All Star

Jesse Lonergan. NBM Comics Lit (, $13.99 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-1-56163-835-2
In all sports stories, there are only two outcomes: the hero comes through in the ninth or he doesn’t. But Lonergan (Flower & Fade, Joe & Azat) has found a twist on the tale of Carl Carter, a high school baseball phenom in tiny, rural Elizabeth, Vt. Set against the 1998 of flawed heroes Mark McGwire and Bill Clinton, Carl’s arrogant demeanor and dissolute friendship with bad-side-of-the tracks pal Esden is cruising for a major takedown. Plenty of trite icebergs for Carl’s ocean liner are foreshadowed on every page—drinking and driving, diving into swimming holes—but his big mistake comes is more difficult to anticipate. And his learning moment stems from his awareness of the special place of the athlete rather than his discovery of it. Lonergan’s story hits all the right notes of smalltown life and athletic struggle, with loose, energetic, manga-inspired art. The only flaw is that the art is sometimes too loose—characters are difficult to tell apart, and cartoony anatomy is sometimes jarring in a story that paints a realistic picture of youthful hubris and redemption. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/31/2014
Release date: 04/01/2014
Genre: Comics
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