london olympics comic

Posted in comics,news,other by Tom on July 25th, 2012

Now, this is probably the first you’ve heard about this but this Friday, London will play host to the 2012 Olympics.

I have mixed feelings about it. There’s a lot to be cynical about but I was trying to remain optimistic because I still intend to watch some of the sport and I don’t want to sound like I’m disparaging the hard-working athletes involved. Or fall into the moaning British stereotype.

That said, when Cartoon Movement agreed to commission a ten page comic from me about the event, I found myself becoming increasingly angry and disillusioned as I did more research. Being against the Olympics but pro the sporting achievement is a little like being against the Iraq war but supporting the troops – a lot of people conflate the two and I have to add caveat upon caveat in any discussion I have about it.

Regardless, I feel I managed to get most of my reservations about the Olympics across in this piece which went online this morning. Ten pages is long enough to deal with the topic in a certain amount of detail but not quite long enough to tackle everything. I think I managed to strike the right balance but I have to admit it was the toughest comic I’ve had to write. I wanted to cover a lot – make it accessible, illuminating, balanced and completely accurate. I realised very quickly that I am not an investigative journalist. I’m a strong believer in the power and potential of comics journalism but I’m not quite sure I’m there yet.

Having said that, I’m extremely proud of how this comic came out and think I enjoyed the inking process on this more than anything I’ve drawn for a while. There’s a reason for that. I’ve been reading comics on my way into my studio every morning (I’ve had to move recently so have a much longer commute than usual). I’ve been burning through Hellboy libraries on a daily basis and found myself gleefully tackling each page of this comic with a joy for the inked line that only people like Mignola can inspire. It used to be that I had to stop looking at comics while I worked on mine, but I’m now finding the opposite to be true.

That little tangent aside, please direct your browser to to read the full Olympics comic.

A huge thanks to Matt Bors and Caroline Bins for making sure I didn’t make myself look stupid and to everyone who agreed to be interviewed.