Champion Sports #2

Champion Sports #2, December 1973

Proof, if any were needed, that in the 1970s DC would publish anything, Champion Sports was the brainchild of our old friend, Joe Simon. With art by long-time Simon associate Jerry Grandenetti, the comic featured tales of everyday sporting courage.

Now, in his 40s heyday Simon was quite the comics innovator, though by this time he was largely just marking time, editing the DC’s romance line—a job he was well qualified for, having co-created the romance comics genre in 1947—and creating bizarre fare such as Prez and the original Outsiders. In some ways I suppose one could consider the idea of sports-based sequential art as innovative, but, to my mind, the question has to be asked why DC thought this would be a hit. You’d’ve thought that people who were into their sport in a big way would rather be out doing it instead of reading poorly-produced comics, but there we are.

Needless to say, Champion Sports was out for a duck after three issues.

Something must’ve been in the air in mid-1973, because at the same time Julie Schwartz was editing his pet project—a revival of an idea he’d been pushing since the early 1960s: Strange Sports Stories. That one at least had the benefit of fantasy-themed stories more appealing to comics’ core audience…

Cover art by Grandenetti.

Image ©2012 DC Comics