An overstuffed patchwork.

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THE COMIC BOOK STORY OF BASEBALL

THE HEROES, HUSTLERS, AND HISTORY-MAKING SWINGS (AND MISSES) OF AMERICA'S NATIONAL PASTIME

A visual history of the game, from playfully imagined early precursors (“Overrunneth not the bag, Prudence!”) to 21st-century feats and follies.

Everything in baseball gets mythologized,” Irvine writes, and accordingly he dishes up scornful dismissals of Abner Doubleday, Babe Ruth’s “called shot,” and even the Cubbies’ “curse of the billy goat” in this overview. Still, he sometimes succumbs to the lure himself, as when he declares Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak “in all likelihood, the most improbable feat in the history of organized sports.” His minute tallies of the comings and goings of leagues and teams and stadiums down the years make arid reading, but even indifferent fans will find his profiles of colorful figures (particularly the “misfits and weirdos”) and their pithy comments (Mantle, on Koufax: “How the f*ck are you supposed to hit that sh*t?”) entertaining. Moreover, his frank acknowledgement of the sport’s racist past as well as worthy if sometimes tone-deaf nods to players in and from Japan and Latin American countries, to women, to Native Americans (in a box headed “Hail to the Chief”), and to select stars of the Negro Leagues add at least some depth to the historical picture. Unfortunately, the story is not shaped into a coherent narrative but presented in fragmentary bits, with many digressions and glances ahead. Shoehorning the text boxes and speech balloons into cramped black-and-white panels only adds to the general disorder.

An overstuffed patchwork. (glossary, index) (Graphic nonfiction. 12-14)

Pub Date: May 8, 2018

ISBN: 978-0-399-57894-6

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Review Posted Online: Feb. 13, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2018

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Frank and sharply focused, if lacking the depth of field displayed in Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos’ Eyes of the World...

ROBERT CAPA

A GRAPHIC BIOGRAPHY

The great war photographer revisits public triumphs and private tragedies over the course of a tumultuous career.

Speaking in the first person, Capa shows how he earned his reputation on front lines from the Spanish Civil War to the French defeat in Southeast Asia and on other major assignments along the way. In between he recalls personal and professional struggles, hobnobbing with the likes of Ernest Hemingway and Pablo Picasso, and multiple affairs, most notably with fellow photographer Gerda Taro and Ingrid Bergman. His monologue is delivered in a small, faux hand-lettered typeface that captions neatly squared-off sepia panels of boudoirs and battlefronts drawn in ink with white highlights. Celebrities and associates are recognizable, but most figures are too loosely rendered to judge ethnic origins except from context. The art and spare narrative voice combine to give the memoir a somber, distant feel, but some sequences, such as the D-Day landing at Omaha Beach in which the photographer, cursing in English and his native Hungarian, struggles to get his shots as troops are dying on every side, are nightmarishly vivid. Though none of Capa’s photos are reproduced here, Silloray adds visual references to many of the more iconic ones; readers who go on to seek out the originals may be surprised at how many are part of our enduring cultural legacy.

Frank and sharply focused, if lacking the depth of field displayed in Marc Aronson and Marina Budhos’ Eyes of the World (2017). (Graphic biography. 12-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-77085-928-9

Page Count: 88

Publisher: Firefly

Review Posted Online: Aug. 27, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 2017

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