The Abominable Mr. Seabrook

Joe Ollmann's book is a graphic biography of travel writer William Buehler Seabrook.

Joe Ollmann

In the early 20th century, travel writing represented the desire for the expanding bourgeoisie to experience the exotic cultures of the world past their immediate surroundings. Journalist William Buehler Seabrook was emblematic of this trend — participating in voodoo ceremonies, riding camels across the Sahara desert, communing with cannibals and most notably, popularizing the term "zombie" in the West. A string of his bestselling books show an engaged, sympathetic gentleman hoping to share these strange, hidden delights with the rest of the world. But, of course, there was a dark side. Seabrook was a barely functioning alcoholic who was deeply obsessed with bondage. His life was a series of travelling highs and drunken lows; climbing on and falling off the wagon again and again. 

Cartoonist Joe Ollmann spent years researching Seabrook's life, accessing long-neglected archives in order to piece together the peripatetic life of a forgotten American writer. Often weaving in Seabrook's own words and those of his biographers, Ollmann posits Seabrook the believer versus Seabrook the exploiter, and leaves the reader to consider where one ends and the other begins. (From Drawn & Quarterly)