It Came From the NYPL
Cross Game v. 2
Written & Illustrated by Mitsuru Adachi
Translated by Lillian Olsen
Lettering and touch-up by Jim Keefe & Mark McMurray
Published by Viz
In Cross Game v. 2, Mitsuru Adachi spends 280 of 350 pages chronicling a single baseball game. If you’re a baseball geek like me, it’s pure heaven.
The series’ overall arc, continuing from the first book, continues to revolve around high schooler Ko Kitamura developing into a baseball phenom, while his adversarial-cum-burgeoning-respect relationship with Aoba Tsukishima slowly evolves from childhood tensions into something more mature.
And, yeah, the emotional core of the series, Ko and Aoba’s relationship, is present in this book, but ultimately, v. 2 of Cross Game is devoted to Adachi’s astonishing ability to capture the magical moments of a baseball game on a comic book page. Using motion lines, severe angles, close-ups, quiet open panels of baseballs suspended in space, and angular poses that capture the contortions of charging fielders and off-balance throws, Adachi visually described the poetry of sports in static imagery.
Cross Game is, for this baseball fan anyway, a beautiful comic series; one I’ll probably begin buying before vol. 3 arrives in the U.S. But it’s great to know that I can continue to discover great series like this at my library; hopefully you’re all discovering similarly wonderful series at your branch.