Yesterday I had the good fortune to appear on WBUR’s “Radio Boston” with Anthony Brooks, talking about The Comic Book Story of Baseball. If you missed the show, don’t fret! It’s archived on WBUR’s web site.
Having only 176 pages to work with, I couldn’t come close to cramming in every baseball story I wanted to tell. So, to get some of these regrets off my chest, I’ll post once in a while about other great baseball-related stuff I ran across while researching The Comic Book Story of Baseball…but couldn’t get into the final book.
Here are the first three:
Baseball Comics #1, Will Eisner’s sadly ill-fated 1949 attempt to start up an ongoing baseball comic. The story of Rube Rooky and his rough-and-tumble journey from backwoods iceman to the World Series is superb Eisner. (Is there any other kind?)
The story of Jackie Mitchell, who as a 17-year-old girl struck out Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in an exhibition while pitching for the AA Chattanooga Lookouts. (Although it may have been a publicity stunt.) Two years later, she would sign up for the House of David barnstorming team.
Lena Blackburne Rubbing Mud, the official mud used to dirty up baseballs before they’re used in a game. The exact source of the mud is a secret. It is named after Russell “Lena” Blackburne, a manager and coach for the White Sox and Athletics, who starting applying it to balls in 1938.
The Comic Book Story of Baseball is out today! Thanks to Tomm Coker and C.P. Smith for making it look so good, Jason Yarn for his indefatigable agenting, Patrick Barb and Chloe Rawlins for their sharp editorial and design work — and you for reading.
What’s that, you say? You would like to purchase a copy? Well, here’s a way to find the book at your local independent bookseller via IndieBound.
Or here’s the Amazon link.
And if you’re going to pick it up at a comic shop (it won’t be there until tomorrow), here’s a handy Comic Shop Locator.
Need some convincing? Here are a few early reviews…
“Marvel comics veterans Coker and Smith deliver powerful graphics, tinted lightly with color for a marvelous vintage effect, while Irvine orchestrates a brief, masterly overview of this morale-boosting sport. Fans of any age will love.” — Library Journal
“. . . a lively and accessible chronicle of America’s pastime, with panels that crack and wallop with image and fact.” — Boston Globe
“Heroes, villains, long odds, and tall-tales: baseball history should always be presented in comic book form. The Comic Book Story of Baseball is probably the most accessible history of the game I’ve ever held in my hands. I’d recommend this little gem to anyone who wants to learn the history of the game and its colorful characters.” — Dirk Hayhurst, former Major League pitcher and author of The Bullpen Gospel
“Two great American art forms collide in The Comic Book Story of Baseball, and the result is a sprawling, comprehensive, tremendously fun look at the national pastime. It’s all here, from the Babe to Buckner, billy goats to Barry Bonds. Writer Alex Irvine and artists Tomm Coker and C.P. Smith exalt baseball’s triumphs while reckoning with its sins, and the result is a rich, thorough history that you’ll return to again and again, just like the grand old game itself.” — Jay Busbee, lead writer for Yahoo Sports
If you were following along and perhaps wondering who some of the players were in the countdown to The Comic Book Story of Baseball‘s launch, here’s a complete list:
Here’s a quick rundown of new stuff I’ve got coming out in the next few months:
May 8: The Comic Book Story of Baseball
May 30: “Black Friday,” a story on Tor.com
June 6: Halo: Collateral Damage #1
July: Halo: Collateral Damage #2
August: Halo: Collateral Damage #3
Sometime in 2018: “The Atonement Path,” a story in Lightspeed