IDW to Publish Acclaimed Mixed Martial Arts Comic Joe Palooka

[Joe Palooka Image]In yet another sign of the massive mainstream popularity of MMA and the UFC, IDW has signed a deal to publish the MMA comic book, Joe Palooka. Issue #1 of the comic book series will be available online and in comic book stores nationwide in late 2012.  Plans for international distribution including the creation of multi-language versions of the series are also underway.

Series creator Joe Antonacci commented:

This represents a huge moment for me, and is a culmination of a real team effort. To sign on with a tremendous publisher like IDW and to have the opportunity to bring Joe Palooka to comic book and MMA fans worldwide is a tremendous opportunity.  We’re also proud to have sponsored many UFC fighters and plan to expand our relationship with them by having UFC fighters appear in the comic book as well.

The Joe Palooka comic series tells the story of Joe Palooka, an MMA fighter who travels the world desperately trying to clear his name while fighting to earn a spot in the legendary “Legion of Combat,” fight series that features team matches between fighters representing countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Russia, Japan, China, and other nations.

Antonacci added:

I’d also like to thank all of those who helped make today possible, including our advertisers, JACO and Authentic Sports Management, Azad Watches, Pete Morgan and Peerless Boilers, Dragon Door Kettle Bells, and KettlebellKing.com. Of course, Ted Adams, Chris Ryall, and Greg Goldstein from IDW, as well as Ed Catto and Heidi McDonald for their guidance, and my Team Palooka crew: writer Mike Bullock, artists Fernando Peniche and Matt Triano, letterer Josh Aitken and colorist Bob Pedroza.

This continues a rise in MMA related comic series of which the most high profile to date was Heart, published by Image Comics.