Booklog: Wimbledon Green

January 30, 2007

Wimbledon Green
Rating: Good

Last night I was very much in the mood for some cozy reading material, but my eyes were too tired for The Aenied. Fortunately, Seth’s Wimbledon Green was still on the “return to the library” shelf, and remembered this because I had just recently been lamenting the fact that I hadn’t been able to read it yet — despite the fact that the books are already accumulating fines (or, as I like to see it, increasing my donation to the Free Library).

Wimbledon Green
is a delightful short graphic novel that can be read in one sitting. The art is simple and well-executed with an engaging style. The story, which is basically a series of sketches, follows the life and exploits of its title character, “the greatest comic book collector in the world.” We learn about Mr. Green via flashbacks and interviews with other members (indeed, rivals) of the hardcore comic-collecting scene, who respect Wimbledon’s knowledge and passion for comics, but envy his ability to snatch up rarities.The book’s driving narrative is the tale of a hippieish “Don Green” who scores a large comic book collection by driving across the country searching through old bookstores and investigating the libraries of seniors. The central mystery is whether “Don Green” the hippie and “Wimbledon Green” the eccentric millionaire are the same man.

In his introduction, Seth explains that he drew inspiration from Daniel Clowes and Chris Ware, and his work does compare to theirs, except that it is considerably less impressive from a technical standpoint and much more upbeat. While there is an underlying layer of melancholy in Wimbledon Green, the major tone is one of light humor and gentle irony. It certainly doesn’t plumb the depths Ware reaches in Jimmy Corrigan, but that’s not a fair standard by which to judge a graphic artist. Wimbledon Green was exactly what I hoped it would be: a pleasant way to spend an hour or two.

(For more, check out this review).



  1. Mark – through sheer personality – convinced me comics could be read with great confidence and expectation but I never continued to do so after Oregon. Nor did I continue to keep contact with Mark, who mailed me once but I never replied and soon lost his address. Now I can’t even remember his last name. But I just ordered a copy of WG from our new central library (third largest collection in the country I”m proud to say) in honor of Mark and in light of you. I know I suggested I’d start ‘Varieties of Religous Experience’ soon but I also just joined a Fear and Trembling bookclub that I need to par for Thursday (tomorrow). Also, a friend suggested the book repeated itself too much so I was thinking I might start with the conclusions section (which I have in a James’ anthology) and see if that’s enough to start a discussion. – DS

  2. DS,

    I think you’d do well to read the conclusions section of James’ lectures and follow along with my summaries. I think they will definitely be repetitive, which will make for easier reading as I hone in on what’s really going on. By all means, study Fear and Trembling! Let me know if you get anywhere; I’m interested to know how your study of language applies to God’s command to Abraham, as understood by Soren.


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