Name: Michael Kingston
Hometown: Syracuse, New York, USA.
Known For: writer/creator of Headlocked
1. When did you first get into wrestling and what was the drew you to the sport?
When I was 9 years old, I was up late one night and I was flipping channels and came across Saturday Night's Main Event. The match was Mike Rotundo, Barry Windham, Ricky Steamboat vs. Iron Sheik, Nikolai Volkoff, and George Steele. Of course "The Animal" went crazy with his turnbuckle eating routine and I was completely hooked. I've watched it in some form or another ever since.
At different stages of my life, different things have appealed to me. Sometimes its the characters, sometimes its the athleticism, sometimes its the stories...that's the beauty of wrestling....there's so many different elements you can find to appreciate.
2. Tell us a little about Headlocked and how that came about?
Headlocked is the story of Mike Hartmann...a college theater major that falls in love with wrestling, more specifically, the performance art behind the spectacle. He gets bitten so hard by the wrestling bug that he drops out of school and moves to Philadelphia to chase his dream. On one level, its the "boy chasing his dream" kind of story but on another level its an examination of the craft of wrestling through the eyes of someone that is already kind of wired to think that way.
And to go along with the "wrestling as art" theme, we've had a number of wrestlers contribute to the series artistically. Jerry "The King" Lawler is the cover artist. Our interior artist, Michel Mulipola is a professional wrestler from New Zealand. Former PWG wrestler Scott Lost contributed a pinup to our tradepaperback.
As for how it came about...wrestling and comics have always been two huge passions of mine. When I decided to become a writer, this story had been brewing in my head for years. I think if you're a fan of wrestling, at some point in your life, you have to defend that fandom to more than a few people and I hope, when its all said and done, that Headlocked can be the type of story that gets people to look at wrestling a little differently than they may have in the past. And that's already been the case with more than a few people at comic cons...
3. You've spent some time promoting Headlocked at various promotions, how does the real world of wrestling compare to the comic?
One of the reasons that I think Headlocked works well as a comic is that the two industries are so very similar. On the surface, you have heroes, villains, larger-than-life characters, colorful costumes. But if you look deeper, you can see two mediums that are dominated by a single aesthetic: WWE in wrestling and superheroes in comics. There are no limits to the types of stories you can tell in either medium but for whatever reason, we've chosen to limit ourselves and I think the overall perception of the mediums suffer because of it.
And from my personal experiences publishing an indy comic, it feels a lot like indy wrestling....its a hustle. I've slept 4-5 to a hotel room, I've slept in a bathtub, I've driven eleven hours to set up at a convention...I just try to get to as many wrestling/comic shows that I can to spread the word because its so hard to get people's attention these days unless you're right in front of them.
4. What are your Top Three wrestling matches of all time and why?
1) Samoa Joe vs. Kenta Kobashi - ROH. I was in attendance for this match and it was quite simply the best wrestling experience I've ever had as a fan.
2) Steve Austin vs. Bret Hart -WM13...great action, great drama, great story and a perfectly executed double turn. As close to perfect as you can get.
3) Ric Flair vs. Terry Funk I Quit Match- Clash of Champions..just an incredible match that still holds up to this day. I had just discovered NWA/WCW and this match completely blew my mind.
5. Where can our readers find your work and what have you got coming up?
We're on Facebook (www.facebook.com/headlockedcomic), Twitter (@headlockedcomic), and Tumblr (headlockedcomicbook) and you can purchase the books at www.headlockedcomic.com. Right now, we're posting a lot of free content because we have some really exciting stuff coming up in the month of July...and some really exciting guest contributors....so jump on board now!
We'd like to thank Michael Kingston for this great interview, and urge you to go purchase Headlocked as soon as possible.