Mark Andrew Smith & James Stokoe, Sullivan’s Sluggers (http://www.sullivanssluggers.com/). $36, hardcover.
You probably think you’ve seen this all before: traveling ball club of washed-up players finds themselves facing down an entire town of demons. You know, that old chestnut. Heck, maybe you’ve literally seen this one before on Comixology. Trust me, though: if you haven’t seen Sullivan’s Sluggers in this beautiful over-sized edition, you know nothing about what happens when chainsaw meets demon, or any of the rest. Thanks to writer Mark Andrew Smith’s massively successful Kickstarter campaign, you can get yourself a beautiful slip-covered edition in full living-dead color and discover a) why baseball and horror were meant to be together and b) why Smith (New Brighton Archeological Society, Gladstone’s School for World Conquerors) and artist James Stokoe (Orc Stain) should be permanently joined at the hip from here to eternity.
And while you’re at it, discover why a good comic on paper will kick the crap out of any digital comic for the foreseeable future, as surely as Cornell is about to make demon sushi out of some slimy rednecks. Stokoe puts you squarely in the oozing belly of the beastie here, and the book contains a gatefold here that will make your desktop screen look like an iPad nano. This is a rip-roaring gore-fest from start to finish, and it is the most fun you will have between hard covers this season.
PS: As Derik Badman reminds me, the notion that Smith and Stokoe “should be permanently joined at the hip from here to eternity”—while it might be terribly appealing to this reader—would be perceived as a truly hellish punishment by both of them, from comments they have both made about this project. As always, The Beat has the scoop: