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Work of Guelph, Ont. artist featured on new postage stamp

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New stamps have been released featuring the work of five Canadian graphic novelists, including one from Guelph, Ont.

Gregory Gallant, who only goes by the name Seth now, is known for his Palookaville comic series. Part that work was included in his award-winning graphic novel Clyde Fans, the story of two brothers who lose their family business.

Clyde Fans also inspired his design for Canada Post.

Seth’s story

Seth never thought his work would end up on a stamp.

“Every once in a while, something comes along, some honour, that is such a lovely surprise,” he told CTV News Friday. “And for me, getting that email, saying that this was happening, was both flabbergasting and really fantastic.”

Seth working in his Guelph, Ont. home. (Ashley Bacon/CTV Kitchener)

The stamp features Simon Matchcard, the main character from Clyde Fans.

Seth said Canada Post’s team had a clear design in mind when they initially reached out to him.

“I think if they had just come to me and said do this, it would have been a bit of performance anxiety to get the right image.”

Seth's stamp design for Canada Post. (Supplied)

Those in the industry say Canadian graphic novelists deserve to be in the spotlight.

“I think it’s really great to have these stamps providing recognition to this specific generation of cartoonists,” Peter Birkemore, the owner of Beguiling Books and Art, told CTV News.“You have a generation, which I would describe very much as Seth’s, were inspired and see it’s, yes, comics for adults [but] this is a thing I can do and run with it. Seth is one of the foremost Canadian examples of this.”

Seth said only a small subculture of fans were initially interested in his work.

Now, the medium has a much larger reach.

“Young cartoonists who enter the field, they may not think they’re going to be movie stars but there is a recognition that you could make work and it will reach a real audience, and that it’s a real medium,” he explained.

Seth said he also finds inspiration in the city he calls home – Guelph.

“The influence of Ontario is everything in my work.”

Seth working in his Guelph, Ont. home. (Ashley Bacon/CTV Kitchener)

As for what’s next, Seth said he’s working on the next installment of Palookaville, as well as a new graphic novel. That’s set to be released in a couple of years.

Other stamp artists

The series also features the artwork of Chester Brown, Michel Rabagliati and cousins Jillian and Mariko Tamaki.

Seth's stamp design on the left, along with the three others artists work for Canada Post. (Supplied)

Canada Post said the stamps celebrate artists who have made significant contributions to the graphic storytelling genre.

“The five novelists honoured on the new stamps pushed the boundaries and elevated the form, leaving a mark on readers around the globe,” the corporation said in a media release.

The stamps are now available for purchase at local post offices and online.

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