Wednesday Comics: Hugh Fowler, The Man Who Hates Football

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The IPC comic Scorcher may have had a significantly shorter run than the likes of Roy of the Rovers and Tiger – lasting only from 1970 to 1974, albeit with an extended life through annuals up to the 1980s – but it still had a fairly sizeable impact on the history of football comics. It was the title that saw the launch of both Hot-Shot Hamish and Billy’s Boots, among other great series that either started in it, or were folded into it by way of the merger with Score (aka Score ‘n’ Roar).

Something else Scorcher did that wasn’t really seen in the other major football comics was to regularly produce humour strips – not only longer series like Hamish and Lags Eleven, but also a succession of single-page gag characters, in strips written and drawn by the legendary Ken Reid (better known as the creator of, among others, Roger the Dodger and Faceache). In a relatively short period, Reid flitted through a huge assortment of characters – from Sub, to The Soccernauts, to Jimmy Jinks.

There’s an excellent run-down of almost all of Reid’s Scorcher characters, with examples of each, over at Lew Stringer’s blog. But I wanted to highlight a couple of examples of one of my favourites: Hugh Fowler, The Man Who Hates Football. It’s very much a one-joke kind of thing – which might explain why Reid seemingly got bored of it within six months – but there were some good, madcap laughs to be had, as evidenced by these two strips (which, just like last week’s Hamish, I’ve taken from their reprint in the 1979 Scorcher annual).

Although when you look at more than one strip together, you do wonder why people kept letting Fowler into football grounds


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