Sunday 21 September 2014

George Feyer's stamp of approval

The other night I had the pleasure of watching the world premiere of Seth's Dominion, a long-awaited documentary from the NFB about the life and career of Guelph-cartoonist (and my pal) Seth. The doc is great -- no superlatives will really do it justice -- and I plan on reviewing it here soon. 

Director Luc Chamberlan has done a very good job of capturing the full breadth of Seth's artistic output, which includes comics, model buildings, puppets and his famous rubber-stamp diary. Based on a joke he told a fellow cartoonist, the rubber-stamp diary is exactly what it sound like: he had a set of rubber stamps made with some basic comic panels on them (him walking, smoking, working, exterior shots of his house). To spark his creativity he then stamps a page ion one of his notebooks with a random assortment of comic panels, then he fills in the word balloons to make a strip out of it. They're great. 

Here's a still from the film featuring Seth's stamps: 


The idea made me think of Canadian-Hungarian cartoonist George Feyer, who tragically killed himself in 1967. George famously had a stamp made up with the words "Horse Shit" on them in a Gothic script. Whenever he disagreed with somebody who wrote to him out came the stamp. It was a reply that was simple, brusque and outrageous (given the era). 

I recently wrote a profile of Feyer for Canada's History Magazine and during my research was lucky enough to come across a 1966 letter that he had applied his singular stamp to. I give it to you here as evidence of the power of Feyer's fiendishly iconoclastic nature. What a guy.      


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