Omar Momani, A Great Football Cartoonist

Football has given a lot of memories for billions of people on earth. So many stories in the world of football, both on and off the field, which stayed clearly in our heads. From the pleasant, depressing, frustrating moment to the one that makes us laugh.

All those moments was recorded in order not to be forgotten as the time goes by, so the next generation can also know what happened in the past.

Lots of media can be used, ranging from the ordinary such as text, photos, and video, to the artistic one, such as monuments, sculptures, paintings, and cartoons. All these media play a major role in the recording of all events in football, so people can know about Diego Maradona’s goal in 1986, the headbutting incident between Zinedine Zidane and Marco Materazzi in 2006, an own goal by Andreas Escobar in 1994, Heysel tragedy in 1985, and many more.

When we talk about football cartoon, I’m sure that we are already familiar with it. Lots of football cartoon was scattered in various newspapers, tabloids, magazines, comics, movies, and now football website. From the fiction to the real story, you can find it there. And the cartoons which have unique drawing style and interesting story will make us want to know more about the cartoonists behind that amazing work.

In this modern era, when I’m asked about football cartoonist, a person who immediately popped into my head was Omar Momani. Yes, many people know who Omar Momani is, especially football fans who frequently access football news via internet.

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Omar’s famous signature (Photo: Omar Momani)

Born in Jordan in 1981, he was known in the football world through his artwork on the goal.com since 2010. Omar is famous for his unique drawing style and interesting story behind his artwork.

We can say that Omar is very clever in choosing story for his cartoons, because the football events he chooses usually just happened recently, so all the messages in each of his caricatures was easy to understand by everyone who loves football.

And the stories he chose are not only phenomenal and funny stories, but there are sad stories also, like the tragedy of Chapecoense or death of Johan Cruyff. But he managed to make his caricatures remain attractive, without reducing the meaning of the events, so the caricature looks like a form of respect for those who departed and consolation for families left behind.

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So long, Opa Cruyff. (Photo: Omar Momani)

Although he’s very famous for his work, there’s not much information I can dig when it comes to his profile. Therefore, I decided to do an interview with him. I tried to contact him via e-mail, and turned out he was willing to be interviewed! It is not easy to interview him, because he was really busy. The correspondence lasted for about two weeks, since the first time I contacted him on March 3, 2017.

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Conversation with Omar. (Photo: Adhi Prasetya)

The list of questions I gave him is really simple actually, but I think it could explain a little bit about him. Here’s the result of the interview.

 

* Questions List For Omar *

  1. Can you tell us about your early life related to football and drawing? When did you try to combine them?

Well the story begins in 1990, when I was nine, I saw a caricature for Maradona and I was astonished by the idea, I wanted  to see other footballers to be caricatured. Since then I started to doodle players by myself.

  1. What makes you decided that you want to be a cartoonist?

I was born a cartoonist, since childhood I was a big fan to cartoons and comics and wanted to create the same thing.

  1. Why did you choose football as your field of work when you become a cartoonist? Since when did you become a football cartoonist?

Well, I draw the things that inspires me or I like, and football is one of these things. But since I got the job with Goal.com, most of my works are football related.

  1. Do you want to make your current job as football cartoonist to be your lifetime job? Or is there anything else you want to do and achieve in the future?

I want to continue doing this forever, but I also have other ambitions, I want to create animated films and series and to draw graphic novels, not necessary to be related to football.

  1. Do you have other jobs besides football cartoonist? Art teacher maybe?

I work as an artist for some NGOs in Jordan, and I work with the Royal Film Commission in Jordan in the communication department.

  1. What’s your hobby besides football and drawing about football?

I like to listen to Rock music and to watch classic films. I love traveling and swimming.

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Metallica, Omar? (Photo: metalinjection)
  1. Can you tell us about your career journey until finally you became a football cartoonist at goal.com?

At the beginning it started on Facebook and DeviantArt in 2010, during the World Cup. Later on I tried to contact local newspapers in Jordan, and even offering them free cartoon but they refused. As a Goal.com follower I decided to contact with the Arabic edition chief editor to offer him my service and he gladly agreed, from this point I started to draw with the Arabic and the Korean edition and after a year they promoted me to work with the main edition.

  1. What’s your favorite club and who’s your favorite players for the last 3 decades?

I support AC Milan and I like Roberto Baggio, Pirlo and Gullit.

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Omar’s favorite club. (Photo: gettyimages)
  1. If you become a football club president, which players and coach will you sign? Name your starting eleven, please.

My strategy will focus on youth from the club’s school, I will hire one of the club legends to coach and sign three big names to help the youths, one to assists strikers (Messi), one to control the midfield (Casemiro) and a solid defender (Bonucci).

  1. Do you have a figure who became your inspiration in your life? Who is it and why?

I like Clint Eastwood, great actor and director, I’ve never seen someone like him.

Eastwood
Stay healthy and strong, Clint. (Photo: gettyimages)
  1. Is your drawing style is influenced by other artist/cartoonist? What makes you get inspired by him/her?

All artists are influenced by other artists, I like classic american cartoons like Hanna Barbera and the Looney Tunes, MAD magazine and the Franco-Belgian comics like Asterix and Lucky Luke.

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One of Omar’s favorite cartoon. (Photo: playbuzz)
  1. Do you have a plan to publish a book consist of your football caricatures? Or maybe write a book about your journey as football cartoonist? I think that will be interesting.

Indeed. I hope I can find a sponsor for that.

  1. You’ve met some famous footballers, right? Who did you think was your favorite, and why? And is there any footballer who asked you personally to draw caricature of him?

I met some of them and they were arrogant haha. Maybe I like to draw Zlatan, he is strong and always the ideas about him are cool.

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You heard that, Zlatan? Omar wants to draw you. (Photo: acmilan-forum.com)
  1. If there are kids who want to be a football cartoonist, what are your suggestions for them so they can have their own drawing style, like you do?

Watch football of course, be open minded, try and experience everything except drugs, try to travel and meet people from all around the world, think global, read comics and watch cartoons every day, study the history of cartoons and practice every day.

Thank you so much for answering my questions ☺☺☺☺☺

That’s his answers of the interview. Simple, as I mentioned at the beginning. From all of his replies to me, I can see that Omar is very humble and friendly. Even he’s willing to make a caricature of me (when I asked him to make a caricature of me, I thought he would refuse, but turned out he didn’t). The caricature was based on a photo I sent him.

Adhi jempol1

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My brother can’t stop laughing when he sees that caricature. Perfect, Omar! (Photo: Adhi Prasetya. Caricature: Omar Momani)

Hopefully in the future, we will always be entertained by his interesting caricatures, and he can also make all of his dreams come true. Good luck, Omar!

 

Featured Image: www.deviantart.com

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