The Hazlitt Offensive: Seth

By Hazlitt

The first installment of our new regular questionnaire—this week checking in with authors appearing at the International Festival of Authors, now on in Toronto.

Cartoonist, writer, and artist Seth is the author of It’s a Good Life, If You Don’t Weaken, Wimbledon Green, and George Sprott. Most recently he illustrated the 100th anniversary edition of Stephen Leacock’s classic Sunshine Sketches of a Little Town (2013)

What are three words you associate with your first relationship?
I’m not sure what really counts as my first “relationship” but I will pick my first high school girlfriend. A relationship of only about two months. Three words? Drive. Hide. Linger.

What’s the worst thing you ever did for money?
An assignment for a magazine in which I was instructed to draw an illustration based on Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel ceiling. God reaching out to Adam…and where their hands are almost touching in the original, in this version God is passing Adam a cup of frozen yogurt.

What is your least favourite song?
Maybe “Seasons in the Sun.” Or anything from the last 15, 20 years. Maybe longer.

What is your favourite song?
“September Song.”

What’d you have for breakfast this morning?
Same as every morning. Grapefruit and oatmeal.

How do you feel about Joni Mitchell?
She feels exactly like a static-y car radio (a Dodge Dart specifically) during a thunderstorm in the late 1970’s, to me.

How did you learn what sex was?
In slow incremental shreds of information. Mostly gleaned from the schoolyard and then filled in later by whatever prurient printed sources I could find during adolescence. I was still quite naïve about the whole thing well into the early years of high school.

Where do you imagine all our lost T-shirts go?
I have not owned a t-shirt in 30 years.

Who do you consider the funniest person in the world—that we would know?
Tony Millionaire…or Roz Chast or Eve Arden.

What’s the worst insult you’ve ever said?
I’m not the type of person to hurl insults. At least not in people’s faces. I’ve certainly said a lot of terrible things behind people’s backs. “Vulgar” might be one of the worst things I have called someone.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever been called?
A bully.

What’s a dealbreaker for someone you’re in a relationship or in love with?
God. About a million things…but probably an interest in video games would be grounds for divorce.

What’s something you do every night before bed?
Close up the studio.

Special thanks to PJ Vogt (@pjvogt) for contributing to the questionnaire.


Making Plans for the End of the World
By the standards of the asteroids zipping around the inner solar system, 440 metres isn’t exactly large. But then, travelling at nearly 15 kilometres a second, it wouldn’t need to be if it hit the Earth. As lovingly described by Eric Holthaus at Quartz , being anywhere within 100 kilometres of ground zero when something like 2013 TV 135 punches a hole in the ground is not a good place to be. And something like 2013 TV 135 will hit the Earth, someday. The skies are filled with buckshot , even if TV 135 itself isn’t an immediate threat. The good news on the day something wicked our way comes will be if it’s merely catastrophic, instead of literally the end of the world. The meteor that exploded over Chelyabinsk, Russia , in February of this year is, in this story, like that time you absentmindedly step off the curb and don’t get hit by a car—terrifying, but an opportunity to learn a valuable lesson.


What Went Wrong This Week For … McDonalds’ PR Department
Like most writers, I have a variety of hobbies I enjoy when I’m not making dick jokes: travelling, reading, drinking, weeping. But the hobby I enjoy the most by far is binge eating. Cheap food plus my forever insatiable appetite means I am always on the cusp of having a pretty crazy night.