There has always been a crossover between comic fans and wrestling fans. Heroic battles between good versus evil taking place in both a comic panel and wrestling ring. Fans eat it up and want more. So there has always been a natural connection between the two industries and we’ve seen comics starring wrestlers frequently… But I don’t think we’ve seen any like this.
Wrestling duo Christopher Daniels and Frankie Kazarian teamed up with Art Baltazar and Franco to create this unique issue of Christopher Daniels And Kazarian Wrestle Aw Yeah Comics! I got to talk to the tag team about jumping into the four color world.
BLEEDING COOL: Have to start off with the obvious question… how did you get hooked up with Art and Franco at Aw Yeah Comics?
CD: Well, we met Art & Franco back at the San Diego Comic Con in 2011, and found out that they were big wrestling fans in addition to being talented creators. A few months later, we were doing a signing in Chicago and found out that they owned a comic store in nearby Skokie (Aw Yeah Comics). So we always kept in touch, and when they began the Kickstarter campaign to begin Aw Yeah Comics Publishing, we were more than happy to contribute.
BC: Were you guys comic fans growing up?
CD: Absolutely. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading comics, and when Claremont & Byrne were doing UNCANNY X-MEN and Wolfman & Perez were doing NEW TEEN TITANS, I went from casual reader to comic collector, and I’ve been that way ever since.
FK: Yeah, like all kids, I was into comics, mainly HULK, BATMAN, SUPERMAN, and later, Wolverine, and just never grew out of it.
BC: Now this is more than you guys just appearing in the comic, you actually worked on the story too. How did that come about?
CD: Well, after the first few issues of AW YEAH COMICS were released, I had a chance to read them and get acquainted with Action Cat and Adventure Bug and Awesome Bear… The story itself was literally just a whim that I decided to put down on paper. “What if Frankie and I went to their dimension and interacted with Action Cat and Adventure Bug?”… And the story just went from there.
FK: I like to draw caricatures, so I submitted a piece for Art to ink and color for the book! I know I’m no Art Baltazar, but I was happy to contribute!
FK: Surreal. And very cool to see our characters portrayed in that style as fans of the genre. Art and Franco did such a good job of putting us in that world, it made it fun to see the finished product.
CD: The first time Art sent a pin-up of us in his style, I was floored. We used that Art on our t-shirts now.
BC: Is this a onetime thing or do you have the comic creating bug?
CD: I’ve started on a sequel. The first part is finished and I sent it over to Art & Franco, who are waiting with bated breath for part 2!
FK: With the success of this one, the creative juices are flowing. After seeing our characters in their world, I’ve had a few ideas I’d like to flesh out and send over to Art & Franco.
BC: If you could work on any established comic character from any company… who would you want to write?
CD: I’ve been a Wolverine guy for the longest time, but I’d definitely want to get my thoughts together to make sure I did him justice.
FK: For me, the Hulk, because I deal with captured rage on a daily basis, and I think I could absolutely explore that concept. KAZ SMASH!!!!
BC: How do you think the comic fanbase and the wrestling fanbase differ? How do you think they are the same?
FK: To us, they’re the same. Both forms of entertainment deal with larger than life heroes and villains that burst for the pages and the screens.
CD: Yeah, and the crossover between the two fan bases are bigger than most people realize. Fans of both forms of entertainment are invested in the continuously changing storylines and exploits of the comic book superheroes and the professional wrestlers battling for fortune & glory.
BC: What do you have coming up? I know you’re signing this Saturday at Fat Jack’s in Philadelphia …
CD: Well, in terms of wrestling, we’re going to be joining the Ring of Honor roster at their first televised Pay-PerView, BEST IN THE WORLD, on June 22. In terms of the comic, we’re going to try and attend both the San Diego and New York Comic Con to support the book and AW YEAH COMICS in general, in addition to visiting comic shops with big wrestling fan bases as clientele, like Fat Jack’s! Plus, we hope that the follow-up to CHRISTOPHER DANIELS & KAZARIAN WRESTLE AW YEAH COMICS! Come out sooner rather than later. So we want to reach the top in both the wrestling world AND the comic world!
FK: I couldn’t have said it better myself!
They are signing Saturday June 7th from 1PM to 4PM at Fat Jack’s Center City Philadelphia Location – Comicrypt – 2006 Sansom Street Philadelphia, PA 19103