‘Playing for a Draw’ is a new exhibition showcasing the history and creativity of football comics and illustration across the world. The exhibition at the National Football Museum, Manchester opens on July 5 and runs until September 2. From September the exhibition will go on tour as well as being part of the Lakes International Comic Art Festival, October 12–14.
Celebrating the wonderful world of football comic art
‘Playing for a Draw’ highlights the diversity of football art from illustration, comics and caricatures through to memorabilia and collectables. The exhibition includes artwork from the 19th century, through early classics such as ‘Roy of the Rovers’ and on to the modern day artists shaping the future of football artwork.
Internationally, there is artwork from Japan, the USA, Europe and Scandinavia. In addition to historical artwork, ‘Playing for a Draw’ includes new work specifically created for the exhibition by Steve McGarry, including giant illustrations of Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero and the women’s football star, Lieke Martens of Barcelona and Holland.
The exhibition has been curated by Steve McGarry in collaboration with the Lakes International Comic Art Festival and the National Football Museum. Steve McGarry is one of the world’s most prolific and widely-published football comic artists. Based in California but born in Manchester, Steve is the most syndicated British cartoonist, a story artist on major Hollywood movies and a two-term President of the National Cartoonists Society. Over his four-decade career he has regularly graced the pages of soccer magazines Match, Match of the Day, Shoot! and created such daily strips as ‘World Soccer Diary’ in The Sun.
Premier League High by Steve McGarry
Exhibition curator Steve McGarry said:
“I’m excited about staging an exhibition that combines my two lifelong passions of football and art, and it’s a bonus that it launches in my native Manchester! I think that there are legions of football fans out there who might not consider themselves “art lovers” until they see again the football comics they grew up reading, the trading cards they collected as kids, the programmes they treasured and the images they regularly share on social media today!”
Steve McGarry will be in Manchester to oversee the launch of the exhibition, as well as hosting a series of family events within the museum. He will be joined by his son, award-winning cartoonist and MAD magazine regular Luke McGarry, whose football clients include the LA Galaxy, and by Graham Dury and Simon Thorpe of VIZ magazine, creators of the iconic Billy The Fish.
Julie Tait, Festival Director, the Lakes International Comic Art Festival said:
“We are delighted to be showcasing the wonderful world of football comic art. Manchester is the perfect city to bring this international collaboration together to highlight how the creative spirit of comic art has celebrated the beautiful game.”
The exhibition is free to attend, along with the wider programme at the National Football Museum.
Jon Sutton, Creatives Programme Officer at the National Football Museum said:
''The National Football Museum is delighted to be a partner in this nostalgic journey through football comic art and illustration. Comics have played a huge role for generations of young readers with many childhood memories of first discovering the game forged from flicking through Tiger or Roy of the Rovers. We hope that this will evoke memories for our visitors and they will also discover how many of today's illustrators have taken inspiration from comic art."
The museum is based in the iconic Urbis building, just outside Victoria Station, Manchester, M4 3BG.
Lieke Martens by Steve McGarry
Lionel Messi by Steve McGarry