September 5, 2010

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Triple Play Number 1 and Triple Play Number 2

Written by Corey Sauer
Illustrated by Corey Sauer
Self-Published

It's September, a time when baseball settles in to a few teams walking away with their championships and a few others trying like mad to grab the glory.

Any team I root for is long since out of it, so at this time of year, I turn to baseball literature for my solace. I picked up these mini-comics a little while back, and figured now would be a good time to read them.

Corey Sauer really loves baseball. He loves it so much that in these two issues, he's even willing to let others see his admittedly limited poetry ability. They are by no means the worst poetry I've ever read, but they definitely wouldn't win any awards.

Sauer's sketches, on the other hand, are a completely different manner. Portrayals of classic players from Honus Wagner to Hank Aaron are rendered in detail so well that you could use them as photo references. I could pick out the names before reading the captions, which is always sign of skill as a portrait artist. For those less familiar with the names of the former national pastime's pantheon of greats, Sauer provides a brief biography under each picture.

There is definitely a sense of nostalgia in these pages. The players featured are all older, and the poems focus on things like inside pitches and knuckleballs. Sauer clearly looks backward to baseball before the scandals of today.

I really wish Sauer had concentrated on the pictures and less on the words (they're split about 50-50), because the drawings are so much better than the poetry. If so, I'd definitely tell any baseball fan to grab these without hesitation. As it stands, I'd still say to pick up the comics, as the illustrations are just that good. Just be aware that the poetry is well-meaning, but pales in comparison.

Now if you'll excuse me, I'll be off mourning the plight of the also-rans, while thinking groundless hopes of next year as the diamonds get repainted once more...