guttergeek the discontinuous review of graphic narrative

March 2006

Seth Fisher (1972-2006)

by Mark Bell

It was like a nine hundred foot tall multi-faced, multi-appendaged creature’s foot-like-appendage coming down on a busy Tokyo street. !FROOM! That is what it was like when I heard Seth Fisher had died: a rumbling sound-effect crashing between the urban towers and shaking my head. Seth has been gone for weeks now and rumbling is just starting to dissipate.

The quick info is Seth Fisher was born in 1972 and graduated from Colorado College in Colorado Springs, with a degree in mathematics in 1994. He never really used the math degree though and started teaching English as a second language in Japan. He met his wife, Hisako and fathered a child, Toufuu. That is all the simple stuff and that alone would have made for a life worth living. 

Certainly, in the field of comic design, Seth may have not had a peer. To call him a talented creative artist is like saying Godzilla was a big-ish lizard who had a taste for messing up Japanese cities. His art was literally breathtaking. Each page became a visual puzzle without becoming novelty. While still looking like fantasy, he filled his images with so much information it approached something like hyper-realism. His work made characters I had seen for years look brand new. His compositions improve with multiple readings, and he never sacrificed story for image. I like to think that, like his art, his mind never rested.

The biggest loss has to be with his friends and family. I received emails from  Hisako and best friend, Langdon, and they were both filled with grief, remorse and an overwhelming sense of absence. As a parent, I can’t think of my son growing up without knowing me, and I hope young Toufuu immerses himself in his father’s work.

To me it is about a mountain of creativity. Seth was certainly a master in anyone’s journey up the incline and should be enjoyed and celebrated because of it. The first time you see his work it is likely to be little off-putting, but you will be quickly won over by the love he demonstrates for both image and story. So, I still hear the rumbling of Seth’s passing though I never met the man. I have much to learn form him, and it saddens me I have so little of his work to learn from. He will be missed by so many of us.

Seth’s work includes:

  • DC Comics: Green Lantern: Willworld
  • Flash: Time Flies
  • Doom Patrol (#13-14)
  • Batman: Legends of the Dark Knight (#192-196)
  • DC Vertigo: Vertigo Pop Tokyo (#1-4)
  • Happydale: Devils in the Desert
  • Marvel: Fantastic Four/Iron Man: Big In Japan (#1-4)

Remembrances or gifts of support may be sent to:
Hisako Fisher
Miyoshi bid 3c
2-13-8 Matsubara
Naka - ku
Nagoya - shi
Aichi - ken
Japan 460-0017