for his work on Palookaville), and his collection “It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken” (originally serialized in issues 4-9 of Palookaville and included here) has won the Ignatz Award the same year for “Outstanding Graphic Novel or Collection”.
Seth also received accolades for his design work on the 2005 collection of “The Complete Peanuts 1950-52, by Charles Schulz” published by Fantagraphics. It received that year’s Eisner Award for “Best Publication Design” and the Harvey “Special Award for Excellence in Production/Presentation”.
It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken
It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken is a graphic novel (or “picture novella”) by Seth, published in collected form by Drawn and Quarterly in 1996. It was originally serialized in issues four through nine of Seth’s comic book series Palookaville from December 1993 to June 1996. It made #52 of The Comics Journal’s “100 Best Comics of the 20th Century” list.
The story follows Seth’s search for a fictional Canadian cartoonist named Kalo, who once contributed to The New Yorker. Seth’s search leads him from Toronto, Ontario to the small town of Strathroy, Ontario, including many landmarks from each respective location. The book is presented as autobiographical (for example, close friend and fellow cartoonist Chester Brown also appears in the story), and gained Seth a reputation for being part of the autobio comics trend in the 1990s, especially alongside fellow Drawn and Quarterly cartoonists such as Brown, Joe Matt, Julie Doucet and Adrian Tomine. Seth later revealed that the story was fictional.