Tuesday, July 21, 2009


(From Boody by Boody Rogers and edited by Craig Yoe.) Always-smoking Jim Teapot travels to Possum Holler to recruit smoking-hot girl pitcher Babe Boone and is really red-hot impressed with what he sees.

Sometimes a cigar.

Why have I been reading more than a little about baseball this summer? In The Great American Novel, Philip Roth creates and quashes the Patriot League, a third big league, by pitting its desperado players against ruthless HUAC in the forties.

The not-a-biography-but-kinda-historical comic Satchel Paige: Striking Out Jim Crow by James Strum and Rich Tommaso is about official white baseball's erosion by unsanctioned black skill. Paige brings out the crowds but since he's an entertainer he's counterfeit, so the poor reasoning goes. The tale is told in Seth-like throw-back images but breaks away nicely to capture the idiosyncratic movements of Paige's pitching. See left: the silent zoomed-in panels give us his deliberation and poise, the detail and process.

All three see doppelgangers of baseball as intrinsic to baseball: Boody's local bumpkin Babe, Roth's misfit Patriot League, and Strum and Tommaso's exploration of the Negro League. Who dares storm this Bastille of American sport?

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