Friday, 17 December 2010

Still not enough to make me actually go out and buy the comic...

IN THE new issue of the DC/Vertigo comic SCALPED, a small town Nebraska sheriff named Wooster T. Krakow has a picture of Ric Flair on his desk, with the inscription, "To Woooooster, Ric Flair." (thanks to Mark Coale)
- as reported in today's Figure Four Online.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

Super Pro K.O. Vol.1 is awesome!

I JUST finished this manga-style digest last night and it is awesome - and I *HATE* faux manga art. But Jarrett Williams nails the concept and energy of pro wrestling perfectly. Along with The Promotion, Super Pro K.O. is possibly the best wrestling-related comic I've ever read.

I'll be talking about this comic in detail in an upcoming podcast.

BELOW is the official guff. Buy it!

Volume 1 - 1st printing. Story and art by Jarrett Williams. Joe Somiano is late to his first match in Super Pro K.O.!, and has no clue what awaits him in the rowdy ring! A seasoned sumo wrestler, a jolly luchador, a flambouyant tag team, suspicious executives, and a drunken Heavyweight Champion all stand between him and the superstardom that is his destiny. If the huge egos, clothesline take-downs, and broken chairs across the head don't squash Joe's dreams, he may just come out on top. But if he's going to take home the champion's belt, he'll need to bring his best moves against the likes of S.P.K.O.! stars Tomahawk Slamson, Yoko No-No, Mr. Awesomeness 2, and many more in this grand slamma jamma event of a graphic novel! Softcover, 5-in. x 7-in., 256 pages, B&W. Cover price $11.99.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

REVIEW: The Promotion

THIS comic is awesome, pure and simple. Rob Schamberger has produced close to THE PERFECT PRO WRESTLING COMIC.

The Promotion feels gritty and REAL - and it does something very few other wrestling comics have tried to do and that's look at the backstage dramas between promoters and the larger-than-life personalities who worked for them during the territorial days.

While you see some recognisable faces - Dick Murdoch and Ric Flair, for example - the comic is entirely fictional yet totally believable. Rob's spot-on dialogue is a big factor in that department.

Rob describes The Promotion as "a fictional drama based around a wrestling promotion in 1970s' Kansas City...a Mad Men of professional wrestling". That sounds reasonable to me.

Having recently read the autobiographies of both Harley Race and Gary Hart, a lot in this comic rang true...to the point that I wondered whether Rob has some friends "in the biz" - possibly even from that era of pro wrestling - and he's been picking their brains.

The art could've been problematic if it stayed as just B&W pen art, as it's a bit rough in places. But Rob's cleverly used a watercolour-style colouring (almost like a colour wash) through the art – giving it a trippy, psychedelic 1970s feel. It suits the story Rob's telling wonderfully well.
And, to be frank, I was reading the comic for the story, not the art anyway.

What can I say? I loved the shit out of this comic. 4 stars, 8/10.

The first chapter of The Promotion can be found at http://www.thewrestlingpromotion.com/ (updated twice a week) and on http://www.myebook.com/ (first chapter available for $0.50).

Wednesday, 27 October 2010

Americana

WANT lots of American pro wrestling history (written in Japanese), featuring some cool historic illos? You can find it here. Not sure if these are scans from a manga or an original web comic.

Some kinky pro-wrestling fun here.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

El Campeon cameo

ON A dare, I'm ploughing through the past 28 issues of Savage Dragon sitting in my study (thanks, Erik). Hit Savage Dragon #137 (Image, Aug. 2008) today and read a team-up tale featuring Madman and The Amazing Joy Buzzards. Of course, the Buzzards' protector, luchador El Campeon, makes a brief cameo.

Shit story though.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

McBlack's back


McBLACK is an Aussie graphic novel that can be bought on Amazon.com, but I wouldn't bother as it's been serialised at http://www.mcblack.com. And, frankly, it's not very good.
Here's the blurb I found on McBlack: "Jason Franks writes and pencils the adventures of Whiteface McBlack featuring cyborg biker hippies, a former pro-wrestler now monster truck dealer, Irish paramilitary cannibals and more. Action packed comics from Mr Franks."
Anyway, I've run a coupla pages of the wrestler chatting to McBlack. So there ya go.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

An Earthquake is coming

I DON'T know where this pic is from...I found it on the Death Valley Driver messageboard.

Cool, isn't it?
(But why are Bananas In Pyjamas in the crowd?)

Saturday, 18 September 2010

The things I do to be a completist...

I'D seen this mag advertised in the back of pro wrestling mags for years, but I finally picked it up via Lone Star. ThunderGirls #1 (P&I Press, 1997) is the sorta comic that makes you wonder about the mindset of the people involved in its production.
Pro rassler/fetish rassler/model/whatever Lady Victoria stars in the main strip, a B&W effort titled "Ring Of The Vampires" (writer: Adams/artist: Scott Dervish). It's kidnapped wrestler vs sexy female vampire queen in the lamest battle one can imagine.
The back-up strip is "Front Row Rumble" (writer: Adams/artist: JG...what's with this people being too ashamed to put their real names to this stuff?) where two sexy fans clash at ringside and brawl into the ring, much to the consternation of the real wrestlers. It's mildly amusing.
There are also a couple of text stories and a fumetti ("Queen Of The Ring"), which could've come straight from a 1970s Apter mag.
The end result of reading ThunderGirls #1 is a feeling of uncomfortable weirdness.
I can imagine the men who put this mag together furiously beating off at the drawing board (or computer), then paying some unemployed female body builder to beat them up in their living room afterwards.

Strongman (SLG Publishing, 2009) came out with little fanfare, but is a surprisingly entertaining read that deserved more attention.

Luchador/nocturnal crime-fighter/movie star Tigre (basically, Santo in a different mask) was a Mexican wrestling god during the late 60s and early 70s until a shocking tragedy ended it all.

Twenty-five years later, Tigre's a washed-up jobber, wrestling for booze money while living rough in New York. But his life gets turned upside-down when a beautiful woman comes to him for help and he's forced to confront the nightmare that destroyed his life in 1973.

This digest-sized graphic novel was a fun read. Writer Charles Soule packs in a ton of stuff: wrestling, illegal organ transplants, cannibalism and betrayal. Allen Gladfelter's art is delightfully competent, clean and no-nonsense.

I really dug Strongman - I hope we see more of him in the future.

World Wrestling...Entertainment Weekly

ONE of my fave indy cartoonists Kagan McLeod - he of Infinite Kungfu notoriety - is regularly getting illos published in EW mag these days. Good for you, Kagan.
In the March 14, 2008 ish, he illustrated a piece titled "The Pop Culture Throw-Down!" - featuring pro'n'con arguments on several pop culture issues including 'The X-Files' is better than 'Lost' & Bob Dylan sings better than Kelly Clarkson. Kagan decided to use a pro-wrestling motif for his illos. Above is his take on Dylan vs Clarkson. Brilliant stuff!

Obscure wrestling reference #1025

THIS time it's in Incorruptible Vol. 1 (Boom!, 2010) by Mark Waid and Jean Diaz - and originally published in Incorruptible #3.
In case you can't read the scan, Max Damage's sidekick Jailbait says, "You taught me how to tear a guy's sack off! You let me fight the Hentai Brothers in a cage match because you said it was hot! And I won! And it was HOT!"
Hehe...

Incorruptible has been pretty damn intriguing so far. I'll have to pick up Vol. 2 next week.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Tiger, Tiger, burning bright

OF ALL the wrestlers to get their own comics in Japan, the most surprising in my mind would be Tiger Mask IV. Sure, he's the fourth guy to wear the famous Tiger Mask get-up, but he was only working for minor promotion Michinoku Pro. He's no Bruiser Brody or Antonio Inoki, right?

Still, thanks to my good friend Mister J, that's what I acquired a few years back: the first manga collection of the adventures of Tiger Mask IV (c.1996). The book also guest stars Michinoku founder The Great Sasuke.

Nice manga art...didn't understand a word of it...didn't fully understand what the hell was going on. Yep, it's a typical Jap wrestling comic. :)

But...y'know...Tiger Mask IV? Jeeeeez, who's next? Tarzan Goto? Kendo Ka Shin? Yikes.

Fiasco Bombasco

I PICKED up this 24-hour comic a few years back at a zine fair somewhere. Been meaning to add it to the blog for ages and just never got round to it till now.

Anyway, it's a sci-fi/luchador-themed B&W effort by Ive Sorocuk. The interior art is nothing to write home about (which you'd expect considering it was written and drawn in 24 hours), but the colour cover artwork is exquisite.

And it features a luchador cat called Wrestle Cat......aaaaaaaawwwwwww!

A coupla recent wrestling references...

...which I found while reading random comics in the past two days. First up, it's Thunderbolts #139 (February 2010). This was during Marvel's "Dark Reign" period. Norman Osborn introduces a new member of the covert assassin squad known as Thunderbolts. His name is The Grizzly and his file states he's a former wrestler. So...there you go.

Next, there's Whatever Happened To Baron Von Shock #2 (Image, 2010), a decidedly ordinary yarn written by Rob Zombie. In the above panel, the washed-up dude formerly known as TV horror host Baron Von Shock talks to his sleazy manager who, strangely enough, uses some wrestling terminology. Hmmm...maybe Mr Zombie was channelling his equally mediocre wrestling-themed comic The Nail from a few years back.

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

Brodyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!

IT'S all in Japanese, but it's Bruiser Brody, goddammit! A whole manga book from the 1980s scanned in and uploaded to the Net. How awesome is that?
Here's the link:

Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Marks and Marksman

I RECENTLY bought 100 comics cheap off eBay and gave most of them away to BP readers. But there were 27 that caught my eye, so I decided to keep them. One of the titles was The Marksman #2 (Hero Comics, 1987). Now, the main feature is a pretty ordinary superhero yarn, but it was the back-up story (writer: Denis Mallonee/pencis: Walt Davis/inks: Dell Barras) that made up my mind to keep this comic.

Marksman supporting character Rose flies solo in "The Return Of Doctor Death" where a Haitian witch doctor controls a masked grappler as he fights in the squared circle. It's actually a fairly pedestrian eight-page tale, but the wrestling side of it (and its relaxed attitude towards the real vs fake debate - together with the way it touches on the drugs-in-wrestling issue) isn't too shabby. All in all, I give this comic a C+ (on the wrestling comic scale).

Tuesday, 11 May 2010

Nuclear suplex!



NIXON'S PALS: looks good. I just ordered it from Lone Star. Read all about this "old" graphic novel and more - including Chris Burnham's ultra-cool-looking new GN, Officer Downe - at http://www.comicsalliance.com/2010/05/10/officer-downe-joe-casey-chris-burnham.

Meanwhile, enjoy this wrestling-related question from the above interview:

CA: You worked with Joe Casey before on a graphic novel called Nixon's Pals (which was also gloriously ultraviolent, what with all the nuclear suplexes) about a guy who worked as a bail bondsman for super-villains. Is there any connection between the two?

Burnham: Not REALLY. There are a couple of Nixon's Pals characters that make cameos in Officer Downe, but unless you've read Nixon five times, you're probably not going to notice. They're really more about keeping me amused than serving any sort of narrative purpose. You definitely don't have to have read Nixon's Pals to understand what's going on.



Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Monday, 3 May 2010

Sunday, 2 May 2010

Slammed!


I'll write more about it later, but it looks pretty cool.

Superman vs Rocca!

Friday, 30 April 2010

Confused? Not I

I RECENTLY ran across the above single-page strip and its brief pro-wrestling reference in writer/artist Dave Hodson's slice-of-life one-shot Truly Confused (Paper Tableaux, 2001) .

Enjoy.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

REVIEW: WWE Heroes #1

WWE Heroes #1 (Titan, 2010)
Writer: Keith Champagne/artist: Andy Smith

I OPENED this issue with some trepidation and it’s nice to know messrs Champagne and Smith didn’t let me down. This is wrestling comics at an abysmal, Chaos!-like level. In fact, there are shades of that hideous Undertaker comic from the late 90s in this yarn. I don’t know what was funnier: an evil god and a good god eternally battling through the ages taking their fight to the WWE of all places...the fucked-up booking (Edge is a heel and Batista a face in the comic – it’s the opposite in current WWE storylines)...or that EVERY wrestler has an eight-pack, even Matt Hardy. Matt “Porky” Hardy!!! Awful, awful, awful.

Slam-a-rama!

I HAD to give a shout-out to Slam-a-rama!, a new web comic based on classic 80s-style WWF rasslin'.
It was first published by writer/artist Dave Howlett as a black-and-white minicomic last year as THE SQUARED CIRCLE.
He's now publishing new pages every Monday, Wednesday and Friday on his blog. I assume he'll then collect all the pages and publish it as a 120-page graphic novel.
Here's Dave's interesting summary of Slam-a-rama!:
"(It's) an online graphic novel set during the gaudy glory days of 1980s professional wrestling, SLAM-A-RAMA! chronicles the events of the greatest night in sports entertainment history. Over the course of one fateful evening, a diverse cast of characters - some at the top of their game, others on the downward slope of their careers - will be tested by bone-crushing battles within the ring, as well as the harrowing personal dramas that await them backstage."
I have heard that it's kinda like a wrestling comic version of Robert Altman's Nashville (1975). But that can't be right 'cos Nashville was crap.

Monday, 5 April 2010

"Alien Wrestlers" by Ken Landgraf

Marvel and DC comic book artist Ken Landgraf produced this commissioned piece. It's 8 1/2" x 11", watercolour on Bristol paper. I like the guy's Wally Wood-esque style.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

That's how they trained the Great Khali, I believe...

DOES anyone know which comic book this panel is from?

Saturday, 6 March 2010