I’m back from the comic shop this week and I got 2 new comic plus a hard cover collection:

  • Walking Dead – 43
  • The Authority Prime – 1 (I swore off The Authority a while ago but this was recommended)
  • John Romita: Marvel Visionaries HC
  • And now for some reviews of things I’ve read this week.

  • James Sturm’s “America: God Gold and Golems”
  • Comics and history. Once again right up my alley. This book collects three of James Sturm’s stories: “The Revival”, “Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight”, and “The Golem’s Mighty Swing”.

    “The Revival” is a tale set around a religious revival meeting sometime in the 1800’s. Revivals were standard stuff back in the days of the US frontier but are pretty well forgotten now. We have churches and god everywhere these days and they’re as well organized as any government or corporation but back in the less populated and less technological days that wasn’t the case. So traveling preachers would move across the land with big tents and “revive” everybody’s love of the lord. People would come from a long ways off to gather, see the show, and get revived. It was a second chance for everyone. Or third chance. Or fourth.

    Sturm did a nice job of imagining this and giving us a taste. A taste not of the revival show itself but of the people going to the revival. Why they were going, what they were hoping to achieve, and a taste of their sincerity. All while out in the woods. This story humanizes the past. People who lived then had hope and dreams just like we do. Sometimes that’s forgotten when we look at history. This story captures it well.

    “Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight” is more of a plot driven tale. It’s about a bunch of people living in a dying mining town. They’re are good people and bad people and a we get to see how each acts as a death in the town is imminent. It’s a nice slice of life tale but I found it the weakest of the three stories just because it didn’t capture the time and place as well as the other two. And it gave us some obvious lessons like “don’t be bad”. This one could have been any time and place. It was nicely done other than that.

    “The Golem’s Mighty Swing” is a story of a barnstorming all Jewish baseball team back in 1920’s. They’re not quite all Jewish but that’s their hook. They get to travel the country, play ball, and face lots of prejudice. Once again a nice job is done capturing a time and place and you feel for they players as they try to get by in life. I’m a football guy and never have had much love for baseball or baseball stories (sorry I find “Field of Dreams” uninteresting) but this one is good because they happen to be playing baseball. No poetic baseball ramblings to have to read through. Just the lives of some guys who are trying to make a living playing the game. And a look at the drama of the playing the game rather than the game itself. Nice stuff.

    So if you’re a fan of history and comics pick this book up. Some nice stories.