WIMBLEDON GREEN in the Atlanta Journal Constitution

Graffiti: WORDS AND PICTURES: A collector unmasked

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution    |    Ed Hall    |    January 25, 2006

Having aged from a collector of comics into a collector of books, I expected to recognize my kind in this collection of related graphic tales. Sure enough, the talented Canadian cartoonist Seth (pseudonym for Gregory Gallant) nails the species --- and his nails are often quite sharp.

All the stories in this volume revolve around the eponymous Wimbledon Green, a wealthy, mustachioed sphere of a fellow. Who wears a cape. Who might have been fanboy Don Green earlier in life. Who certainly has a rogues' gallery of rivals in the pursuit of rare comics: Chip Corners, Ashcan Kemp, Waxy Coombs and so on. Told in many voices, this diverting, modest little book encompasses some piercing insights into the mania of people --- mostly men (I recall one female character here) --- who acquire things compulsively and by rigorous standards.

What Seth depicts so well here is, as one character observes, collectors' "avarice, pettiness [and] jealousy." The worst of the lot, Jonah, appears to be patterned after the writer-artist himself, though one hopes Seth is not the felon that this character is. With its spare cartooning, "Wimbledon Green" also captures such surprising things as indelible moments and grace in solitude. If you think life isn't worthwhile without a complete run of, say, "Uncanny X-Men," this book might offer some valuable perspective.


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