Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cool Projects #11

I've mentioned multiple times how I'm  pro wrestling fan, and that I want to share some wrestling stuff here, so this edition of 'Cool Projects' is all about a couple awesome wrestling themed comic books from Boom Studios.

Boom started a WWE comic series featuring a series of stories covering debuts and other milestones in WWE superstar's careers. For example, early issues featured Seth Rollins' big heel turn and betrayal of the Shield faction under the tutelage of HHH and the Authority.

The series has been ongoing, with special issues including the 2018 Royal Rumble Special, and features the art and writing of such talented creators as Dennis Hopeless (Spider-Man), Dan Mora (Klaus), Ross Thibodeaux (Mighty Morphin Power Rangers), Rob Guillory (Chew), Ryan Ferrier (Kong On The Planet Of The Apes), 
Kevin Panetta (Regular Show), Kendall Goode (The Doorman), and Daniel Bayliss (WWE: Then. Now. Forever.) alongside contributions from the wrestlers themselves.

A few big issues of WWE in the coming months will include the arrival of the womens revolution, and stories of Asuka, AJ Styles and Samoa Joe's debuts on the main WWE rosters. Following are a few covers and dates of upcoming issues. We also caught back up for a  Q&A with pne of the writers for some of the stories, as well as creator of the 'Headlocked' series we covered earlier this year, Mike Kingston (ICYMI: Check it out HERE). The 2018 Royal Rumble Special features Mike Kingston writing AJ Styles' debut and is available in January 2018, coinciding with the annual WWE pay per view event, the Royal Rumble. 

courtesy of Boom Studios
TheSteveStrout: Hows Headlocked been selling since we last chatted?
Mike Kingston: Things are going well. We definitely feel like we've turned a corner in the last year or so. 

TheSteveStrout: How did the job with Boom Studios come to fruition? Did you pitch to them, or did they approach you?
Mike Kingston: That was actually us. AJ, Joe and I were looking for an excuse to collab again and this seemed like a natural extension .

TheSteveStrout: What are the basic summaries of the stories you wrote for WWE/Boom Studios?
Mike Kingston: The AJ story is for the Royal Rumble special and it covers the time from when he leaves the locker room until the point that he hits the ring. Joe's story details the untold story of why he and Nakamura weren't drafted to Raw or Smackdown back in 2016. 

TheSteveStrout: How much input did you get from AJ and Samoa Joe when writing their stories, having worked with them before on Headlocked? Were they full on writing partners?
Mike Kingston: It's the same general process. We talk out our ideas, I put it to paper and then from there we work on perfecting it. Luckily, its so easy with both of them, we don't have too much perfecting to do. 

TheSteveStrout: Did the WWE get pretty involved in the script, and keeping you parallel to actual storylines?
Mike Kingston: Not at all. The concepts we came up with fit into existing company storylines. There were a few minor alterations but the gist of our stories stayed the same. 

TheSteveStrout: How different is writing these stories in comparison to your own Headlocked series?
Mike Kingston: Honestly, it really wasn't all too different except having the stuff vetted by one more layer of editorial. But like I said, they didn't tweak it too much.

TheSteveStrout: Personally, as a lifelong wrestling fan, I would've fanboyed out, when approached to write a WWE licensed story. Was there any "holy s**t" moments for you in writing these comics, in comparison to Headlocked?
Mike Kingston: It was fun, for sure. But ultimately, its not too different from what I've been doing for years. It was fun to patch holes in WWE continuity. 

TheSteveStrout: Are there plans to do more WWE comics for Boom Studios, if you can mention yet?
Mike Kingston: I feel like I could if I wanted to but Headlocked has been demanding so much more of my time, it seems unlikely. 

TheSteveStrout: Whats next for you and your personal series, Headlocked?
Mike Kingston: We're hard at work on The Hard Way as well as continuing our monthly series of mini-comics through WrestleCrate. We also had a very public opportunity to pitch Headlocked to The Rock's production company so we've got all of our fingers crossed in regards to that. 
courtesy of Boom Studios

courtesy of Boom Studios

Illustration by Hyeonjin Kim, courtesy of Boom Studios

Be sure to check out these comics early next year, find the back issues, add it to your pull list, whether a wrestling fan, or just like to read and see a great comic. For more info on this series, and all the great books the Boom Studios has to offer, check out Be on the lookout for more wrestling themed content (when available) too!

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Steve Strout is the media mastermind (haha) behind this site, host of the Comic Book Swap Meet, nerd, terrible artist, gamer, convention goer and comic book reader who spends more time rescuing toys from thrift shops than a normal adult should. He is also known around the northwest for his promotion of live music and stand-up comedy events and is the creator/producer of the Comic Book Swap Meet mini convention, and Olympic Peninsula Comedy Competition (which will make it's big return soon!). Follow him on Instagram at, and  He can be reached for comments at on twitter at @thestevestrout