Reviews / Media

Around the Rings

Provocative, edgy, hysterical, riveting and even scandalous are some of the adjectives used to describe Michael Payne’s new book Toon In!, which fearlessly lambasts the Olympic Movement.

One of the things that comes our of the book is the resilience of the Olympic Movement that over 126 years, so many problems, issues and challenges are thrown at the Olympics and they pull through it and often pull through even stronger.

Association of Sports Journalists. AIPS

IOC President Bach. “A sense of humour is a recipe for survival. You always need a sense of humour and this is the great advantage of cartoons. Because if you look at a cartoon, first of all it makes you smile or laugh and smiling already helps you feel better and helps others feel better. Secondly, cartoons put the issues into perspective. If you look at very serious and complex issues through cartoons, sometimes you come to the heart of the issues and you see that not every problem is a disaster or the end of the world.”


Payne speaks with a certain authority, having in nearly two decades at the IOC been widely credited with transforming its brand and finances through sponsorship.”

Inside the Games

Former IOC marketing Director Michael Payne does not produce many books, but when they arrive they are worth waiting for.

Now 16 years after the publication of Olympic Turnaround, still, required reading for anyone who wants to understand the Olympic business, the follow up, Toon In! has rolled of the presses.......with a sometimes provocative 100,000 word commentary drawing on Payne’s extensive inside knowledge of the machinations and tribulations behind getting each successive edition of the ultimate sports mega event anywhere close to take off.

Daily Mail, UK

In close to 500 cartoon illustrated and uproarious pages, in a four kilo tome, ex commercial chief Payne sheds a light on the often scandalous behind-the-scenes goings-on at the world’s greatest show.

When asked what his old bosses would think of Toon In!, Payne responded that I think they would say, ‘This is a scurrilous, outrageous and probably libellous book. We cant wait for the second edition’. They would be right.

Indian Express, India

....and unofficial history of the Olympics. But it is much more than that. The book, a visual delight, is a social commentary through satire on some of the generation defining issues seen through the lens of 400 cartoonists and the prism of the Olympics.

It sheds perspective on some of the most controversial topics in Olympics history in a manner that will induce a chuckle.


This is a truly unique project – not sure anyone has ever attempted anything so ambitious in the history of cartooning. Toon In! is a stunning anthology – there are hundreds of books on the Olympics, but nothing compares to Michael’s collection of visual humour and cutting satire.

3Wiresports / NBC ‘Straight Talk

Michael Payne’s Toon In! is required reading.......for sure unofficial and unsanctioned, provocative edgy, at times very funny, throughout riveting but for sure not scandalous and 100 percent not libellous... written in a style that makes plain what needs to be said.