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The Golem’s Mighty Swing

Sturm is a local guy and I was sad to miss him when he came to speak at my library. This graphic novel came out to great acclaim and it’s taken me a while to get it and see what all the fuss was about. Since I usually read meatier graphic novels, I was a bit surprised by how short this one was. It’s not that it’s short in pages, though it is that, but Sturm’s wonderful spare drawing style means that from frame to frame there’s not a lot happening. This book is about a Jewish baseball team, almost a novelty team, that plays various exhibition type local games in the 1920’s. It’s a short bittersweet story that includes a lot of anti-Semitism, a little bit of comeuppance and not much in the way of happy endings. There is also a lot of baseball so if you’re good with baseball statistics you may enjoy the “he pitches... the swing ... strike” segments more than I did. I enjoyed the narrative of this story which was marred a wee bit by too much baseball. In any case, it’s a lovely book not just the drawings but the cover, packaging, font choices, the whole nine yards. A really great accomplishment, to provide something different in the sometimes too-similar world of graphic novels.