The Premier League comes to life in comics – Man United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham history revisited in a different variant
The pulsating frenzy around the players and teams of the Premier League has left an impact on popular culture and the media. From television coverage both live and syndicated to media spin-offs like magazines, there is no denial of the Premier League’s imprint on die-hard fans of English football. It, thus, doesn’t come as a surprise that the league has already ventured into the world of comic books.
The comic strip histories of four of the most successful teams in the Premier League – Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham – have been around on comic book shelves for years, but the latest edition of each strip is definitely one worth experiencing. Drawn by former Roy of the Rovers comic artist and veteran football illustrator Bob Bond, the comic books tell an expansive account of the four Premier League teams’ long histories, from their all-time legendary goals down to their most celebrated players like Jimmy Greaves and David Beckham. In the 2013 edition, developments such as the retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson and the appointment of David Moyes as Man U’s team manager were included in the series.
The first time the comic book series was published in 2002, the 4 teams already were already held in high regard as the best in English (and even European) football with their record number of titles at league level. Since then, Manchester United have won the Premier League six more times while Arsenal won the title just twice. However, during the ongoing Premier League season, the Gunners currently top the table while Liverpool are in 4th. And as observed by Betfair commentator Mike Norman, the hopes of Manchester United winning back-to-back titles has been exonerated after their defeat against Tottenham on January 2 and later on facing their third defeat in a row after succumbing to Sunderland in the League Cup.
It would be interesting to know just how much of the younger generation of fans know the history of their football clubs. Bond’s emphasis on the biggest events of these four clubs throughout their century-long history helps fans, especially the older ones, relive some of the greatest moments in English football. Nevertheless, it would have been more appealing if some unknown facts about the four were depicted in the comic strips, such as why the Arsenal wear red kits or which team originally played at Anfield before Liverpool.
Condensing the history of four of the greatest football clubs in the Premier League into 60+ pages isn’t an easy feat. But with an illustrative depiction and witty storyline, the stories of Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Tottenham become out of the ordinary to fans and many neutrals. Hopefully a digital version of the comic book series would be made available very soon and bring these images to the forefront of pop culture.