Using the themes of faith, greed, and entertainment, this new compilation of three previously published graphic novels by James Sturm, founder and director of the Center for Cartoon Studies, offers readers a unique view of American history. The Revival takes place in the early 1800’s, during a time when religious sects flourished in the shifting boundaries of the American frontier. The second story, Hundreds of Feet Below Daylight, takes place in the late 1800’s, and shows the effects of greed on the lives of miners who have lost everything to find gold.
The final story in the trilogy, The Golem’s Mighty Swing, is the only one with any Jewish content. Originally published in 1998, it follows a traveling baseball team, The Stars of David, on their journey through Midwest America during the 1920’s. Faced with growing anti-Semitism, a broken bus, and no money, the captain of the team, Noah “The Zion Lion” Strauss, agrees to try a promotional stunt. By suiting up their only African-American player as a golem, the team’s gimmick not only draws crowds, but also violence stemming from fear and prejudice. Notes and sources for further reading round out this interesting trilogy.