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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Green love, 26 Sept. 2010
Sam Quixote - See all my reviews
This review is from: Wimbledon Green (Hardcover)
The world's greatest comic book collector, profiled documentary-style by his colleagues, acquaintances and admirers: this is "Wimbledon Green", Seth's most enjoyable book. Through small panels done in single colours we hear about the great collector and his habits. How he came to be, allegedly stealing comics from unsuspecting members of the public, winning all the auctions, outfoxing his competitors with either money or other ways. We hear about the Wilbur R Webb collection, a fabled store of mint condition Golden Age comics. We hear the conspiracy theories about Green's true identity. And along the way we are treated to the obsession of comics collecting as memorably explained via the collectors, as well as Seth's knowledge of the era reproducing facsimiles of comics from that time. We learn about Green's favourite comic "Fine + Dandy" a limited comic run about hobos in the '30s. And in the middle is a racy Tintin-esque search for an elusive comic "The Green Ghost #1".

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.

Seth mentions in his introduction that this was a way of reconnecting to his youth which was spent with similar comic books and a way of remembering his recently deceased mother as she was when he was a child. The final few pages of the book deal with Wimbledon's own mother succumbing to dementia and the scenes bring a powerful resonance that is missing from the generally jolly tone of the book.

I read this a few years ago when it came out and I just re-read it today and am pleased to see that it still holds up really well. The book itself is a small hardback, about the size of a regular paperback, with wonderfully crisp pages bound nicely and with an embossed cover. The overall design of the book is really wonderful, as the inside of the book is such a treat. Seth's best book in my opinion, it's definitely the place to start for new readers looking to enter into Seth's melancholic world of comics. Hooray for Wimbledon Green!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful Book - Charmingly Engaging Story, 12 April 2007
Mr. Paul D. Maher "joey-chickenskin" (Nottingham NG7) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Wimbledon Green (Hardcover)
The introduction to Wimbledon Green explains how it was a quickly made work from Seth's sketchbooks. Apart from a few pieces in comics compilations, this is the first thing I've read by Seth and if this is what he can produce quickly, I'm expecting BIG things from his other work and at the same time I get the feeling that a lot of the fun in Wimbledon Green is found in that freedom of creation.

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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Double Thumbs Up!, 5 May 2013
This review is from: Wimbledon Green (Hardcover)
This is a wonderfully subtle and gentle meditation upon nostalgia and the human condition, with gentle fun-poking at the world of comics and collecting things.

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!
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Wimbledon Green
Wimbledon Green by Seth (Hardcover - 26 Oct. 2006)
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