Super Pro K.O.
Publishing | Jennifer de Guzman announced that, after 10 years, she has left her position as editor-in-chief of SLG Publishing: “My decade SLG was, I suspect, like no other decade anyone has spent working anywhere. I had great co-workers and got to work with fantastic creators, all of whom I will miss very much. (Though because this is comics and a community like no other, we will always stay in contact.)” [Possible Impossibilities]
Retailing | Chris Powell, current general manager and chief relationship officer for Texas-based comic chain Lone Star Comics, has accepted the newly created position of executive director of business development for Diamond Comic Distributors. The Comic Book Legal Defense Fund board member will start his new position in March. [ICv2]
The second volume of Jarrett Williams’ awesome wrestling comics, Super Pro K.O.!: Chaos in the Cage, headbutts its way into comic shops today. Courtesy of Oni Press, we’re pleased to present a look at 23 pages from the new volume. Check it out after the jump.
There are a few writers that I always look forward to interviewing, because they always surprise me. Jamie S. Rich is on that list. This week, while we discuss the second volume in Spell Checkers, Sons of A Preacher Man, his Oni Press collaboration with artists Nicolas Hitori De and Joëlle Jones, we also delve into the history of Rich’s cameos in comics (among other topics). In this latest Spell Checkers installment, the ladies of Spell Checkers (Jesse, Cynthia and Kimmie) have to deal with the murder of the student body president, the battle to find a new one and at the center of all the action: two brothers, who are new to the school. We also discuss the plans for the third volume in the series. Once you finish the interview, be sure to learn more about the project via Steve Sunu’s CBR interview with the whole Spell Checkers creative team, plus you can enjoy CBR’s 18-page preview of the book.
Tim O’Shea: How much stronger is the collective creative rapport between the three creators on this second volume?
Jamie S. Rich: Very strong. The first book is always a learning experience, not just in how we work together and what we need from each other, but in this case, it was also seeing how the material meshed, how Joëlle’s work jibed with Nico’s. Since I had a clearer notion of how they complemented one another, this time around I took a different approach to the flashbacks and made them almost their own story, letting Joëlle take the material darker by having it more about the new male characters that show up in this volume rather than just about the girls. I think it actually made the reading experience more cohesive, the two pieces meld in a more natural way.
Joëlle started closer to the end of production, so even though she had less to do, it became a race to see who would finish first, her or Nico. They can be pretty competitive. It was a close call. She kind of won, but nothing is every clear-cut in our universe!
Mattel, which has the license to make action figures of World Wrestling Entertainment superstars, will host several WWE superstars at their booth during Comic-Con, including The Miz, Eve, John Morrison, The Bella Twins, Chris Masters, Melina and Kane.
But that still isn’t the coolest wrestling-related thing happening at the show. No, that would be Jarrett Williams‘ no-words-barred contest to be crowned Super Pro K.O. World Champion of Comic Con 2010.
Williams, whose Super Pro K.O. book debuts at the show, will award the above championship belt to whoever can deliver the best pre- or post-match “throw down speech” at the Oni booth on Saturday. “All the excitement will be videoed and posted on the Oni Blog, so even if you’re not at the show you can witness the action,” Oni’s press release reads. “The winner will be announced at the Oni booth on Sunday 7/25 at 10am where Jarrett Williams and special guest judge Bryan Lee O’Malley will award the first Heavyweight Championship Belt of Comic-Con!”
Old school “wrastlin’” costumes and personas are encouraged … where’s my Mr. Wrestling II mask when I need it?
Jarrett Williams has been doing his webcomic Lunar Boy, for a few years now, and this July will see the release of his first full-length graphic novel from Oni Press — Super Pro K.O.! The first digest-sized volume will weigh in at a monster 256 black-and-white pages, and it combines old-school wrestling (or rasslin’) with slick manga-style artwork. You can check out a 27-page preview of it here.
I learned from Oni’s Cory Casoni this weekend at WonderCon that Williams is already hard at work on volume two of the graphic novel series … Casoni said Williams is about 60 pages into the next volume. Williams took some time out from drawing it (not to mention his Lunar Boy pages) to talk to me about the graphic novel, wrestling and how he came to tag-team with Oni. And he even provided us with an original piece just for this interview (up top), which was really awesome of him. I have to wonder if he sleeps with a pencil in his hand.
My thanks to Williams for his time, and to Casoni for setting the interview up.
JK: So what exactly is Super Pro K.O.? Is it a wrestling comic wearing a manga mask, or more of a manga series that’s been dropkicked into a wrestling ring?
Jarrett: Haha, It’s a bit of both actually. I’ve been a fan of manga since I was a kid. I think most of the young cartoonists out there grew up with a huge awareness of Japanese comics. And we directly felt the impact of it when it really caught on. However, I was lucky enough to also have a family that was really big on pro wrestling. Well, at least my cousin, little brother and I. We watched it faithfully growing up. Everything from Mid South Wrestling, to WCW, to early WWF, I’ve pretty much seen it all.
I’ve wanted to tell a pro wrestling story in comic form for a long time but I just wasn’t sure how to approach it at first. I wanted to capture the fun/spirit of pro wrestling. And I definitely wanted to present it as athletic and over the top. And I have a lot of retro influences in the way I approach drawing comics so I figured capturing that 1970’s early 80’s time in wrestling would be the best way to go (and allow me to create all of these fantastical characters). So after playing around with ideas for a couple years while I drew other comics, I finally decided to just sit down and draw the badboy. And that’s how SPKO came to be.