What are some themes in the graphic novel It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth?

Some themes in the graphic novel It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken by Seth include obsession, contemporary culture, and self-discovery.

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One theme in Seth’s graphic novel It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken is obsession. In the story, Seth is quite preoccupied with the life of an obscure cartoonist known as Kalo. Years of Seth’s life are spent trying to dig up information about Kalo. He goes so far...

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One theme in Seth’s graphic novel It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken is obsession. In the story, Seth is quite preoccupied with the life of an obscure cartoonist known as Kalo. Years of Seth’s life are spent trying to dig up information about Kalo. He goes so far as to track down Kalo’s daughter and mother so that he can interview them.

The theme of infatuation isn’t restricted to Kalo. The theme manifests with Seth’s fixation on the past. Seth seems to idealize older cartoonists and traditional cartoon aesthetics—particularly the style practiced by cartoonists at The New Yorker.

Seth’s mania for a bygone era connects to a second theme of the graphic novel—modernity. For Seth, the present is not a positive place. The contemporary world is derisive, alienating, and cannot compete with Seth’s nostalgia for earlier periods.

Seth is not unaware of his own personal issues and failings. He remains rather introspective. Seth's ability to analyze himself links to another theme of the graphic work—self-discovery. Seth’s investigation into the life of Kalo, his romanticization of the past, and his struggles with the present join together to help him, however inadvertently, find out more about himself and who he is. “It’s hard to get down to the truth about yourself,” says Seth. In the narrative, Seth arguably arrives at some truths about himself, even if those truths aren’t uplifting.

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