Hi, Aubrey. Seems like pro wrestling and comic books go hand in hand. There is a large cross-section of fans who love both forms of entertainment, as well as quite a few wrestlers who are avid comic book readers (CM Punk and Christopher Daniels, for example). Heck, the Ultimate Warrior even had his own comic book. As a man whose professional career has spanned both sports entertainment and the graphic arts, do you see a mashup project in the future -- or can you recommend anything that exists?
I certainly think so, but you’d be shocked and pretty disheartened to find out how many people within the comic book industry look down their nose at wrestling. Despite all the similarities and the fact that wrestling is massively popular, some folks in mainstream comics like to pat themselves on the back for being highbrow, and as a result, try and position their work as somehow better than wrestling. It’s absurd.
Without tipping my hand too much, I will say that I’m working a very wrestling-centric comic project with an artist right now. No schedule for its release just yet, but when it’s ready, it’s going to blow people away. I feel confident in saying that it’s going to be like absolutely nothing else you’ve seen or read before.
In terms of other stuff to check out…unfortunately there’s not a lot. You might be able to find some old English translations of Kinnikuman, which I’ve never read, but looks bonkers, and if you wanted to go back issue hunting, you could find some Marvel books focusing on the Unlimited Class Wrestling Federation.
Am I a fan?: If you do not like Andre the Giant, you do not like professional wrestling. There is no way around this. None. Also, go and do yourself a favor and buy the just-released Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, by boxbrowncomics. I read it on the airplane from Atlanta to Detroit today, and it was absolutely riveting. (Pro-Tip: Before you buy from Amazon, consider putting in an order at your local comic book store.)
Favorite move: The big hip swivel into an ass ram to escape a submission hold.
Favorite match: vs. Stan Hansen. I think a lot of folks saw a match that CM Punk passed along on Twitter. Yes. That ruled. Go out of your way to find it, especially if your only exposure to Andre is his heel stuff.
Favorite feud: vs. Hogan. There are probably other acceptable answers, but I don’t want to hear them.
Favorite promo: When he tore Hogan’s crucifix and shirt off. This is one of the seminal moments in wrestling history. Also, it’s totally an accident, but he fucking makes Hogan bleed during that segment. The contract signing also rules, because he waves The Hulkster off with an like he ain’t shit. ANDRE. YEAH.
Seen live?: Sadly, I wasn’t born until a year after WrestleMania III.
Unpopular opinion: Hogan/Andre is a fucking awesome match, and I won’t hear otherwise. I know Steamboat/Savage was better, and that plenty of other matches have come along to make this one look bad by comparison, but if you believe in the magic of wrestling as storytelling, which is to believe in modern gods and monsters, here is the goddamn template. I get the warm ‘n tinglies every time Hogan lifts Andre for the slam, and the only post-loss exit greater than Andre’s here might be Hogan’s at WrestleMania VI (or Savage’s at WrestleMania VII, or Mick Foley’s at No Way Out 2000).