My favorite sports comics of all time

Posted by Clark on



I have to tell you all about a website I found recently and I think that it’s the best invention of the century. It’s called Comic Book Plus and it has an impressive archive of comics in general, and some destined to sports, in particular. The neat thing about this site is that you can read a lot of numbers online, which means that you won’t have to go on websites like eBay or Amazon and try to get old collections at a reasonable price.

I’ll start by giving you an example. If this post seems odd, perhaps I should add that it is not an advertisement in any way and that I was honestly thrilled to discover it. That’s why I decided to share it with the rest of the world, because I figure that there have to be other sports aficionados out there who used to love comic books when they were younger. Some might even have amazing collections, who knows?

As I was saying the website holds an ever-growing selection of both pulp fiction and comic strips, and best of all, they are all free of charge. Before you start thinking that something funny must be happening, I’ll tell you that everything is legal. The content is not in violation of any copyright or trademark laws.

Comic Books Plus also has an amazing selection of pamphlets, brochures, magazines, as well as newspapers and British story papers. If you would like to get in touch with other comic books fans, all you have to do is create an account and log into the forum. You only need a valid email for that, and the forum is packed with digital comic news, blogs, announcements, introductions, and even older posts that might not be relevant any longer.

The content is also split up into several categories. In sports, for instance, you might find that there are several interesting titles to consider in boxing and martial arts. I particularly enjoyed the Babe Ruth Sports Comics which were first released in April 1949 by Harvey Comics. You can now read all the editions online.

Another book I liked was Baseball Thrills, which was first put on the newsstands in 1951. Published by Ziff-Davis, the third number of this comic book was viewed over two thousand times, which practically speaks for itself when it comes to its popularity. Football Thrills is pretty much the same thing as the formerly mentioned comics, despite being about an entirely different sport. If you’re into boxing and the likes, maybe you would like a walk down memory lane with Joe Louis, of which the two issues were both published in 1950.


MMA – what is this sport about?

Posted by Clark on

Many of you might have heard of MMA, or at least of the UFC, and are wondering what’s it all about. Even the complete name of Mixed Martial Arts can only give one a vague idea about the specific of this sport, and that’s how it mixes different martial arts and fighting styles. However, there is a lot to talk about when it comes to this combat sport, from its history and development to the arts and sports involved and international acknowledgement.


While the idea of using different styles in combat sports is far from new, MMA only began being an official combat sport in the late ‘90s, and has gained since then thousands of adepts and spectators, proving that there is always room for new ideas even in sports.


At the beginning of the century’s second decade, the “Gracie challenges” (a sort of “fight club” initiated by the Gracie family) helped shape much of what we nowadays as MMA. The fights they organized were meant to demonstrate that the Brazilian jiu-jitsu was the most efficient combat style out of all of them. It’s kind of ironic, if you think about how this ended up in connecting and combining martial arts and combat sports in general.

Nowadays, the styles are plenty and fighters have a large freedom in choosing the moves and strikes they employ. From the above mentioned Brazilian jiu-jitsu, to Muay Thai, Judo, submission wrestling, western boxing, grappling, taekwondo, karate, and many more. As this type of competition grew in popularity, national sports authorities and federations began shaping the rules and regulations in order to give them a more sports-like allure. This would not only make the competitions easier more accessible to the public, but would also better protect the fighters from suffering major injuries as they did when the fights were completely free of limitations.

However, it seems that injuries still occur at a higher rate than in other combat sports, which is why equipment safety measures have been taken and professional fighters are obliged to wear certain protective items. Head guards and mouthguards are meant to keep the head, mandible and teeth safe during matches, and while the headguards are subject of different opinions regarding their actual effectiveness, the mouthguard is mandatory in official competitions.

Gloves are also an important gear item for MMA fighters, and their design varies greatly from boxing or kickboxing gloves. Because of the large range of movements and strikes allowed in MMA fights, fingers are to be free. So in order to protect the hands and knuckles and still leave the fingers free, the MMA glove was designed to have a thick layer over the knuckles and cover only about an inch of the fingers.

MMA Shin guards are made to cover up and protect the part of the leg beneath the knee. This part of the body is subjected to great stress during a fight, and this often results in hairline fractures, bone bruises and so on. Shin guards are usually covering up the front part of the leg, being strapped to it, but you can also find boot-like guards, that come on the foot like a sleeve.

Aside from these basic gear components, MMA fighters use different clothing to enhance motion and keep the dry during the fights.


Common misconceptions about martial arts

Posted by Clark on



Hey guys how’s it hangin’? Still downward, I hope. My adventures into sports journalism begin with this blog. I am not what you would call a struggling comic artist. In fact, I keep a regular day job as a sports journalist for a newspaper, which, pardon me, I am not at liberty to divulge at this point, but we’ll come to that eventually. As of now, just keep crossing your fingers but don’t hold your breath, okay? This blog is a culmination of my passion for what I do for a living. Yes, I live and breathe sports and will not hesitate to engage in a meaningful conversation about football, basketball and anything that uses balls.


Ever noticed how games can often use the art of self defense? No, you don’t have to kick your opponent to do significant damage to them so they can no longer play against your team. I meant this more in terms of warding off a wayward kick with the proper footwork or or using evasive maneuver to get the ball from hitting the goal, that sort of thing. I would love to immortalize that in some comic drawings but the only thing i have succeeded on doing have been sketches since my knowledge on how seasoned goalkeepers and basketball guards do it is more technical than anything, not real solid science.


While we are on evasive maneuver, I would like to talk about the common misconceptions on martial arts.



Contrary to popular belief, martial arts is not a sport. It is an art. The efforts of some people to make martial arts more mainstream can be lauded since the more instructors there are, the more fine tuning and ideas that can result in the process. Of course, if Aikido had been left to languish in the Tokyo Hombu dojo instead of getting spread all over the world, it would be a truly sad situation. Accessibility is not the evil here, it is the way the mentality for martial arts and the techniques have been cheapened by competition. I believe a true martial artist will not cease training just because there’s no financial reward that goes with it or just because he is not garbed in sparkly robes. This is exactly what competition has succeeded at sidelining and making shallow. Basically, the winner is decided by various referees who don’t seem to be focusing enough on the technique than on the showmanship factor.


This is also the reason why martial arts is not for everyone. You can’t do martial arts just because you have a torso, arms and legs or you can spare the time to train. Many have tried and failed to complete training and those who do succeed at getting to the top ladders need to still train in the same art. What should jolt awake those who think that anyone can be a martial artist is the fact that there are so few women in martial arts, and there’s a limited number of seniors who make it from the brown belt up, considering hundreds of children younger than 12 years old get to the brown belt. Martial arts happens to be one of only an elite number of physical activities in which all genders can be represented during training despite things turning emotionally and physically demanding.

That being said, female Sensei‘s can emerge as powerful, incredible and dedicated martial artists. Moreover, even males can drop out of training as frequently as their female counterparts.


Martial arts is not some kind of religion or special spirituality that requires the customary bowing and barefootedness. Bear in mind that those observances are as traditional as they are practical. Taking your shoes off at the door is traditional and practical as it is more hygienic compared to being in your socks or soles. The bowing is needed to express gratitude to your partner for their time and trust. It also serves as a signal to the ‘nage’ or person performing the technique that their turn is completed, and the ‘uke’ or the person receiving the technique has to take theirs.
Most importantly, it takes years and years of training for you to be able to do ground fights with someone of the same size. Often, sheer weight and strength can even outclass years of training.


A few gear recommendations for MMA training

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1One of the typical questions I get on a regular basis is related to the gear I use for MMA. Mind you, I have a heavy bag at home with the help of which I practice as much as possible and whenever I have the time. I have two separate pairs of gloves, one destined for my training at home and another intended for studio use. The simplest way to get the equipment you might require for your skill level is to go online and do some research on your own. You’ll see that while many MMA practitioners recommend rashguards, fight shorts, and many other pieces of clothing, this shouldn’t bother you as much as getting a good-quality, strong, and flexible cup.


The gloves are extremely important, and even more so if you don’t intend to engage in competitions in the future. If you’re buying them for sparring, what you need is a 16oz pair. Of course, there are variations and manufacturers aren’t making it easy for MMA fans specifically because they tend to launch a lot of products and take a toll on your decision-making process. Leather is better than any other material. It will last longer over time and therefore, you’ll make a single investment. If you’re going to buy the cheapest MMA gear ever, you’ll probably have to replace it in a matter of just several months or even less, depending on how often you intend to train.


There are several brands that are in the industry of manufacturing top-notch gloves, and some of the common ones you’ll come across include Century UFC and Hayabusa. The design of sparring and fight gloves is different, as most intended for actual combat have individual places for each finger. Sparring ones are generously padded and will spare your opponent’s face. That’s the whole point of practice, after all, because it will allow both you and your opponent to try out your skills and expertise in the future. The last thing you want to do is inflict harm on this particular individual.


Another thing I found useful is to research heavy bags before actually going out and buying one. The weight matters, of course, but you’ll also have to look at the way that you’ll be installing the product. If there’s virtually no method for you to mount the bag on the ceiling, I personally recommend getting a Century BOB hitting bag. These things can be life-like, in a way, as I have a friend who uses one at home specifically because there was no way he was able to hang it up on the ceiling. These punching bags can be filled with a lot of things, ranging from sand, water, and all sorts of fillings. I honestly do not recommend sand unless you really have no other choice because it tends to clump in some area or the other, and you’ll be hitting rocks instead of a vaguely flexible surface.

Hope all this helps and that you’ll find the time spent on my blog as useful as ever.


The comic writer

Posted by Clark on



Welcome to my little blog. Let me tell you what this is all about in several words, so we can afterwards get to work for real. No, I am just kidding, this blog is just my personal endeavor that I intend to use in order to document my struggles as a comic artist. Actually, I am a comics artist just because I like drawing comics, but I am yet to become a published one, since so far, I have not gathered the courage to place my work in front of others. I am trying to become better and I hope that my work will not be in vain.


As you might already suspect by now, I am not earning my living as a comics artists just yet. What I do is that I work for a newspaper where I am writing about sports news and various events. I love sports, maybe not as much as I love drawing, but I like a large variety of sports, and that is why I don’t find my job boring or annoying in any way.

Even so, that doesn’t mean that I wouldn’t like to be published someday, and I hope that I will be able to show the people at my newspaper my work, so they can appreciate it and even criticize it. At the end of the road, I simply hope that I will manage to impress them and that they will decide to have my comics published. From there, I hope I will find the means to start a career in this field, and even earn my living as a comics artist.


There are many things I am learning from covering sports news and I think that the fact that I already know people in the publishing business will help me on the long run. First of all, I have learned a lot about how important it is to know how to accept defeat. When writing about sports, it is not all about the winners. Those who are suffering a defeat need to show strength of character in order to go on, and continue their career as athletes. Although I spend all my free hours drawing behind a desk, I think I know a thing or two about winning and losing. So I am thankful for being able to learn some really interesting things while I work for the newspaper, and that my career as a comics artist will take off at some point.