Graphic Novel Review: Dugout

Dugout: The Zombie Steals Home by Scott Morse. Scholastic Graphix, 2019. 9781338188097. 256pp.

Twin sisters Stacy and Gina are baseball rivals. Gina and her team are doing well, while Stacy isn’t having any luck. Some of Stacy’s teammates on the Rooks think they’re cursed, and that her grandma is a witch. The latter is true, but their grandma isn’t going to teach Stacy and Gina spells until they’re at least sixteen. After Gina secretly uses her grandma’s magical ingredients on Stacy’s glove anyway, a zombie climbs from the ground in the middle of the Rooks’ practice field. It’s a freaky looking (if somewhat rotten) old guy zombie but don’t worry, it quickly and humorously becomes part of the team. Later, there’s a ghost in a baseball uniform, and a baseball-centered mystery/adventure involving both.

Full disclosure: Morse is one of my favorite cartoonists. I own copies of most of his books and several pieces of his art and I was giddy when I saw a new book by him. (He’s the creator of Soulwind, which was just reissued in a single volume, and is known in kid lit circles for the Magic Pickle series and his story in the first Goosebumps graphic novel.) I’ve seen him draw a few times, and he’s always super quick. I feel like this gives his illustrations an energy I find lacking in a lot of drawings, and in this book it really adds the chases and sports scenes. Recommended for all kids graphic novel collections.


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