The comics artist and writer Seth dropped in to Sophia Books in Vancouver in early November to promote his new book, Wimbledon Green: The Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World (Drawn & Quarterly), a sumptuous clothbound volume on whose cover the eponymous Mr. Green appears, embossed in luminous copper ink. The queue of fans in the store waiting to get their books signed moved slowly, and included an unusual number of large, tall men, so one did not know until it was almost one’s turn that Seth was not only autographing but also drawing a head-and-shoulders portrait of Wimbledon Green on the endpaper of each and every book. As one young fan pointed out, Mr. Green, with his handlebar moustache, rotund figure and tycoonish bearing, is reminiscent of Rich Uncle Pennybags (“Bank error in your favour!” etc.), re-christened Mr. Monopoly in 2000. But Green, unlike Rich Uncle P., is a fictitious comics connoisseur who can “determine a comic’s publication date just by the position of the staples.” Seth’s tale, drawn and written in comic-book style, combines narrative and documentary to tell the story of Green’s life as an obsessive collector and possible mastermind of a daring rare-comics heist. The story unfolds in several short narratives and one longer one, “Green Ghost,” a tongue-in-cheek noir thriller featuring spies, walkie-talkies, coincidental encounters, a plane crash and Green’s irresistible accomplice, Miss Flatiron. Here and there between stories, Seth has spliced in specimens from Green’s collection—Hippy Hudson #12, Alimony Comics #3, Patty Pigtails #1—and clips in which collectors, fans, comicon organizers and comics-shop proprietors, with names like R. Saddlestitch, Daddy Doats, “Very Fine” Findley and Ronnie Cox of Big Prairie Comics, speak directly to the reader (“He could grade a comic from 100 yards,” says Waxy Coombs, a collector). Seth brings them all to life with rows and rows of neat, compact drawn panels, punctuated with a few larger panels and voice-over signposts such as meanwhile and back in the bush and 20 awkward minutes later. In his introduction, Seth describes the book as a sketchbook exercise in which “the drawing is poor, the lettering shoddy, the page compositions and storytelling perfunctory.” If so, one can only hope for many more tossed-off creations from this extraordinary cartoonist.