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The big-label relaunch of the once-self-published Syncopated anthologies ("a New Yorker for the comics set") is a uniformly classy affair with only a few slow moments. As the title suggests, the book collects meaty article presented as comics. Series editor and curator Burford contributes two pieces, one of which might be the book's high point: a study of the life of Boris Rose, who built probably the world's largest collection of live jazz recordings, still locked in storage and most of it never heard by anyone but Rose himself. Alex Holden provides an amazing bit of picto-journalism in "West Side Improvements," the story of Manhattan's riverside train tracks and the vibrant graffiti culture that grew in their tunnels. Nick Bertozzi's "How and Why to Bale Hay" is a somewhat traditional graphical memoir; Greg Cook's "What We So Quietly Saw" is anything but traditional, using only silhouettes to tell selected stories from inside Guantánamo Bay. Only Dave Kiersh's "Welcome Home, Brave" fails to fully satisfy, due to a flat narrative. An elegant and smart volume, well worth the space on the collector's shelf. (May)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.