It’s football sponsorship – but not as we know it. Go-ahead Midlands-based company Laser Tools, sponsors of the BTCC motor racing team Laser Tools Racing, has now added football to their portfolio, with one striking difference – the team they are sponsoring only appears in the critically-acclaimed Rok of the Reds graphic novel series!
Rok of the Reds, the story of the world’s first alien footballer, was recently shortlisted for Teenage Book of the Year 2020 by the Scottish Book Trust.
Created by legendary comic writers John Wagner (Judge Dredd/A History of Violence) and Alan Grant (Batman), and illustrated by 2000AD favourite Dan Cornwell, as we’ve previously reported (and reviewed) Rok of the Reds tells the story of an alien lord seeking refuge on Earth who falls in love with ‘the beautiful game’.
Now, as Rok’s second season begins in the new graphic novel Rok the God, Rok’s team – Radford Reds – will be taking the field proudly bearing their new Laser Tools logo.
“It’s a perfect brand for the team and looks just right on the shirts,” Wagner said. “And of course we’re immensely grateful for a sponsor’s support. Producing comic strip is expensive. It is heartening that a company like Laser Tools has seen enough value in what we’re doing to get behind us.”
Wagner and Laser Tools Founder Martin Smith had gone to school together in Scotland but had not seen each other for more than fifty years, so when Martin turned up at a comic convention, listened to John talk about the project and offered to back it, it was the perfect reunion.
“We are very interested in brand awareness and are always keen to promote the Laser Tools brand in new, fun and exciting ways,” Martin said. “Sponsoring the Radford Reds is a great fit for us, and it brings our brand to a whole new audience. Here at Laser Tools we have a lot of comic and graphic novel enthusiasts, and we cannot wait for publication!”
• Rok the God will be released on 14th September by publisher RedRok Comics. 120 plus pages, full colour, available exclusively from rokofthereds.com | Find Rok of the Reds on Facebook | Follow Rok of the Reds on Twitter @RedsRok
Rok of the Reds © 2020 The Rok Team
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.