By Steve English
Hardcover: 160 pages
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 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: 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 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
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.
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