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In Review: Football Earth – The Wild Side by Steve English

Football Earth - The Wild Side - Zebras

By Steve English
Hardcover: 160 pages
Publisher: Summersdale
Out: Now

The Book: In 2009 scientists discovered dolphins playing football with jellyfish off the coast of Wales. Some believe they have been playing this game for hundreds, if not thousands of years. And it’s not only dolphins that are football fans, but the entire animal kingdom!

The Wild Side showcases the secret sporting life of our feathered, finned and furry friends. Meet characters such as Alan Sheared and Rover of the Rovers, and teams including Man Ewe and Crawly Town, in a collection that’s sure to delight all fans of the ‘natural game’.

The Wild Side by Steve English - CornerThe Review: Fans of downthetubes will know that I’ve been a fan of the charming, funny work of cartoonist Steve English for years. I’m not alone in my appreciation: he’s won several competitions for his funny and wonderfully-realised cartoons, including a challenge run by a company I worked for, ROK Comics, back in 2007 judged by, among others, the then Editor of Beano.

It’s inevitable that Steve’s humour and eye for the absurd will draw comparison with cartoons such as The Far Side by Gary Larson, but I’d argue that such comparisons simply indicate just how good Steve is.

Football Earth: Pet GuardiolaFootball Earth: Alan Sheared

Football Earth: The Wild Side collects around 150 cartoons revealing how animals play the beautiful game, a series that currently appears weekly in the Non-League Football Paper and in the bi-monthly football magazine She Kicks. (Humans with access to the internet can also find the cartoon at www.footballearth.net, and on www.comicsherpa.com as Soccer Earth).

The Wild Side by Steve English - Lights

The book is, of course, simply crammed with great one frame gags and terrible (but funny) puns, right down to players names such as Mark Ewes, Jurgen Clip Clop and Roberto House Martinez.

If you’re looking for a book for a football fan, or even someone who likes cuddly animals (but who can see the funny side of some unfortunate situations), then this is the collection for you.

Thoroughly enjoyable and at under a tenner, it’s a Baa-gin!

(Sorry. I’ll get my coat).

•  Football Earth The Wild Side is on sale now in all good book shops and from online stores

About John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John describes himself as is a "freelance comics operative" who is currently working as a freelance editor for TITAN COMICS, as Creative Consultant on the new DAN DARE audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the LAKES INTERNATIONAL COMIC ART FESTIVAL and LANCASTER COMICS DAY. John has worked in British comics publishing for over 25 years, starting out at Marvel UK, where he edited a number of the Genesis 1992 books with Paul Neary, including DEATH'S HEAD II and WARHEADS. At Marvel he wrote strips for THE REAL GHOSTBUSTERS, THUNDERCATS, DOCTOR WHO and co-created SHADOW RIDERS with Brian Williamson and Ross Dearsley. His numerous credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine at Marvel and Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine at Titan Magazines, where he was Managing Editor. He also edited STRIP Magazine and worked as an editor on several audio comics for ROK Comics, including TEAM M.O.B.I.L.E. and THE BEATLES STORY. He has written comics for Marvel UK, Judge Dredd Megazine, Lucky Bag Comic, CGL (an Italian publisher), STRIP Magazine and ROK Comics; and edited some of Titan's British comics collections including Dan Dare and Charley's War. Most recently he is writing CRUCIBLE as a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and DEATH DUTY and SKOW DOGS with Dave Hailwood for the digital comic 100% Biodegradable.
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