Tag Archives: wrestling

Mad Cave Studios Releases an Early Look at Over the Ropes

Writer Jay Sandlin and artist Antonello Cosentino collaborate to explore the world of indie wrestling in the golden age of the sport, the 90’s. Over the Ropes is an underdog story of staying true to oneself in a world where ring personas often time bleed into reality. Sandlin and Cosentino craft a tale in which finding one’s true self may mean crafting a larger than life image inside of the ring.

Set in a fictional world, Over the Ropes dives into sports entertainment’s biggest era. A young high-flyer named Jason Lynn goes off-script in a match to win the world title and sets the southern territory on fire as the face-painted wrestler, Phoenix.

In Over the Ropes, Jason’s battles in the ring are only outperformed by his struggles outside of it. First dates. Crooked promoters. Cage matches. Factions and families. No matter what problems smack him with a steel chair, Jason lives by his catchphrase: “I. Will. Rise.”

Over the Ropes

Preview: Jim Cornette Presents: Behind the Curtain—Real Pro Wrestling Stories

Jim Cornette Presents: Behind the Curtain—Real Pro Wrestling Stories

Jim Cornette, Brandon Easton (w) • Denis Medri (a & c)

Pro-Wrestling’s secrets and greatest moments are immortalized in this graphic novel from legendary wrestling personality Jim Cornette. A true-story style anthology, these insider tales will show the lengths that wrestlers went to uphold “kayfabe” (the old carny term for the presentation of legitimate conflict), as well as the noteworthy cultural, racial, and economic effects these events and characters had on society. This is the graphic novel that old school wrestling fans have been waiting their entire lives for: a no-holds-barred representation of the moments that wrestling insiders couldn’t talk about for years.

TPB • FC • $14.99 • 80 pages • ISBN: 978-1-68405-492-3

Jim Cornette Presents: Behind the Curtain—Real Pro Wrestling Stories

SDCC 2019: Headlocked Comics Presents a WOW-Women Of Wrestling Limited Edition Collectible

AXS TV ’s WOW – Women Of Wrestling, in conjunction with celebrated comics creator Michael Kingston’s Headlocked Comics, presents a first look at the groundbreaking promotion’s limited edition collectible created exclusively for San Diego Comic-Con. The collectible is available from 1pm to 3pm on Saturday, July 20 at the Headlocked Comics Booth (#1901)—the only wrestling-themed comics booth at the convention—while supplies last.

The first 100 people in line will receive the print and have it signed free of charge by WOW owner Jeanie BussWOW visionary, matchmaker, and commentator David McLane; and WOW fan-favorite The Beast. Promotional 8×10 photos will be available for signing, as well. Additionally, Con-goers will have the opportunity to come face-to-face with reigning WOW Champion Tessa Blanchard, and pose with her coveted World Championship belt, at Booth 1901 on Sunday, July 21 from 12pm to 2pm.

The print was commissioned by Kingston and created by New Mexico-based artist Skylar Patridge, who has amassed credits from Black Mask, Image, and Scout Comics, and is currently working on Vault Comics’ upcoming Relics Of Youth series. Comic enthusiasts will instantly recognize the piece as a stylish homage to the iconic cover of Uncanny X-Men #387. In place of the legendary mutant squad, Patridge depicts WOW icons Buss, McLane, Blanchard, and The Beast in a series of powerful poses, joined by fellow WOW Superheroes Faith The Lioness and Fire. This marks the second collaboration between Patridge and Kingston, after partnering up on a print of former WWE star Amy “Lita” Dumas for Emerald City Comic Con .

WOW ’s complete Comic-Con signing schedule is as follows:  

SATURDAY, JULY 20 – 1:00PM-3:00PM at Booth #1901

Free Autograph Signings:  WOW and Los Angeles Lakers Owner  Jeanie Buss, WOW and GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) Founder  David McLane, and WOW Superhero  The Beast (Twana Ferguson) will conduct signings from 1pm to 3pm at the Headlocked Comics Booth (#1901) on the convention floor.

SUNDAY, JULY 21 – 12:00PM-2:00PM at Booth #1901

Free Autograph Signings:  WOW and GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) Founder  David McLane and WOW-Women Of Wrestling Champion  Tessa Blanchard will conduct signings from 12pm to 2pm at the Headlocked Comics Booth (#1901) on the convention floor.

SDCC 2019: WOW-Women Of Wrestling’s Jeanie Buss, David McLane, Tessa Blanchard & The Beast Autograph Signing

Step into the ring with AXS TV as the Network’s hit original series WOW – Women Of Wrestling slams into San Diego Comic-Con, joining forces with acclaimed comics creator Michael Kingston’s Headlocked Comics for a unique tag-team event on Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21. All the action will be going down near the main entrance at booth number 1901 at the only wrestling-themed comics booth at the convention.

Comic-Con attendees can come face-to-face with two of WOW’s most popular Superheroes and meet the people responsible for bringing WOW to life.

The weekend of WOW kicks off on Saturday, July 20 from 1pm to 3pm, with a free signing event where fans can meet WOW and Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jeanie BussWOW visionary, commentator, founder, and matchmaker David McLane; and the brutal force of nature The Beast (Twana Ferguson).

Additionally, while supplies last, attendees will be able to collect an all-new WOW limited edition art print featuring Buss with some of WOW’s brightest stars commissioned specially for Comic-Con by Michael Kingston. Then, on Sunday, July 21 from 12pm to 2pm, fans can go toe-to-toe with the WOW Champion herself Tessa Blanchard, and take pictures with her legendary WOW World Championship belt in a free signing event that also includes McLane.

Frustrated by professional wrestling’s lack of representation in comic books and conventions, Kingston created Headlocked Comics in 2007 to tell hard-hitting stories that showcased wrestling as the art form that it is and to provide a positive experience for wrestling fans at comic and pop culture conventions. Boasting an impressive roster of guest collaborators that reads like a Wrestling Hall Of Fame lineup with industry icons such as Ric Flair, Jerry “The King” Lawler, Mick Foley, AJ Styles, Samoa Joe and Kenny Omega, Headlocked Comics is a true celebration of all things wrestling—making it the perfect partner for  WOW’s stunning Comic-Con crossover.

The one-of-a-kind event coincides with WOW – Women Of Wrestling ’s move to a new night and time on Saturday, July 13 at 8pE, launching with an eight-week block re-capping the series’ entire first season—allowing fans to relive unforgettable moments such as Jungle GrrrlTessa Blanchard, and Santana Garrett’s three-way Championship brawl, while giving new viewers a chance to catch up on the blockbuster drama and larger-than-life personas that made WOW one of the most-watched same-day series in AXS TV’s history. It all leads up to the Season Two premiere on September 7 at 8pE, when the trailblazing promotion makes its triumphant return with 12 all-new episodes fueled by a stacked show packed with even more championship bouts, bitter feuds, and a single elimination tournament to crown new WOW Tag-Team Champions.

WOW innovator McLane and Steven Dickey will once again provide analysis and commentary, as a slate of new Superheroes and returning superstars vie to pry WOW’s prized crown from reigning champion Tessa Blanchard.

DETAILS ON SIGNINGS-Scheduled to Appear:

SATURDAY, JULY 20 – 1:00 – 3:00 PM      Booth #1901

Free Autograph Signings: WOW and Los Angeles Lakers Owner Jeanie Buss, WOW and GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) Founder David McLane, and WOW Superhero The Beast (Twana Ferguson) will conduct signings from 1pm to 3pm at the Headlocked Comics Booth (#1901) on the convention floor.

SUNDAY, JULY 21 – 12:00 – 2:00 PM      Booth #1901

Free Autograph Signings: WOW and GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling) Founder David McLane and WOW-Women Of Wrestling Champion Tessa Blanchard will conduct signings from 12pm to 2 pm at the Headlocked Comics Booth (#1901) on the convention floor. 

SuperMegafest 2018: Inside the ropes with Scott Steiner

A week ago in my stomping grounds of New England, there just so happened to be a gathering of geek and fan alike that takes place once a year in Marlborough, MA called Super Megafest. The name might seem like a mouthful but that is only because there is so much to contain inside these walls. There was something for every type of fan, new and old alike. However only one thing drew me there: the man called Big Poppa Pump: Scott Steiner.

As a self proclaimed Wrestling Geek or a “smark” as insider terms would have it, I was looking forward to this greatly. I have met many a wrestler in my day, but this one always eluded me. So I relished the opportunity to make so chit chat and talk some shit with one of my favorite wrestling personalities with Big Poppa Pump. His legacy is a big one in the annuls of Pro Wrestling (I refuse to say Sports Entertainment) he was a WCW World Heavyweight Champion, US Champion and of course Tag Team Champion.

Never one to mix words and not afraid to speak his mind, I was looking forward to it.

Graphic Policy: Hi my name is Joe on behalf of Graphic Policy, and I am here at Super Megafest talking to the Genetic Freak, Big Poppa Pump himself: Scott Steiner. How are you Scott?

Scott Steiner: Pretty good Joe, thanks for asking man.

GP: So Scott you were at the forefront of Professional Wrestling when it was at its apex, something it has never quite reached again. What is missing from today’s product that you all had back then?

SS: Another company. It’s always good when there is competition. You know what I mean? Now it is a monopoly. When we had the “Monday Night Wars” there was a point where we dominated for 83 weeks straight. That means we were drawing better ratings than them (WWF/E). That means people didn’t want to watch their shit. Now that we are gone, they still don’t want to really watch their shit. That’s what it is, shit. The reason being is you have two idiots in charge who basically think they are geniuses and they’re not. The ratings reflect this.

GP: I agree with your point there, to a point. They feed you what I feel is scraps. It’s nowhere near the caliber of what it could be, but they don’t have to be forced to change because they are the big game in town and they know it.

SS: Thing is though, on top of that they feed you a line of bullshit. They tell you we are giving you what you as fans want. They don’t. They give you what they want.

Graphic Policy: I agree. There is certainly an agenda to who they push.

SS: Exactly. For them to say otherwise, it’s really an insult to the fans. I think many fans are smart enough to realize this themselves and it shows. They aren’t featuring who the people want to see, they feature who they want to see. They feature who they can control. It’s all about the control. The people who do work for that company I mean they are not even considered employees. They are self contracted. Which I think is a damn shame. They don’t want to pay employees tax or insurance and a bunch of other stuff they don’t want to get into.

GP: That is unreal.

SS: Yeah. It really is unreal, how they can operate like that. Just a shame.

GP: Do you have advice now for guys that are coming up, on how to navigate that kind of system?

SS: Well the thing you gotta do, is stick together. Unfortunately with Vince, really the whole WWE is that it is set up so you don’t stick together. They have it so everyone is at a distance and they can’t become friends so that way you don’t form a union. That is why when you look back at when Kevin Nash, Scott Hall and all those guys stuck together, he hated that. They ended up controlling the industry. That is what it takes is sticking together but it is set up in a way that you can’t. Or he won’t allow you to.

GP: I think, hearkening back to what you said about competition it just breeds true for anything. If you don’t have competition then you are going to have shit and not get the best you could.

SS: Right.

GP: That is why it is so great to see what Cody Rhodes and the Bullet Club have done. Both here and in Japan. They were told no one would ever want to see them put on their own Pay Per View and they did it. They sold out a big venue faster than anyone ever expected with “All In”. They thumbed it right at everyone too. Do you think we should see more of that?

SS: Well hopefully. I hope so. What happened in Chicago, is now going to happen in Madison Square Garden too. That was basically a large scale independent show. I mean that is the first time in history that has ever happened. On that scale. That just goes back to that people are sick of WWE product. You can’t take people’s memories away from them. They remember when they watched wrestling growing up, how good it could be. So now they have this crap on TV and they are forced to watch and they don’t have to.

GP: Is there a company out there that you haven’t worked with that you’d like to?

SS: Well it’s not going to really work unless you get another big conglomerate like a Ted Turner or FOX that can compete. Basically it will take a large TV company that can compete with Vince. Like a Ted Turner or something along that. It has to be someone who likes Wrestling and understands it as well.

GP: I think it would be great if a large network like a FOX would back it because the production values would be off the charts and with the correct backing could be visually stunning.

SS: That’s really the only way you could compete. You would see so many guys jump on that ship. They know how it is. When it comes down to it, Vince, the WWE they don’t really care about the people they employ. They don’t care about them. They use them and then kick them out the door.

GP: It always boggles me that whoever says wrestling is fake, I feel is a damn moron because you do this 365 with barely any off days and the toll it takes on your bodies is tremendous. What makes me happy is you get to do conventions like this and hopefully the people pay it back to you. How much it means to us. All that you’ve done and given us over the years. I especially speak for myself.

SS: Thank you so much.

Action Figures: GLOW, this September from Funko

Pay a visit to the ‘80s when spandex and hairspray reigned supreme with these GLOW action figures. Debbie “Liberty Belle” Egan and Ruth “Zoya the Destroya” Wilder are ready to reenact your favorite moments from the hit Netflix original series!

Collect them both this Summer! Action Figures: GLOW are out this September from Funko. You can pre-order them now on Amazon, TFAWEntertainment Earth, and your local comic shop.

 

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VIZ Media Reveals Details of Shinsuke Nakamura’s King of Strong Style: 1980-2014

VIZ Media has revealed the cover design for — King of Strong Style: 1980-2014 – the forthcoming autobiography of one of Japan’s greatest professional wrestlers, Shinsuke Nakamura.

Originally published in two paperback volumes in Japan, (1980-2004, 2004-2015), the autobiography of one of Japan’s greatest professional wrestlers, Shinsuke Nakamura, will be released as a single-volume hardcover print edition as well as a digital edition by VIZ Media in the summer of 2018. Both hard copy and digital releases will feature select color and b&w photographs.

Born in Kyoto, February 24, 1980, Shinsuke Nakamura began amateur wrestling in high school before attending university at Aoyama Gakuin University. After a brilliant career there, he joined New Japan Pro-Wrestling in March 2002 and made his professional debut at Nippon Budokan in a match against Tadao Yasuda on August 29, 2002. On December 9, 2003, a mere sixteen months into his professional career, he crushed Hiroshi Tenzan and was crowned the youngest IWGP Heavyweight Champion in history. Even as he pursued greatness in the professional wrestling ring, Nakamura participated in MMA, facing Daniel Gracie of the legendary jiu-jitsu family, and superheavyweight kickboxing champion Alexey Ignashov. Now he thrills fans in the United States and beyond on a weekly basis as one of the top wrestlers in the world.

Review: WWE #5

I don’t often read summaries of upcoming comics. I try to pick out what I’ll read and review based on previous experience and the cover. And Boom Studios’ WWE has had semi-unrelated covers before. After the last issue I was fully expecting to come back to the conclusion of Seth Rollins’ arc that would lead him up to now. To say I was a little surprised to open up and find the start of an arc about Dean Ambrose would be an understatement. A surprise but not an unwelcome one.

For those that don’t know, the Lunatic Fringe Dean Ambrose is one of the two members of the Shield that Seth Rollins stabbed in the back to make his frantic scramble to the top. That’s something neither Dean nor Roman Reigns have ever forget or totally forgiven in the kayfabe storyline on TV. Dean is the most obvious about it when their paths cross. As far as personality goes, Dean has a penchant for not staying down, hardcore matches with few rules that stretches back to his start with indie promotions and being the relatable everyman. It’s something that’s become core to his character and, as a result, this arc.

Just as before, writer Dennis Hopeless weaves a story the pulls the actual events and kayfabe of WWE on the night of Extreme Rules 2016 with Dean Ambrose front and center as we transition away from the story of Seth Rollins. Dean does what he does best and makes some questionable decisions that leave him on the bad side of one Brock Lesnar. You’ve probably heard of Brock Lesnar even if you don’t follow wrestling or haven’t for a long time. Within WWE, he tends to be a silent angry force that leaves destruction in his wake with Paul Heyman as his advocate and mouthpiece.

I’ve said this in my reviews before and the creative team here hasn’t changed. Artist Serg Acuña and colorist Doug Garback are still two great tastes that taste great together and Jim Campbell’s lettering is a great way to top it all off. The backfill this time is a continuation of the New Day’s antics through space and time. If you look closely, you might find a few good references in there.

Yet again, this is one I would pick up even if you aren’t a wrestling fan. Especially with a new arc starting up, you don’t need to have watched the events unfold on TV and pay-per-view to enjoy this.

Story: Dennis Hopeless Art: Serg Acuna Color: Doug Garback
Story: 9.0 Art: 9.5 Overall: 9.25
Recommendation: Buy if you’re into late nights, questionable decisions, and back alley fights.

Review: WWE #4

WWE_004_PRESS_5

After the slower emotional ride that was BOOM! Studio’s WWE #3, this issue does a wonderful job of throwing us right back into the action. Seth wants back into the ring, he wants his title back where it belongs, and nothing Hunter can do to stand in his way will stop him from laying his hands on Roman Reigns. Their former friendship means nothing when the top gold in the company is on the line. Every point along this path is hit like a perfected action movie.

Curiously enough, the actual time frame on this issue is incredibly short with most of it taking place over a single pay-per-view night. Again, the creative team of writer Dennis Hopeless, artist Serg Acuña, colorist Doug Garback, and letterer Jim Campbell collectively show their chops in executing a well-told and paced story. They not only understand how wrestling works but also how to convey a story on the page in a compelling way. Even with all the silly and over-the-top moments in this issue, we as an audience are never made to feel like we’re meant to laugh at rather than with them. Very little here drags and, when things slow a bit, it’s always to ramp it back up.

The back matter of this issue focuses on Bray Wyatt, the weird southern gothic bayou horror cult leader of WWE. Penned by Ryan Ferrier, I could have easily mistaken this for one of Wyatt’s actual promos. Though the art of Clay McCormack isn’t a favorite of mine, it serves the dialogue and writing well along with the colors of Dee Cunniffe.

This is kind of weird to say about a comic about wrestling but this issue was such a wonderful and raucous romp that knows exactly what it is and what it’s about with no qualms. If you haven’t been reading, you can still pick this one up as it’s the start of a new mini-arc and covers Seth Rollins’ return to the ring. If you’re a WWE fan, keep an eye out for some familiar heel superstar faces.

Story: Dennis Hopeless and Ryan Ferrier Art: Serg Acuña and Clay McCormack
Color: Doug Garback and Dee Cunniffe Lettering: Jim Campbell
Story: 9.0 Art: 10 Overall: 9.5 Recommendation: Buy if you like action movie sequences and/or wrestling

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: WWE WrestleMania 2017 Special

Rather than the normal fare for BOOM! Studio’s WWE comics, this special for WrestleMania is a collection of short stories of one of the biggest events in sports entertainment. Each has a different creative team and tells a different tale of the show of shows. All lettering throughout the issue is by Jim Campbell, who matches well with the style of each story presented.

The first, “Ladder Match”, isn’t a favorite and it’s honestly disappointing. Telling the story of Shawn Michaels and Razor Ramon’s historic ladder match for the undisputed Intercontinental Championship at WrestleMania X in 1994, this should have been a cakewalk. The match itself was full of great classic action and memorable spots with a great story to lead in: Shawn Michaels wasn’t able to defend the title in the required 30 days and was stripped of the title only to return later and claim to still be champion and this match would settle things once and for all. Technically, the story hits hits on all these points but writer Box Brown presents it in such an absurd way that the whole affair loses the weight the actual match had. The art and colors of Jorge Corona and Gabriel Cassata respectively captures the larger than life personalities but I had trouble connecting the actual superstars with the art.

WWE_Wrestlemania2017_001_PRESS_7“The Long Con” is a great palate cleanser after this disappointment, however. Just like in the ongoing WWE series, Dennis Hopeless knows how to weave kayfabe and reality with a touch of creative license to make a story about wrestling that flows well. Speaking of, if you’re currently reading that ongoing, some moments may feel a little familiar from a certain scene with Triple H and Seth Rollins. The illustration and colors, while by Dan Mora and Joana Lafuente rather than the normal ongoing team, is a close mirror that makes the scene hit just that much harder. This story is about more than just Triple H vs Chris Jericho with Stephanie McMahon at WrestleMania X8 for the undisputed World Heavyweight Championship; it’s about the beginning of what would become the Authority and the long con that leads there. And that’s what wrestling should always be about in the end.

“The New Day’s Optimistic Odyssey Part Three” picks from WWE backfill and WWE: Then, Now, Forever with the former tag champs traveling through time to spread the power of positivity. However, all is not well with unicorn magic and the New Day must fight to defend it. This continues to be as weird and referential as the New Day themselves with the team of Ross Thibodeaux, Rob Guillory, and Taylor Wells. If you’ve been liking this weirdness so far, you’ll like this next installment.

“You’re Good But…” is the tale of Daniel Bryan, beloved indie darling and underdog and his struggles to be taken as a serious competitor throughout his career. Much like a lot of his career, this is a feel-good story with a happy ending once you make it through all the struggles. It all leads up to a triple threat match for the World Heavyweight Championship at WrestleMania XXX.

“The Kevin Owens Comic” is another in which the story is about so much more than the match presented on the pages. This follows the tandem careers of Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens as they make their way through to the top of the indies and eventually into the developmental property NXT and WWE itself. They’ve been brothers and partners and have now become bitter enemies. Their matches and interactions against each other have all been memorable and the one from WrestleMania 32 is no different. They’re destined to fight forever.

This special is truly only worth picking up if you’re already invested in wrestling or BOOM!’s WWE comics. Unlike the WWE ongoing, this doesn’t give some of the necessary background to explain the action happening.

Story: Dennis Hopeless, Andy Belanger, Box Brown, Aubrey Sitterson, Ross Thibodeaux
Arti: Andy Belanger, Rob Guillory
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Pass, unless heavily invested already

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

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