I'm fascinated by Satchel Paige, and I had high hopes for this. It was good, but not as good as it could have been. The framing device is a fictional...moreI'm fascinated by Satchel Paige, and I had high hopes for this. It was good, but not as good as it could have been. The framing device is a fictional farmer who had a brief career in Negro League baseball before an injury in a game against Satchel ended his career. As much as Satchel features in this book, it barely feels like a book about Satchel. It's more about the unpleasantness of Jim Crow and segregation, as experienced by the fictional farmer. The story of the injustices faced by this farmer are "solved" in a happy ending that feels extremely tacked on, and somewhat dishonest.
I realize that the target audience for this book is children, but I don't think this book properly serves either of it's subjects to them. It could either be about Satchel's life (which it really is not), or it could be a comic about the injustices of segregation. The attempt to do both in less than 100 pages does not succeed.
On the evils of Jim Crow and segregation, the book describes some of the problems, but tries too hard to create a forced victory to end on.
On Satchel, well, the book barely touches on his life, his pitching ability, or his sense of humor, you get the sense that he was important, and skilled, but it's hard to believe that someone encountering Paige for the first time in this book would feel any particular admiration or interest in the man.
Tommaso's artwork is great though, and the main reason I didn't give this book one star.(less)
The easter eggs at the ends of the Avengers and Thor 2 made me nostalgic for the various infinity gem related adventures of the Marvel Universe, so I...moreThe easter eggs at the ends of the Avengers and Thor 2 made me nostalgic for the various infinity gem related adventures of the Marvel Universe, so I tracked down copies and have been happily rereading them, including putting together some bits and pieces that I missed at the time. These adventures are just as much fun as I remembered.(less)
It's a sort of mods vs. rockers meets Clockwork Orange. The story is not particularly complicated, but it's fun. The world is interesting and well ima...moreIt's a sort of mods vs. rockers meets Clockwork Orange. The story is not particularly complicated, but it's fun. The world is interesting and well imagined, and the art is excellent.(less)
This is a sort of shortened comic book version of Zinn's work. While I typically like graphic novels, and I liked Zinn's People's History of the Unite...moreThis is a sort of shortened comic book version of Zinn's work. While I typically like graphic novels, and I liked Zinn's People's History of the United States, the combination was not what I would have hoped for. The art while generally decent, lent itself to some unfortunately harsh caricaturing of some of the people Zinn disagreed with, in their physical appearances. At the same time, the rush to pack information into what is a much shorter volume than his purely written works, led to somewhat sloppier scholarship. There was much less nuance, and it often seemed that rather than address and disprove opposing arguments they were simply glossed over or ignored.
I enjoyed it, but if I was trying to introduce someone to the strengths of Zinn's work it would not be my first choice. This counts more heavily against it than it otherwise might because, as a graphic novel, serving as an introduction to the subject matter should be a strength. (less)
The text in these character sketches often devolves into Farr simply describing the comic, which seems unnecessary. If one wants to know what happens in the comic, one can read them. Farr is at his best when he describes the inspirations behind the characters, particularly Chang, and the process by which Herge arrived at details of their character.
A lot of the more interesting facts are repeated from the Complete Companion, but there are enough new details to make this worthwhile for a real Tintin fan.(less)