Booklist reviews MARKET DAY

“Market Day. By James Sturm.” / Booklist / Gordon Flagg / February 24, 2010

The timeless dilemma of balancing artistic integrity and the dictates of the marketplace is addressed with compassion and sensitivity in this recounting of an eventful 24 hours in the life of a rug maker in eastern Europe in the early 1900s. Carting his lovingly handcrafted rugs to town, Mendleman discovers that the shop that carried his wares has been taken over by a new, bottom-line-oriented owner who stocks only cheaply made merchandise. With the disappearance of his patron, Mendleman’s world is upended. His only recourse is to sell his rugs for a pittance to a grand new emporium, the Wal-Mart of its age. Although he must accept the insult for the survival of his young family, the blow drives the sensitive artist to the breaking point. Sturm is Mendleman’s ideal champion. For nearly two decades, he’s been drawing masterful graphic stories that, however elegant in their visual simplicity, have failed to garner the attention given to louder, flashier comics. The creator of a work as rich as Market Day deserves a better fate than Mendleman’s.

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