Books by Rich Tommaso

SATCHEL PAIGE by James Sturm
Released: Dec. 1, 2007

A bleak tale of failed baseball dreams, smoldering pride and Jim Crow in action. Clinging to the memory of his one at-bat against the great Satchel Paige, which resulted in a run but also a career-ending injury, the bitter narrator does his best to keep his son in school and out of the Alabama cotton fields. Though that battle is lost when the white landowners notice the boy's absence, and he is later found beaten by the side of the road, the father takes his son to see Paige's traveling team humble a white team that includes those same landlords, and then gives him the ball that the pitcher had given him years before: "I hope it reminds him of who he can be." Using only black, white and half-tone, Tommaso illustrates this graphic novel in a spare style that makes every figure from the lanky Paige on down seem isolated, and underscores the economical narrative's plainspoken harshness. Flanked by an introduction and an extensive set of historical notes, the episode imparts as clear a picture of the aggressive style of black baseball as it does of the realities of life in the rural Deep South in Paige's barnstorming heyday. It also rightly presents Paige as hero, showman and symbol. (Graphic fiction. 11-15)Read full book review >