It’s a story of twists and turns as only a 9-7 season can be, but perhaps the most incredible thing about
this online graphic novel chronicling the New York Giants’ championship season is that it is being created by someone known as Chris in Philly. Preferring to remain anonymous—surely because his fellow Philadelphians would egg bomb his house if they knew about it—Chris is using Photoshopped archival materials to tell the exciting story of how Eli Manning led his team to a Super Bowl upset of the New England Patriots. It’s a classic story of the underdog coming out on top.

But he’s not just influenced by the Giants’ late season comeback and crisp execution under pressure. Chris told NFL.com that he heavily borrowed from Alan Moore’s techniques. “I do really like ‘Watchmen’ by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons,” he says, “and I most certainly borrowed a lot from it. The entire idea of Eli’s journal is from there. I took the line about being ‘locked in’ with him directly from ‘Watchmen.’ The very shape and color of the text boxes are from ‘Watchmen.’ So, once I essentially made Eli the Rorschach character, that set the tone, and all I had to do was make it about yet another glorious run through the playoffs.”

Right. Eli Manning would make a great Rorschach. “Packer carcass in alley this morning, Cruz tread on torn hamstring. This city is in love with me, and I know because they had a ticker tape parade and I star in those Toyota commercials.”

In any event, if DC is looking for creators For Before Before Watchmen, here’s their man.

[Thanks to Torsten for the link.]


  1. “How the heck are the New York Giants “underdogs”?”

    They were picked by most observers to finish 2nd, or more often 3rd, in their division and miss the playoffs and instead won the Super Bowl. Sounds like underdogs to me. Also they were not the favorite in their playoff games, therefore by definition they were the underdogs.

  2. Jeremy, I live in New York, but I’m not a football fan, so I’m unbiased. (I watch the Super Bowl for the ads.)

    The Giants could be considered underdogs because they were 7-7 at one point, and qualified for the playoffs by beating Dallas in the final week. (That could be considered a fifth playoff game, as the winner qualified, the loser did not.)

    They were the fourth seed (of six) in the playoffs, and thus were the underdog in two of three playoff games, as well as the Super Bowl, where New England was the #1 seed.

    As for the lettering… at least it’s not Comic Sans, and it’s legible. Not bad for an amateur.

    Of course, it pales when compared to this:

    (The University of Oregon had students create comic books depicting high school recruits succeeding as Oregon Ducks football players. The NCAA then ruled that such materials would be a violation of recruiting rules in the future

  3. Wow! THIS is considered a “graphic novel”?!? hahaha. As the leading source of comic book industry news and opinion, I would have hoped the Beat can uphold some industry standards.

    Let’s get our terminologies clear. Examining the “graphic” part, at best, this is a FUMETTI, with a few layers of photoshop filters, applied over actual photographs obtained over the season. I don’t even think there was any TRACING involved. A child with a laptop could have produced this… and at a total of six pages, I would hardly call this a “novel”.

    It seems nowadays, anyone slapping some images inside panel boxes composed on a single page is calling it a “graphic novel” or “comic book”.

  4. @TicForTat, relax. This was done by a Ny Giants fan for his young sons just for fun. He shared it with other fans on the site and then NFL Network picked up the story. It’s pretty cool, IMO.

  5. Tic,
    Could you please point me to these “industry standards” you refer to? The only ones I am familiar with are the various versions of the Comics Code, but they are no longer active.

    As for the actual artwork style, what would be acceptable? I suspect stick figures would also be the other extreme, although XKCD and Cyanide and Happiness make it work. How many filters are too many? What if he used 3-D modeling software? Would that be just as questionable? What if he used filters to make the artwork even more abstract and cartoony?

    Myself, I like the filtered artwork seen above.

    Oh, and it’s a self-published comic, appealing to an audience which doesn’t usually read comic books (but which is as geeky as comics fans)! Win.

  6. um, regarding said call for standards — the part that the Beat said, “In any event, if DC is looking for creators For Before Before Watchmen, here’s their man.”

    The work produced is the equivalent of someone going to the supermarket, buying a bunch of frozen dinners, and going home and heating them up in the microwave and serving it, and then the Beat proclaiming this guy has a future in the culinary industry.

  7. I. Has no one heard of fumetti? The artist isn’t pretending to have drawn original art here, and this wasn’t a professional endeavor. Just a really cool, fairly clever labor of love, and what’s not to like about that?

  8. Kate, this is not even good Fumetti, let alone good storytelling(First Panel is the Metlife stadium, second panel says “meanwhile at Metlife”. we never left the stadium) it’s a fan rant with a hokey Photoshop collage, not a comic.
    Am I the only one here to think that sports comics can be big if they any publisher pushes for it? This is wasted potential for that, if he had a proper cartoonist(perhaps writer) on this, this could be so much better.
    Torsten, calling this a win for comics is a stretch away from snapping the Achilles Tendon. This just a hokey fan comic that’s only going to briefly appeal to the visitors of that site(which is not saying alot). Please, stop polishing this terd.