REVIEW: Scoregasm One Shot

SCOREGASM ONE SHOT (Published: August 2011)
Story by: Andy Winter
Art by: Duane Leslie
Cover by: Duane Leslie
Publisher: Moonface Press
Cover Price: FREE
Reviewed By: David O’ Leary
This is the latest comic from English writer Andy Winter who has been knocking out great stories for years but has been quiet on this front lately. But he has returned with this soccer-centric story that delves into seedy underbelly of modern day football in the UK where the press are predatory and privacy is a premium.
I remember growing up where soccer strips were many and great. The daddy of them all was Roy of the Rovers which finished many years ago after going for decades and is the tent pole by which all other soccer stories are held to. Another of my favourites was the short strip Hot Shot Hamish which was golden, Buster and Tiger Magazine and Billy Boots all bring fond memories rolling back to me from my youth. Unfortunately, modern strips like that of Scorer which saw print in the British tabloid dailies incorporated the more seedy side of British football and sullied the image of football stories to many people.
So I was excited to come across Scoregasm and the black and white strip reminiscent of those great stories from years ago and the look and feel of those stories appeared on first glance to be captured at least in spirit. Winter managed to infuse the story with a scathing cynicism of the modern game and by stories end I wished that book had legs and the also the desire to see much more.
The story opens with an FA Cup third round game between the Premier League Champions  West London Rangers, (I wonder if Winter is a Chelsea fan) and a League 2 side Newhampton Town, three divisions below their illustrious opponents. In true minnow giant killing fashion young 16 year old Billy Foley comes off the bench and scores a late equaliser to bring the game back to Newhampton for a replay. That opening scene was done in the fashion of the old comics and it felt like I was reading a lost comic from when I was a kid. Between the first match and the replay, a local reporter comes across a video of Billy as an 11 year old doing the 100m sprint in 7.44 seconds due to a medical experimentation done on Billy when he was younger and what follows is a back and forth diatribe between the reporter and Billy, his father and Billy’s girlfriend regarding the best way to move forward to all parties benefit. By the time the replay comes around the tables are set for the making of the legend of Billy Foley.
This is an extremely smart book from Winter and he brings the nostalgic feeling to the fore while still putting his stamp on  Billy’s past with a twist all his own. It is listed as a one shot but I hope there is more of this.
Duane Leslie is a great artist with a keen eye for detail. The astonishing amount of detail he puts into every panel is great and he worked hard on this book. The stadium from the opening scenes, perhaps modelled on Stamford Bridge is drawn with amazing care and detail. The issue is littered with great images and the book works well in black and white but I think with Leslie’s talents he has a great future ahead of him.
I was buzzing a bit after reading this issue as this style of comic is just not available to readers over here any more. It mixed what I loved as a kid with the vices of modern day soccer and in a perfect world, this would be a weekly comic. You can read this for free by following this link: where hopefully you will enjoy it as much as me.