Wrestling rings and comic panels.
Over the weekend, my wife and I went to a professional wrestling show. It was her first live show, and the first one I’d attended since the early nineties at the Nassau Coliseum on Long Island. That was a WWE show. This was a CHIKARA show, and it was amazing. I’m not going to speak much about the show itself, as the stories they told in the ring are not mine to tell. Rather, I want to talk about my love of independent professional wrestling, and how I relate it to webcomics.
Many indy pro-wrestlers have a very do-it-yourself attitude. They make their own merchandise, travel from town-to-town selling their goods, and try to put on as great a show as they can for the fans who come out to see them. Or they’re putting themselves out there for the first time, eager to make a name for themselves, hoping that those in attendance will remember them and come to care about what they have to offer. It’s not an easy life, but it’s their passion and they’re willing to pay the price to do what they love.
The experience is very similar to my career in webcomics. Back when I was writing and drawing Dominic Deegan: Oracle for Hire, I would make merchandise and take it from town-to-town, selling it at conventions and trying to be as friendly as possible to the people who came out to see me. Or, if they’d never heard of me before, I was eager to make an impression so those in attendance would remember me and come to care about my stories and characters. Garth and I are doing the same thing with Star Power now. Like indy pro-wrestlers chasing their dreams, it’s our passion and we’re willing to pay the price to do what we love.
If you want to learn more about the lives of professional wrestlers on the independent circuit, I recommend The Art Of Wrestling podcast with Colt Cabana. His interview with Mike Quackenbush, the new “Director of Fun” for Chikara, is inspirational no matter what dreams you’re chasing. I highly recommend it.