About this project
21,500 - We'll do an animated Headlocked short with voices by Ken Anderson, Kevin Gill, and some other big names in the wrestling industry!
24,000- We'll animate an entire issue of Headlocked with even more talent from the world of wrestling! The first steps toward a Headlocked animated series!
Welcome to the Headlocked: The Last Territory Kickstarter Vol 2.
If you missed the first one, welcome! No need to worry about missing anything...we gotcha covered. Read on!
If y'all know what we're about, you can jump down and check out the awesome lineup of all-star talent we've assembled for this book and a little idea of what's in store for our boy Mike Hartmann!
What is Headlocked?
In one sentence, it's a wrestling cable drama in a comic book!
Headlocked is a coming-of-age story chronicling a college theater major's quest to become a professional wrestler. It begins from the moment he unexpectedly falls in love with wrestling and follows his journey through the insanity of the wrestling business as he chases his dream of making it to the bright lights and the big stage of the WFW.
On a deeper level, Headlocked is an examination of wrestling as an art form. Our main character, Mike Hartmann, is a college theater major that drops out of school to try and break into the wrestling business. So the reader will learn more about the craft of wrestling through the eyes of a performance artist.
To further our theme of wrestling as art, we use wrestlers to contribute to the book artistically. Our interior artist, Michel Mulipola, is a wrestler from New Zealand. And our cover artist, you might have heard of him....
WWE Hall of Famer, Jerry "The King" Lawler!
If you read further, you'll see we have a metric ton of awesome guest contributors from the world of comics and wrestling lined up to help make this even better!
For almost 30 years, I've been a student of wrestling and comics. I've always considered them to be two very underutilized storytelling mediums. When I decided I wanted to start writing comics, it was only natural that I wrote about wrestling. Of course, over the years, I've suffered through a ton of horrible, horrible wrestling comics (not going to name names, but you all know what I'm talking about) so I thought I'd make one that I, as a wrestling fan, would want to read.
If you've been a fan of wrestling for any length of time, you're often called upon to defend your fandom. My other goal with Headlocked, when it's all said and done, is to be my defense of wrestling...all the reasons why people fall in love with it....served up inside of an entertaining story about a boy chasing his dream.
We launched Headlocked a few years back. Everyone seemed to enjoy it. Wrestlers, wrestling fans, comic fans....even people who didn't like wrestling could relate to the story of a kid striking out to chase his dreams.
But here's a dirty little secret about comics: They're expensive to make. And why not? It's art....hand-crafted by artists. But in comparison to the costs, they don't generally command a high price point.
So, for a comic to survive, you need a certain number of readers.
To get readers, you need awareness. And this is where it gets tricky...
Both the wrestling and the comics industry are dominated by a very small handful of companies....so to get the necessary retail and media support to produce a successful comic book without being supported by those companies is extremely difficult.
As you can see in the entertainment business these days, it's not easy to get support for anything that's not a sequel, a remake, a reboot, star-driven, or attached to a license...and the comic book business is no different.
This is why we brought this project to Kickstarter.
We're very proud of the work we've produced and we think it deserves a bigger audience. We think a lot of people will dig it. We think if you're a fan of wrestling and comics, you deserve a product created by people that are just as passionate about it as you are. No wrestlers fighting demons, no licensed cash grabs, and no beating up naked Santa Claus...just a good comic book story about wrestling, created by people who love wrestling, comics, and art.
What is The Last Territory?
Hartmann's journey brings him to Texas and Kings of Texas Championship Wrestling. Built around the ultimate regional superstar, Magnificent Mark Steele, it's the last surviving wrestling territory in the country. Because they still draw strong crowds, the WFW uses it as a developmental promotion to prepare their talent before bringing them up to the "big leagues." It's a heavy dose of the old-school "smoky arena" days mashed up with modern corporate wrestling politics. In this type of environment, we'll meet wrestlers at every level of their career: rising stars, veterans getting repackaged, superstars on injury rehab, territory lifers, and the hopeless dreamers. With all these guys literally one call away from making it to "the show," you can bet there's going to be some drama!
Who the heck are you guys?
Michael Kingston - Ever since George The Animal Steele completely transfixed me as an eight year old boy, I've been in love with wrestling...in all its forms...from big arenas to high school gyms. I can't even begin to tell you the miles I've put on my car driving all over the east coast to watch indy wrestling shows. And from the first issue of Spider-man I bought from a spinner rack in Kinney Drugs, I've had an equally passionate love affair with comics. Over the years, my tastes have changed but I've never lost my love for the medium of sequential art.
Michel Mulipola - Michel Mulipola is a Samoan comic book artist/professional wrestler/comic book store clerk based in Auckland, New Zealand. He's been wrestling for New Zealand's premiere promotion, Impact Pro Wrestling, for almost 8 years. As well as doing artwork for Headlocked, he has done work for The Gutters webcomic and various other projects. He can usually be found drawing comics at the comic book store he runs, Arkham City Comics, in Auckland.
Chuck Obach - Chuck is, in his own words, a self taught Comic Book Colorist and an advocate of the Jedi Force "look ma' no hands" coloring technique.
As you can see, when he and Michel put their artistic talents together, they make absolute magic on the page!
Jacob Bascle- Raised in the swamps of Louisiana and trained in the finer points of graphic design in Minnesota’s frozen tundra, Jacob now calls the beaches of Southern California home. He likes putting letters on top of other people’s artwork and on front of their comics. When not handling lettering, logo design and production for Visionary Comics, he’s either working on other comics or doing freelance graphic design through his company Freemind Graphx, or gaming and hanging out with his girlfriend Katie, son Xander and their cats Mischief and Mayhem.
Jerry "The King" Lawler - If you're looking at this, I'm pretty sure you know who "The King" is. Many people know him as a wrestling legend, the voice of WWE Raw, and the man who slapped Andy Kaufmann on David Letterman. But not many people realize that The King's first love was actually art, and it was always his dream to be a comic book cover artist. His first published comic book cover ever was for Headlocked: The Tryout #1 and he also painted the cover to our collected edition. His Norman Rockwell homage to The Last Territory Vol 1 is simply mind-blowing!
Special guest creators!
Luckily over the years, we've managed to impress a few people with our book. People who, like us, are passionate about wrestling, comics, and art. They like what we're doing and they've agreed to contribute to Headlocked to help get as many eyeballs on the project as we possibly can.
All of the content from our special guest contributors is Kickstarter exclusive! When we reprint these stories for conventions, it won't have any of the wrestler-generated backups and pinups. That's our gift to you for helping support our project at this critical juncture!
Booker T- a six time world champion and one of the most decorated wrestlers of the modern era, Booker T is also a skilled artist! Booker will be contributing a pinup to The Last Territory!
John Morrison- former WWE superstar "The Shaman of Sexy" has been stretching his creative muscles in both acting and comedy since he stepped away from the ring. Now he's ready to give comics a try! He'll be contributing a short story to the book.
AJ Styles- current IWGP champion, the first ever TNA grand slam champion, and one of the best wrestlers in the world, "The Phenomenal One" will be contributing a short story to the book.
Frankie Kazarian- WWE/TNA/ROH star and currently one half of your favorite tag team, Bad Influence, Frankie is one of the biggest comic book fans in wrestling...even co-authoring a comic with his partner Christopher Daniels from Aw Yeah Comics. He will be contributing a short story to the book.
Tony Atlas- this WWE Hall of Famer and former WWF Tag Team Champion was known throughout his career as "Mr. USA" and "Black Superman." But you'd never guess that a man with such great power has such a refined hand at the drawing table. Tony will be contributing a pinup to the book using his favorite technique...pointillism.
Caylen Croft- Most of you will recognize Croft as one-half of the WWE's Dudebusters with his partner Trent Barretta. These days he simply goes by Mr. Pavone after hanging up his boots to become an art teacher in South Florida. He will be contributing a pinup to the book.
But Headlocked isn't just about wrestlers that are passionate about comics...its also about comic creators that are passionate about wrestling!
Box Brown - Ignatz Award–winning cartoonist that produced the insanely good graphic novel biography, Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. Box will be contributing a pinup to the book.
Jamal Igle - while perhaps best known for his run on Supergirl, Jamal has credits from every major publisher in the business. In addition to his freelance work, Jamal is leading the charge to get kids back into comics with his creator-owned all-ages series, Molly Danger. Jamal will be contributing a pinup to the book.
Mark Poulton & Michael Dake - the team that produced the amazing art for Christopher Daniels story in Volume 1 returns to provide art for AJ Styles short story!
Ben Templesmith - mutliple Eisner award winning artist,best known for his work on 30 Days of Night has credits from almost every major publisher. Currently working on The Squidder and just announced for a Batman book for DC. Ben will be creating a pinup for the book.
Jill Thompson - multiple Eisner award winning artist best known for her work on Scary Godmother, Sandman, and Beasts of Burden. She's designed T-shirts for CM Punk and gear for Daniel Bryan. Jill will be providing the chapter breaks between the five chapters of this book.
Ramon Villalobos - one of the fastest rising stars in the industry, Ramon is a lifelong wrestling fan. Best known for his work on Marvel's Young Avengers, he also has been known to dra fantastic pinups featuring pop culture characters putting each other in wrestling holds! Ramon is contributing a pinup to the book.
Headlocked: The Last Territory Volume 2 (spoilers, yo!)
If you thought things were tough for Hartmann in Volume 1, you ain't seen nothing yet. If the last page of volume one is any indication, things are about to become a whole lot more painful for Mike Hartmann. What are Leo's intentions towards Hartmann? How will the rest of the locker room treat Hartmann after the fallout from the battle royal? Who is the mystery man on the other end of Nightingale's phone calls? What is his motivation for training Hartmann? Will Ambrose get any closer to the events that caused Hartmann to be blackballed? Now that at least one person knows Hartmann's identity...will he be able to keep it from the rest of the locker room?
Trust me people...we got some cool stuff ahead.
What if you missed Volume 1?
Like I said, we've got you covered. We have several options here. First and foremost, we have a reward tier called RETURN MATCH where you can get a physical copy of Vol. 1 or pledge I RESPECT YOU, BOOKERMAN to get physical copies of Vol. 1 & Vol. 2. Also, all pledges to tiers that get a physical copy of Vol. 2 will get a digital copy of Volume 1...so you won't miss a thing! For those pledging at a lower tier, you'll get a sweet digital Preview book that will not only bring you up to speed but contain some background info and extras!
As with the last campaign, shirts can be added to any order that with a mailable reward by pledging 20 dollars above the reward tier.
Where does all that money go?
8% of our funding goes to pay for Kickstarter and Amazon Fees.
20% is budgeted for reward production, shipping, and printing costs. I grossly underestimated this cost last time around...hence the bump in percentage.
72% is budgeted to pay for the full time artists, colorists, and letterers that are working on this book. 150 pages of professional quality art is not cheap but it's worth every penny when you see it on the page!
We will of course have stretch goals...last year, we were able to fund this sweet motion comic voiced by Impact Wrestling's Mr. Anderson and JCW's OG Kevin Gill. Check it out!
Of course, I'd love to do more motion comic stuff and of course the hardcover option is out there. Of course talking about stretch goals at this juncture is putting the cart waaay before the horse!
Thanks for checking out our Kickstarter! Help us bring this story to life! We love what we're doing....but we can't do it without your support! So if you like wrestling and comics....
Take the plunge with us! Just don't forget to tuck your chin!
For more info check us out at the following links:
Risks and challenges
There are always logistical risks when you're dealing with more than 15 different creators. As you saw with our last campaign, various members of the creative team faced personal, technical, and professional hurdles...and while we were a little behind the schedule that we had hoped to adhere to...I think (and really, if you're reading this, you most likely agree with me) that we put out an excellent product.
Because of lessons learned and being a bit ahead of where we started the last campaign, I anticipate a smoother process this time around.
Rest assured, if we're funded...you will get your book!Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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