The Golem’s Mighty Swing

    (Drawn and Quarterly, 2002)
™ and © Drawn and Quarterly

In this Prohibition–era tale, the Stars of David are an all-Jewish baseball team, traveling from town to town. Despite this unlikely premise, creator James Sturm makes it work.

The Stars meet Victor Paige, a baseball promoter with an idea for a gimmick: dress Henry Bell, a huge man and the team’s sole black player, as a mythical Golem. Despite initial hesitancy on the part of Manager Noah Strauss (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Jesus for no apparent reason), the Stars grudgingly accept the idea. But how will it play in a town which has been stirred into a frenzy by the anti–Semitic editorials of a local captain of industry?

It is especially interesting to see the gimmicky–themed teams of the time, such as an “all-Indian” (Native American) team or a team dressed like hillbillies. But despite its well–earned reputation as the Great American Pastime, baseball is not always interesting to watch and can be even less interesting to read about. Sturm, however, provides us with characters and situations that engage the reader on Page One and hold onto him throughout.

— Jack Abramowitz

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