As a Bay Area native, sports fan and in light of the recent incredibly dominant San Francisco Giants World Series sweep I thought I’d take a look at sports themed web comics.
Well actually, the lack thereof. You see, it seems comics and sports go together like oil and water or Republicans and Democrats (elections a’coming >.<) – rarely. Now, as a huge sports fan, this doesn’t make sense to me but I also recognize that I may be an outlier when looking at traditional comic fans (whatever that means). El Santa brings up a good point in his blog – sports teams are specialized and regional so it’s challenging to base a web comic on a specific team. This lends itself to another problem. If a comic is based on a sport(s) as a whole then it probably takes a certain level of understanding of said sport(s) to really be able to understand what is going on. The level of understanding that comes from relatively consistent ESPN watching and my guess is the people that are already doing that probably are the same people that go to ESPN’s website when they are online and not Penny Arcade. Of course, a series could just be able a sport without touching on any real life players or events – but this just seems like a bad idea…
Now that I’ve thoroughly convinced you why sports web comics aren’t popular (my logic is working against me) let me show you a couple series I’ve found that beg to differ.
Fanatics by Drew Sheppard
Updated irregularly, Fanatics is a witty series primarily focused on America’s Pastime, Baseball. It definitely requires a relative understanding of current sport events but it doesn’t go to deep. As a sports geek, I caught myself laughing out loud a few times.
Small Market Sports by Bill Charbonneau
I really enjoy this strip. Characters based on the ball/puck used by each sport engage in dialogue about anything and everything with a sports undertone. It’s well done and an easy read. Again, some of the jokes require a certain level of general sports knowledge.
Sports Guys by Tony Digerolamo and Greg Eales
Another great comic, this falls in line with the previous two strips – sports themed, and you have to have a certain level of general sports knowledge to get through some of the punch lines. A solid series.
There you have it. It’s easy to see why sports and web comics aren’t your typical combination found in any great quantity online. The three aforementioned series are all great in my opinion, but I’m a sports fan! Personally, I think a few weeks with ESPN would turn anyone into a believer but I do have some bias. Check out the series, take a look for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments below.
AND GO GIANTS!!!!!