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

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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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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: 6.2 x 0.8 x 8.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #574,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 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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4 of 4 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
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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 David Swan VINE VOICE on June 8, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
On the back cover of Wimbledon Green is a disposable band of paper with the `Praise For' section printed on it. Written on the bottom is the following... "The artist requests that this band be disposed of upon purchase". I found this intriguing and I'll return to this in a moment.

Wimbledon Green isn't so much a story as an analysis of the enigmatic character Wimbledon Green, "The Greatest Comic Book Collector" in the World. Seth creates an imaginary world with a menagerie of oddball comic collectors who discuss Mr. Green, his mysterious past, his quirky personality and his abrupt disappearance. The book is filled with short strips, some less than a page and other spanning a half dozen or more. Most are from the view of other collectors. There are some who loath Wimbledon, others who admire him and some who are just jealous of his collection. A few things in the book caught my attention. First, was a collector making fun of another for taking on the singular name `Jonah'. I assume this was a bit of self deprecating humor from the writer/artist known only as `Seth'. The second was an imaginary comic artist putting out drawings unworthy of his talent by skimping on the backgrounds. The irony of this one is that most of the frames in Wimbledon Green have sparse backgrounds and in many case none at all which is a shame because Seth is clearly capable of some wonderful landscapes and city scenes.

I was initially drawn to Seth thanks to his beautiful artwork with its clean lines, thick borders and retro feel. It reminded me somewhat of C.C. Beck. My issue with Wimbledon Green is that the bulk of the book consists of much more simplistic drawings.
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