How did the world’s greatest comic collector get to be so great? And what’s with the hats?
This whimsical creation from one-name cartoonist Seth works as both celebration and satire of the world of comic collectors. The titular Wimbledon Green is a roly-poly, mustached and bespectacled aesthete given to wearing suit and tie, a dandyish little cape, a small hat (he reportedly has boxes full) and carrying a cane. Described by many as the greatest comic book collector in the world (a label he can’t dispute, thanks very much), he’s alternately respected and hated by those in the world he inhabits. Seth sets up the story in documentary style, with talking heads given a page or two each to offer their version of what makes Green tick, how he came to have so much money that he could have such a massive collection and the possibly immoral means by which he obtained it. The world that Seth establishes here is hardly a realistic one, with Green residing in a house of castle-like proportions and shooting off to find rare editions in his personal gyrocopter. The cast of characters is small but colorful, mostly other collectors and some comic-store owners, all of whom have bones to pick with Wimbledon, who strides implacably through the whole controversy (stoked to hurricane-proportions by the passions of this small, insular community). Besides the satire which runs thickly behind each smartly rendered frame—there are a few jabs taken at the expense of nostalgists like Chris Ware and R. Crumb—there’s a jaunty sense of adventure here, as Seth lays out his netherworld of collectors indulging in their ludicrous passions and intrigues.
A humble hobby is pursued with Indiana Jones–style vigor.