- Hardcover: 125 pages
- Publisher: Drawn and Quarterly; 1st Hardcover Ed edition (13 Jun. 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1896597939
- ISBN-13: 978-1896597935
- Product Dimensions: 15.7 x 1.9 x 20.7 cm
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,140,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Wimbledon Green Hardcover – 13 Jun 2005
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More About the Author
From the critically acclaimed cartoonist of Clyde Fans and It's a Good Life, If You Don't Weaken comes a humorous graphic novel on the obsession of comic-book collecting. --This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Seth's comic-book series, "Palookaville," has been collected into" It's a Good Life" and "Clyde Fans." He is an illustrator for "The New Yorker" and the designer of the bestselling T"he Complete Peanuts."
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Top Customer Reviews
Seth's work is always among the best the indie comics world has to offer. Here he scales back the art to become more sketch-like with smaller panels like Chris Ware's work. The single tone colours of the pages, sometimes chrome, sometimes golden, sometimes a dull green, add to the atmosphere of the book.
Seth hints at darker secrets to Wimbledon Green, chiefly among them the identity as well as the scene at the end where a thug tears up some rare comics leaving Green in a ball on the floor sobbing - blackmail? It all adds to the richness of the story. And even if the world of comics collecting feels a bit stuffy, Seth throws in a hammy chase quest for Green and his competitors to go on to stir up the reader's attention.Read more ›
The entire world of the story is so textured by the colours and artwork to evoke the time period reflected (yet even the most modern scenes feel like they're set some time ago) and the deceptively simple characters network into a a mystery that unravels perfectly but that leaves so many clues and set ups that the minute you've finished reading the book, it's absolutely no chore to start again to find those breadcrumbs again.
The matter of fact reportage of the characters sells a world where old comic books sell for the kind of sums that sought after paintings do flawlessly which as a comics fan you can't help but warm to the notion of.
As an object the gilt embossed, linen-covered volume is just beautiful but that's not misdirection in any way, the real treat of owning Wimbledon Green is to spend some time relaxing into the kind of world that only cartoons can take you too while you get to vicariously view the world through the eyes of a variety of characters, all of whom share the same insatiable obsession.
Buy this for anyone who collects anything and they'll love it forever.
It is a series of short strips - some very short - that builds up a picture of the titular character, "the world's greatest comic book collector," Wimbledon Green. Through descriptions by others, and occasionally personal appearances, you get to form a picture of this eccentric figure. The storytelling is superbly crafted and at points you feel like the gumshoe of a film noir interviewing witnesses to try and find this missing figure. It feels like Andi Ewing's "45" but with a different visual style.
This is drawn by a cartoonist and it has the black and white strip feel that has populated newspapers for decades. Most of the panels are shaded in a single colour (but with a couple of hues) and this brings a lot of depth to the page. The colours used are bronze, silver, and gold, or more precisely their matt equivalents, to represent the three ages of classic comics. Many of the pages are talking heads with panels little bigger than a postage stamp as characters relate anecdotes about the mysterious Mr Green. Although almost identical the odd blink or sideways glance reveals a lot about the speaker and the tale they are telling. The whole thing has a quite a stop-motion feel to it. There isn't a lot of visual trickery but a change in the frame size or unexpected variation in colour really packs a punch. The "less is more" has never been truer than here.
It is astounding what can be achieved with a simple idea and subtle execution of some universal themes. This is a very quiet yet sophisticated work despite its simplicity. The hardback format is expertly used and the production values are extremely high. No question of anything but Double Thumbs Up!
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
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.
(the above is excerpted from my longer review at graphicnovelreview.com)
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!
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. In fact the best artwork in the book is on the inner front and back covers which display some of the made up comics from Wimbledon Green including the `Green Ghost' and `Fine and Dandy'. The interior artwork consists of small one to two inch panels that often contain nothing more than a simple portrait drawing with a blank background. It was disappointing because I wanted more.
In the end it's clear that Seth considers himself more than just a comic illustrator/writer. Seth is an artist who takes his craft serious. My suspicion is that the band on the back cover is a compromise between the publisher who wanted a `Praise For' section and Seth who probably felt it marred the aesthetic beauty of the book hence the message to dispose of it after purchasing. From the quality binding to the heavy paper stock this is clearly a labor of love. It's kind of surprising then that the colors on the edges of the cover wear off so easily from just a single reading of the book. I admire Seth for trying to create something with a higher level of artistic flair. It's not a complete success but at the cover price it's worth the purchase if for nothing else than its unique charm.
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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