Supposedly taken from Seth's sketchbooks, the book is a lively, jaunty, hilarious read. As Seth notes, inspired by recent work from Dan Clowes, Chris Ware, and David Heatley, the book uses short fragmented episodes, featuring many characters, to tell one over-arching story. The story, ostensibly about a master comic book collector, is a loving portrait of the comics industry, one that encompasses creator, readers — and comic book stores! At the same time, it is a mystery, an adventure story, and a screwball comedy. (And there's even one character who looks strangely like Seth.) In a manner similar to Michael Chabon's brilliant Kavalier and Clay
, Seth creates out of whole cloth a history of comics similar to our own. Fitting his own tastes, most of the comics are of the non-superhero variety, reflecting a much more ecletcic mix of genres.
And despite its less-polished style, the artwork is classic Seth, with that beautiful clean line, use of simple shapes, loving attention to architectural detail, and his characteristic ink wash shading.