Over the years there have been many different kinds of comics, with superheroes obviously being portrayed the most frequently. But how have sports been represented in comics? There don’t seem to be that many around, but here’s a look at a couple of sports comics that have been hits.
There were a few fictional sport characters created for comics in the past, but not that many real life superstars made the transition from the sports field to the comic strip. Babe Ruth was one of the few sports stars who was represented in the world of comics. Ruth spent 22 seasons playing Major League Baseball and in that time set numerous records. He is credited with changing the whole style of the game and how baseball is played; making it the popular game it is today.
The series of comics in which he appeared was called ‘Babe Ruth Sports’ and released by Harvey Comics in 1951. There were 11 issues of this and the first one was called ‘Smitty at the ball game’. Along with the comics that were named after him, the character Babe Ruth also appeared in 44 issues of various other comics. His old team, the New York Yankees, are still regarded as baseballing powerhouses by the likes of Betfair and other bookmakers, not to mention the entire world of Major League Baseball also.
A more recent sports comic was a Manga series by Takehiko Inoue called ‘Buzzer Beater’. The series debuted on the web and was later published in print format by Shueisha and serialized in ‘Monthly Shonen Jump’ manga magazine. The focus of the manga is on basketball and the story is about a team of basketball players from Earth that are assembled to take part in an intergalactic basketball competition. The series originally ran between 1997 and 1998, and was made into an Anime television series in 2005 and again in 2007. The name, ‘Buzzer Beater’, comes from the term used for when a basket is scored at the same moment a period or the game itself ends.
Manga comics originated in Japan and have a particular Japanese style. They have featured quite a few different sports over the years including football, swimming, cycling, boxing, golf and gymnastics. Unfortunately, apart from these manga comics and some very old American ones, it doesn’t seem as though sport is very well represented in the comic world.
With sport being so popular, it would be nice to see it included in comics more in the future.