Mike McKone is an artist from Newcastle, whose work was published work includes Justice League of America, Justice League International, The Punisher War Zone, Exiles, Teen Titans, Fantastic Four, Deadpool: Suicide Kings, Ms Marvel, Amazing Spider-Man and many other titles...
Originally McKone was going to provide me with a sketch of Batman, an easy out.. but as we discussed other possibilities he was very willing to accept more of a challenge. Our discussion turned to his being from Newcastle, England and supporting Newcastle United, a football club that was recently relegated from the Premier League. A team that has a devoted fan base even though the team has had difficult seasons. (I have heard many stories from a friend who is also from Newcastle!)
I asked if he would prefer to sketch a footballer to a super hero, and he took up the challenge. As a father of 2 football (soccer in the US) players I usually have a football FDC with me. I left McKone not really knowing what he would come up with...his final product was a beautiful rendition of Johan Cruyff.
Cruyff was a Dutch footballer who played in the Eredivisie (Dutch League), La Liga (Spainish League) and the North American Soccer League (USA). He is considered to be one of the most influential figures in football history. His style of play and his total football philosophy has influenced many managers and players..