Hard as it is to believe, there is more of a comics/footie connection than just Roy of the Rovers — although who really needs more than Roy of the Rovers? We thought we’d see more World Cup comics art around but we forgot nerds aren’t into sports.


We ran across. Jon Rob’s painting of Fernando Torres, which was part of a larger project but haven’t found that larger project.


J. Caleb Mozzocco had his own cartoon.


Political cartoonists have been having more fun., Here’s one on — what else — vuvuzelas, the annoying buzzing horn of the veldt.


I think you can figure this one out for yourself.


English cartoonist Lew Stringer has been covering classic soccer comics, like 1966’s World Cup Willie.


And then there’s Zakumi, the official World Cup mascot. And he is a cute little fella. He actually has his own comic strip, by Stephen Francis and Rico, but — you’re not going to believe this! — FIFA’s own site only has the comics in a horrible Flash interface that is too small to read! Luckily, you can find the strip in a bigger format here.


Or, having read a few, maybe it is not so lucky.


ESPN Magazine did better with this guide to the history of the World Cup by Peter Kuper, which appeared in the print mag and online, but only for “Insiders.” Print is still good for something after all.

The biggest — and we do mean BIGGEST — comics/World Cup crossover is the Sky Comic which Adidas made to cheer on the Japanese soccer team. This was an enormous, 13-panel comic strip that you could see from the sky, and freuqently did, as it was placed by the airport for two days:

Once all 13 panels had been painted, TBWA shipped them to the airport and laid them out side by side in a grouping that measured more than 3,827 square yards. Every plane that landed at the airport over those two days could see the comic book, and videos about the making of each panel have been added to the Sky Comic web site.

You can supposedly see the comic at the Skycomic link above, but every time we try to load it it takes, like 10 minutes and it’s in some awful Flash interface. FLASH AND COMICS ARE A NO NO. There is a video of the making of the comic, though. It’s not in Flash.


Hm, let’s see what else. TMZ had pictures of Ronaldo in the trainer’s room, but it’s kind of tame. Oh well.

Do you have a World Cup comics link? Send it in!


  1. Zakumi was designed by Andries Odendaal of Wireframe Studios.

    World Cup Willie, the official mascot of the English World Cup in 1966, was designed by Reg Hoye, and even had a theme song by Lonnie Donegan (re-recorded by LD Jr for WC2010)!

  2. More specifically, there seems to be a World Cup, FEMALE nerd connection. I can not believe the number of sports hating women who seem to be ga ga over the World Cup.

  3. I *love* sports, I just hate soccer. It’s the only game I know where you don’t play to win, you play to tie the game. That and all the crybaby players who react like someone shot them every time they get a little bump. Thank God I live in America where football rules the roost – the *real* football!

  4. @Nate Soccer needs more scoring, right? Americans like scoring, so soccer needs pass interference penalties. Oh, and roughing the passer and illegal contact penalties. That’s all good for scoring, right?

    Then soccer can be just as frustrating as American football! Maybe they could even learn to run out the clock!

  5. @Jay – Soccer needs wins. That’s all. Just have a winner, like in football. The college football overtime system doesn’t allow ties. In both the pros and college, the clock is run down to protect a win, not to protect a tie.

    Soccer doesn’t need more scoring, just an end to a system that allows 0-0 ties and treats a 1-1 tie like a win.

    Further, roughing the passer is to protect the QB. The idea is to not allow guys to get free hits on him after the ball is out of his hands. And unlike soccer, no one flops in football when they get a little shove. The illegal contact penalties are to prevent things like a corner or safety clobbering a wide receiver without the guy getting a chance to make a catch.

    Flopping + ties = why soccer sucks. It’s just math.

  6. I think Team USA represents the American character perfectly; they just fuck around like fratboys until things get SERIOUS and then they come on like an unstoppable hurricane of mythic heroes. CF: Pearl Harbor.

    Not sure how the horrific reffing fits into my theory though.

  7. I think Vince McMahon may have found a new referee.

    At this point, I want to root for chaos in this group.

    It’s apparently possible that the tiebreakers could be exhausted and lots would be drawn to see who advances.

  8. @Nate

    Wrong on all counts. Roughing the passer is to protect the passing game, not the QB. All the rules I mentioned are to force a high scoring passing game. Used to be you could clobber a reciever to stop a catch… That was just part of the game and it still should be, but that leads to less yards, less scoring, and a game built on defense. You know, real American football where it’s OK to knock Brady on his ass even after the pass is released, not the dainty watered down version we have now.

    People who like illegal contact and offensive pass interference penalties clearly hate America.

    Soccer has winners. League cups work by accumulating points…winner at the end of a season. There’s som math for ya. There are elimination tournaments, like the Carling Cup or the Champions League. No draws there, you go to PKs. Winner.

    Ps US team got screwed today.

  9. I’d say roughing the passer calls are to protect the marquee players in the league, the ones with the endorsements and who sell many of the league’s corporate sponsored products.

    Look how many rules are quickly implemented after a star QB (Big Ben and Brady injuries come to mind).

    Maybe soccer scores wouldn’t sound so bad to american fans if goals were worth 6 points instead of one.

  10. @Nate: Then what about the regular season NFL ties? Or, let’s fix the NHL, waste time in a shootout … then award the same amount of points as a tie?