August 26, 2012

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SPX Spotlight 2012: Steve Seck and Life is Good

Welcome to another entry in my SPX Spotlight 2012!  You can find all of my SPX Spotlight posts, including those from past years, by clicking here.

If Steve's Seck's comics have any insight into his personality, he's got a keen eye for looking at the terrible side of humanity.  Using a beer bottle, a pair of alligators, a tree, and a flower, Steve finds a way to show how our world has a lot of people who aren't necessarily bad, but aren't exactly good, either.

When Brownie (the beer bottle) loses his job, he spirals down, finding alcohol and people that aren't exactly working to try and make their lives better.  Seck uses them to show the ways in which we can destroy ourselves, either by being lazy (Charles, the naked Gator), arrogant and self-aggrandizing (Dr. Peace Rock, the flower with his petals pulled back into a pony tail), unduly influenced (Unity, the tree, as well as Brownie), and living like the world is one big frat party (Sewer Gator).  Their story is funny, but has a hint of tragedy as well.  We know people like that.  Sometimes, we are those people.  Steve understands this, and is careful not to be overly judgmental when he puts them together on the page.

Seck's illustrations are very creative in terms of the anthropomorphization of everything from animals we easily recognize to letters of the alphabet.  Part of the fun of reading it as a series is to see what background characters Seck slips in.  Over time, Seck's main figures really grow, as his artistic ability improves.  By the time we move into the recent stories, Brownie, Charles, and the gang have a full range of emotions across their face, which allows Steve to really develop his stories.

Stories are the key here, because while most funny animal books tend to be one-shot deals that are heavy on the reset button, Life is Good has characters that grow and change over time.  It's part of what makes this so much fun to read, and highly recommended.

For SPX, Steve plans to have the first collected edition of Life is Good, which I am honored to be one of those he used for a cover blurb.  You can get that for $14, with re-drawn art and an epilogue, or, if you prefer to sample the series, I'm sure Steve will have single issues along as well.

In addition to Life is Good, Seck will have a Sweetie Snake short story (Glutton for PunHISSment), as well as prints.  Anyone who likes stories that build a cast and are both witty and willing to allow their cast to be less than ideal people should definitely find Steve Seck and Life is Good at SPX.

Can't make SPX?  You can find Steve's website here.