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Wimbledon Green: The Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World Hardcover – December 13, 2005


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Wimbledon Green: The Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World + George Sprott: (1894-1975) + Clyde Fans: Book-1 (Bk.1)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly; 1st Hardcover Ed edition (December 13, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1896597939
  • ISBN-13: 978-1896597935
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,158,668 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. This "sketchbook story" continues Seth's impressive run of side projects, a densely packed, quirky novel that is some of his most compelling work yet. Wimbledon Green uses multiple comic strip formats and dozens of characters and points of view to tell the story of the title character, a mysterious comic book collector generally regarded, as the subtitle suggests, as the best around. Through the memories of Wimbledon's associates, enemies and friends, Seth recounts the rise of Wimbledon and key events in the Green legend: the discovery of the priceless Wilber Webb collection and the hunt for the mythical comic book The Green Ghost #1. All of this is both a loving satire of the milieu the author himself inhabits and also a kind of fictional history of comic book collectors. Free from the graphic atmospherics and demanding literary motifs of his more literary work, Seth is able to stretch out and create a world and a story that is light and funny while still deeply felt and finely crafted. Wimbledon Green is an excellent comic romp, and will seem all too familiar to collectors and the people that love (or loath) them. (Oct.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

Seth, known for his leisurely, meticulously crafted representations of life's minutiae, as in the serialized family saga Clyde Fans, lightens up in this delightful departure set in an alternate world in which comic-book collectors are sophisticated financiers rather than socially maladroit nerds. Greatest of them all is Wimbledon Green, whom Seth portrays in short vignettes and monologues featuring his fellow collectors as well as when he takes center stage in a story of him and his rivals on an epic, cross-country chase to snag the world's rarest comic, the legendary Green Ghost No. 1. Green is admired and envied for his business acumen nd his unmatched knowledge of comics lore, though the comics and creators in his world don't exist in ours. Seth's artwork is uncharacteristically and appealingly casual here but still retains the strengths on view in his more typical works: impeccable design sense, elegant wordcraft, and a distinctive, nostalgia-embracing sensibility. This is unpretentious fun with special appeal to hard-core comics collectors who may aspire to Green's collecting triumphs and savoir faire. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Seth's work is always among the best the indie comics world has to offer.
Sam Quixote
It deals with the life and times of Wimbledon Green, the Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World.
Dan Goodsell
Seth's "good enough" is far better than most any other cartoonist's best efforts.
Joey Manley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Dan Goodsell on December 17, 2005
Format: Hardcover
I had read about Wimbledon Green coming out and I have been eagerly awaiting it. I was not ready for what was inside. It is an understated masterwork. It deals with the life and times of Wimbledon Green, the Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World. His story is told from the many points of view including those of his friends and competitors.

What really made it work for me was that Seth creates another world not unlike are own and it is a world I would love to visit. In this other world comic book collectors are a little like the heroes they collect, they spend their time flying around the world in autogyros and double crossing their enemies. It parodies and and the same time glorifies the passion that really drive collectors. The artwork is throughout the book is stunning with everything done in loose ink wash sketchbook style. The entire book was created in a scant 6 months and at 125 pages that is quite amazing. The design of the book is top notch with beautiful end papers and an embossed foil cover.

But the thing that really stands out is how personal and intimate the entire book is. This gets back to the core of what comics should be, a place where stories are told and where the artwork serves those stories. And the stories in this book are ones worth reading over and over again.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joey Manley on April 27, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seth dismisses this book on its own cover: "A story from the sketchbook of the cartoonist `Seth.'" In other words: this isn't a full-blown graphic novel, just a little sketchy thing or whatever. And again, more specifically, in the foreward: "This book was created on a lark. Actually, it was never even intended to be a book at all - merely an exercise in my sketchbooks...the drawing is poor, the lettering shoddy, the page compositions and storytelling perfunctory." My high school English teacher told her class that Shakespeare didn't give a hoot about his plays - it was the sonnets he thought would win him immortality. I'm not sure if that's true (I've never heard or seen such a thing said about Shakespeare before or since, and that's after spending four years as an English major in college), but it rings true. Sometimes the things that an artist dashes off with his/her distaff hand can turn out to be more interesting than the things he or she labors over - maybe because they weren't labored over. I'm not willing to go quite that far with Wimbledon Green. I still think It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken and (possibly) Clyde Fans are more "important" works. But this one is better than Seth would have you believe, in part because it's just straight-up refreshing to see one of our most dour and fastidious cartoonists cutting loose, and being, mostly, silly. Okay: there is an attempt to darken and deepen Wimbledon's life story, late in the book, but, while that moment doesn't exactly fail, as a moment, it does fail to overshadow the light-hearted, entertaining spirit of the work overall. Besides: the drawing's great, the lettering's legible, and the storytelling works just fine. Seth's "good enough" is far better than most any other cartoonist's best efforts.

(the above is excerpted from my longer review at graphicnovelreview.com)
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Andy French on December 26, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Seth has always had the ability to capture the everyday lives of people in a wonderful, nostalgic, and frequently amusing style. With "Wimbledon Green", Seth has brought his talents to new heights -- it's a truly funny, original look at the world of comic book collectors interwoven with a very intriguing mystery.

Like Dan Clowes often does, Seth tells the story through a series of independent strips that, over the course of the book, reveal the full story. And like Dan Clowes, Seth accomplishes that rare thing in satire -- he renders his characters fondly, but you can tell he's also skewering every aspect of the highly irritating and amusing world of comic book collectors.

I eagerly await every new work by Seth (and as fans know, they don't come out all that frequently!). This was well worth the wait. It's the type of book you only want to read in snippets -- it's so good, you want it to last. And you don't want to wait another 3 years for Seth's next masterpiece!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By J Petrille on November 1, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am surprised by how much I have enjoyed this little book, which is light-hearted but not cheap or tossed-off.

Storywise, Seth takes the approach that comic collectors are benign eccentrics and makes this book somthing of a valentine to collectors. I was expecting the usual alternative comics criticism of how foolish and misguided society is. While there's something to be said for that critique, Wimbledon Green is a refreshing alternative to the alternative.

Seth is also a versatile artist. He is capable of understatedly beautiful approach, such as in the Green Ghost and Fine and Dandy pages. For the most part, though, he is content with talking heads. He adopts the style to fit the story, which is part of his understated approach.

However, I do not want to give the impression that the story is simplistic. It has a large cast of characters, a central mystery about identity and a sense of humor that is gently self-mocking. My favorie example of the book's humor is when Daddy Doats asks Wimbledon and Bindle by what right they would steal his copy of the Green Ghost, which Doats has tracked down and paid for. Our hero can't doesn't even try to answer him; he laughs it off as absurd and irrelevant. It's a great moment because it ribs the audience for cheering on Green, an unapologetic thief, while also portraying collectors as amoral free-agents, playing a game in which all the participants know there are no rules.
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