Monday, November 30, 2015

Sullivan's Sluggers

Written by Mark Andrew Smith
Art by James Stokoe

Sullivan's Sluggers is a very enjoyable oversized graphic novel, with amazing artwork by James Stokoe.  I'd like to focus on that in writing about it, but it's important to point out that this book became the poster child for caution when dealing with Kickstarter, and that writer and owner Mark Andrew Smith really did not make himself a lot of friends while preparing this book.  I don't want to go into it here - you can google it and learn the whole thing, I'm sure.

The book, read outside of the context of its production woes, is very good.  The Sluggers are a team of washed-up baseball players (and one plucky rookie) who travel from town to town to play in exhibition games.  They are  a rough bunch.  Their coach has rage issues, and most of them drink or do drugs.

They accept a job in the town of Malice, and all is going well until the sun sets, and we learn that everyone in town turns into gigantic monsters that like to eat people.  From there, we fall pretty quickly into Walking Dead territory, only with massive monsters.  There is a backstory to the town, and that keeps the story interesting.

What makes this book so great is Stokoe's art.  That would come as no surprise to anyone familiar with his work, but there are still many pages that impressed me (to say nothing of the fold-out page).  He's the reason why I wanted to read this book, although I did like the story, and really enjoyed the high-quality production values.

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