Saturday, February 28, 2009

Black History Month - Heroes of the Negro Leagues

As the National Black History Month draw to end, I like to sneak this last thought in. I was trolling the racks of Barnes and Noble last week and the cover of this book jumped up at me. Not, as you would think, because I'm a baseball fan, (really I'm not) No, it was because the artwork was done by a friend of mine, Mark Chiarello. The book, Heroes of the Negro Leagues is based on a series of trading cards Mark did back in the 1990's for the Eclipse Comics publisher. The series was called Stars of the Negro Leagues, with 36 painted cards with text by Jack Morelli. Mark had given me set, and I still have it close at hand in my studio after all these years. Mark is currently a award winning editor/art director at DC Comics with a list of accomplishment too lengthy to go into here.

This is great little book, especially for Black History Month, not to mention the start of the Major League Baseball's spring training. Mark's watercolors is wonderful and fits the subject perfectly. Jack Morelli's text is very illuminating. As he wrote the introduction for card set, "These cards pay tribute to these men. They are baseball's hidden heroes". I hope this book reaches a wider audience. I'm recommending to the librarians I work with. I'm putting it on my gift-giving list for sure. A special bonus, the DVD documentary "Only the ball was White", produce by WTTW/Chicago, a PBS station, is included with the book.
Thanks, Mark, and Jack, you made my day, and Black History Month a little brighter.

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