Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Happydale #1 page 15

I haven't written much about Happydale. It was Seth's first comic book. Did I tell how it came about?
Seth was in Japan teaching English, but always working on his art. He met Andrew Dabb on the internet. But I'll just post what Andrew himself wrote about Seth after he heard that Seth had died.
These are Andrew's words:
I first met Seth in 1996 online via Hydraski’s Cesspool, a website that showcased aspiring comic creators' work. He and I started talking, got along well, and decided to do a book together. That book would eventually come out through Vertigo as Happydale: Devils in the Desert.
A little backstory: Based on an initial 8 page short and a basic pitch, Happydale was first accepted by Jim Valentino’s Non-Line (a division of Image which at that time was publishing indy stuff, Brian Wood’s Channel Zero being the most prominent)…which promptly collapsed a few months after we’d signed our contracts. But instead of giving up, or taking our little 8 page pitch around to publishers again (my plan), Seth decided to quit his job, draw all of Happydale (130+ pages) and try to sell it as a complete package. The end result was that a year later we had a publishing deal at Vertigo based pretty much entirely on Seth’s art and his incredibly cool, gracious personality. Not to mention his work ethic; for one panel in Happydale, which showed the undercarriage of a truck, I can remember him telling me how he had actually spent a few hours laying under a truck and sketching. It was that kind of dedication and eye for detail that made Seth stand out.
After Happydale, Seth went on to bigger and better things that allowed him to use his myriad of skills, like Green Lantern: Willworld, and Vertigo Pop: Tokyo. Books which firmly established him, in my opinion, as one of the ten best comic book artists working today. The fact that we won’t get to see what he would have done 5 or 10 years from now is a huge loss. Comics have very few visionaries; Seth was one and to lose him is a blow to the entire medium. In time, I think more and more people will realize that.
Seth was a good friend, an amazing artist, and one of the most charismatic, upbeat, positive people I’ve ever known. We hadn’t talked much in the last few years, but every time we did I enjoyed it immensely. In a very real way, I owe him my career, and so to see him gone at such a young age is a blow on a level I can’t quite describe in words. I can only offer my condolences to his family, especially his wife and young son, and hope that Seth will be remembered as the truly unique talent he so obviously was.

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