Monday, June 10, 2024

Down, Set, Fight!: 10th Anniversary Edition

I recently came across an American football themed graphic novel. I thought it was right up my street.

The book, titled 'Down, Set, Fight!' by Chris Sims, Chad Bowers and Scott Kowalchuk, is soon to be republished to honour its tenth anniversary. I was given an advance copy to review by Net Galley and the graphic novel's publishers - Oni Press. Thanks to both!

I was first drawn to the book because the cover has an image of the most iconic American football coach of all time - Vince Lombardi - on it. Lombardi kind of plays a  role in the story because he sporadically appears in the book. Some of his famous quotes also show up along the way.

Down, Set, Fight!: 10th Anniversary Edition

The story is about a retired football player. 'Fearless' Chuck Fairlane is ten years removed from a career that ended after he attacked a team mascot. He is now coaching at high school level and finds himself challenged by a series of mascots. This ultimately leads to a main event showdown at the conclusion of the book.

As the story progresses, we find out that the FBI is looking into the mascot fight challenges. Fairlane's father who had evidently - and harshly, I should add - pushed his son into football and has left an impact on his son's life is another key character.

Al Fairlane is the antithesis of Vince Lombardi. We see signs of this throughout. 

Another aspect of the book I enjoyed, due to my love of betting on American football and combat sports, is there is a gambling theme throughout.

Considering this novel was first published in 2014, I believe the gambling aspect may resonate more with new readers - like myself - now that betting on NFL and college football games has become even more popular over in the US due to changes in laws within the last decade.

With that said, even if you aren't keen on betting, it still has a fun story. I suppose it is a more sportier version of Scott Pilgrim .vs. the World.

As noted, I am new to 'Down, Set, Fight!' so I cannot compare the 10th anniversary edition with the original. However, the version I have read features a conversation between two of the comic's creators - Chad Bowers and Chris Sims (no, not Chris Simms).

I rate Down, Set, Fight! highly because of how much fun this book brought me due to involving so many of the things I love like American football, gambling, combat sports and a little dose of drama/mystery.


Down, Set, Fight!: 10th Anniversary Edition is scheduled to be published on June 25 2024

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