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From the Graphic Novel Heroes series

Reasonably accurate—but the historical territory is already thoroughly surveyed elsewhere, and the unusual format doesn’t...

Lincoln’s life gets a graphic treatment, but the prose reads like a school report, and even the battle scenes look staged.

The book takes the form of an autobiographical lecture to his son Tad that highlights his intense opposition to slavery. Lincoln carries his story from early days (“On February 12, 1809, in Hardin County in Kentucky, I was born in a small, one-room log cabin”) to his departure for Ford’s Theatre. At this point, an omniscient narrator takes over to cover the assassination and the later ratification of the 13th Amendment. Though Helfand slips in short flights of eloquence from Lincoln’s oratory, his own writing runs to lines like “Nor could he accept that the future of his nation should be resigned to slavery and injustice” and “This new guy, Abraham, is going down.” The illustrator tries to add pace and energy by slanting and overlaying his squared-off panels and adding discreetly sized sound effects (slave catchers’ dogs: “Woof! Woof!”). Despite this, neither the occasional cleanly drawn battlefields nor the many scenes of men in suits exchanging political views are the stuff of compelling visuals.

Reasonably accurate—but the historical territory is already thoroughly surveyed elsewhere, and the unusual format doesn’t compensate for the routine content. (appendix) (Graphic nonfiction. 11-13)

Pub Date: Feb. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-93-80741-21-5

Page Count: 108

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2012

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One of the great pitchers in baseball history (and one of the most outspoken and disagreeable), Gibson recalls his storied career with the capable help of Wheeler (I Had a Hammer, not reviewed) and shows he's not done being ``difficult.'' A ferocious competitor who made his living pitching high and tight, Gibson had a reputation throughout his 17 years with the St. Louis Cardinals for being just as uncompromising and angry off the field, especially concerning racial matters. Gibson was raised in an Omaha, Nebr., housing project, where his older brother was hero, mentor, and coach. After college, Gibson, who claims that he was better at basketball than baseball, signed a contract with both the Cardinals and the Harlem Globetrotters, playing one year for the latter. He calls his first professional baseball manager, Johnny Keane, ``the closest thing to a saint that I came across in baseball.'' When Keane replaced Solly Hemus (whom Gibson despised) in 1961, it turned the Cardinals', and Gibson's, fortunes around. Known for his extraordinary performances in the postseason, Gibson had a World Series record of 7-2, with a 1.89 ERA and an incredible 92 strikeouts over 81 innings. He won 20 games in five different seasons and in 1968 posted a 1.12 ERA in 305 innings. Gibson offers some fun and insightful recollections of big games, friends, and teammates such as Tim McCarver, Joe Torre, and Bob Uecker, and legendary matchups with Juan Marichal (``the best pitcher of my generation''), Sandy Koufax, and Don Drysdale. Despite his Hall of Fame credentials, Gibson claims he's been ostracized from the game and hasn't held a baseball job since 1984. Though he grouses a lot about being slighted by major league baseball and rehashes all-too-familiar racial difficulties, it is refreshing to get the fiery Gibson's take on the grand old game. (8 pages b&w photos, not seen) (First printing of 75,000; $75,000 ad/promo; author tour)

Pub Date: Sept. 1, 1994

ISBN: 0-670-84794-1

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1994

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A Wall Street trader exercises a rich man’s prerogative and offers financial advice and his life story. “See how much money I made!” is the message. “I’m pretty smart and damned tough, too.” To be sure, Schwartz (“Buzzy” to his pals) is the prototypical hard driver, a truly successful day trader, buying and selling in lightning strokes for his own account. His is a talent for exquisite market timing, a tricky game for even the most proficient professionals. His specialty is S&P futures, a technique using the marvel of leverage to greatly multiply the chances for gain—or loss—on each tick. It requires an inordinate amount of research as well as stamina, acumen, and nerve, but it can be worth millions every year. The alternative, as Buzzy frets, is “going tapioca.” Buzzy dearly wanted his kids to say, “ ‘My daddy’s the Champion Trader!’ That was all I cared about,” he admits. With success came Lutäce lunches, expensive artworks, Armani suits, Bally alligator shoes, and other trophies. Schwartz essays a little false humility, but the book’s evasive charm is based on chutzpah. In an effort to leverage with OPM (other people’s money), the author established his own hedge funds until investors (the bastards) pestered him about their money. Don’t be surprised to learn the result was heart disease. Now in Florida, trading again for himself, the quondam Champion Trader reveals, with some repetition, his story. It moves nicely, though, with a certain egomaniacal verve. An appendix gives the author’s daily schedule (e.g, “7:20-7:30 Clean out the plumbing”). His investment methodology is also appended, but only the most devoted professional will utilize this rigorous lesson. An archetypal text, true to life on the Street, destined to be discussed over drinks at trader hangouts after the market closes—and better than going tapioca. (Author tour; radio satellite tour)

Pub Date: April 1, 1998

ISBN: 0-88-730876-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: N/A

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 1998

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