Wimbledon Green: The Greatest Comic Book Collector in the World by Seth (2005).
This graphic novel is the story of the mysterious and envied Wimbledon Green, a highly successful comic book collector with an unknown (and apparently endless) source of personal wealth to use in growing his collection. The story is primarily told not by Wimbledon himself but in a series of interviews and remembered vignettes with his friends, enemies, and acquaintances, all of whom happen to be fellow comic nerds.
Woven throughout the story are sets of covers from Green's comic collection, as well as a few vintage comic strips for the reader to enjoy. In fact, Green's own adventures often veer into classic comic book territory with their "right hand gals," rocket cars, and endless races.
Seth includes a letter to the readers at the beginning of the volume emphasizing that this book is something that developed out of his sketch book and because of that the drawings and story aren't as polished as his work usually is. In this case, I think the rough quality of the work adds to the energy of putting together the pieces of the mystery that is Wimbledon Green and Seth's obvious love for the comic book world and it's many eccentric inhabitants is enough glue to make the fragmented story hold together. A fast and very enjoyable read, with a little more meat to it than expected when you peek behind the curtain.
[I read this is a couple weeks ago, but I'm writing about it tonight having just gotten back from Staple, an annual comics/zines/print arts/etc. expo in Austin, where I got to indulge in some comic buying and some people watching. While it wasn't a comic collector type event, it definitely made me feel the love for that subculture. Plus I got some great stuff!]