Last year I reviewed the initial instalment of a planned graphic novel series Invasion From Planet Wrestletopia. (I’ve copied the recovered text from that review below.) The publishers have now announced the series has been picked up by Starburns Industries Press. There’ll be six monthly issues in digital format, which will then be gathered together as a paperback. Here’s the blurb:
INVASION FROM PLANET WRESTLETOPIA
Script: Ed Kuehnel & Matt Entin (Lumberjack Man)
Art: Dan Schkade (The Spirit), Kendall Goode (WWE)
Color: Marissa Louise (Hex Wives)
Letters: A Larger World (Ninja•K)
Creators Ed Kuehnel and Matt Entin bring their cult classic to SBI Press, where the story will be completed for the first time! “Boy Scout” Bob Schultz! Cousin Orville! Mini Macho! Kodiak Jack! Spanish Rose! Don Fong Wong! These are the megastars of 1984’s AWF. “Rock ’n’ Roll” Rory Landell isn’t getting the respect he thinks he deserves, so one crazy night he ups the game, declaring himself the Galactic Champion of the Universe. But it turns out AWF fans aren’t the only ones listening, and the denizens of planet Wrestletopia aren’t going to take a challenge like that sitting down! Soon the Earth is enclosed in a metal cage, and true Galactic Champion Manifest Destiny is on the hunt for Rory, who may or may not be passed out drunk somewhere.
Invasion from Planet Wrestletopia will run six extra-sized issues for $1.99 each. Issue #2 will release on May 15, with subsequent issues released monthly.
And my review of the first issue:
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Very much a scene-setter, this initial instalment of a graphic novel series has promise, though it’s hard to draw too many conclusions about where it’s going.
Without wanting to go into too many spoilers, on the face of it the initial issue is about “Rock ‘n’ Roll Rory Landel”, a fast-talking heel from the territorial era who loses his spot when the business switches to a family-oriented style. Passed over for world title status, he declares himself the galactic champion, something that we later find out has attracted the attention of an alien lifeform that is (presumably) 15 light years away.
Alien elements aside, the storyline is plausible enough from a wrestling perspective and there’s some nice references to real world characters and locations to watch out for. The problem with recommending future instalments is that there’s no real indication of how much the focus will switch from the world of grappling to science fiction elements.
The artwork is effective enough, with the style closer to caricature that cartoon, and the use of colour is particularly striking and atmospheric. (Obvious as it may seem, while this is available on Kindle as well as print, it’s best saved for either tablets or the web viewer rather than the standalone monochrome devices.)