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SDCC 2018 Interview with Headlocked Comics

Michael Kingston of Headlocked Comics spoke with us about starting his own book and building his company from the ground up.  Headlocked Comics will also be bringing some great exclusives to SDCC this year as well as some amazing wrestling talent…

The story of Headlocked is interesting.. can you take us back to where you started and how you got to where you are now?

I’ve been a fan of wrestling and comics for as long as I remember. However I wasn’t really a fan of wrestling comics. At some point, it became clear that no one was going to write the wrestling comic I wanted to read. After getting turned down by every publisher in the business, I decided to just do it. I started out selling my book out of my backpack at wrestling shows and now we’re THE wrestling presence at all the biggest comic cons.
You really are a “dreams do come true” story… did you have a moment where you felt like giving up?  What got you over that? 
I had a miserable experience at my 3rd ever convention in Toronto. I didn’t sell much, I got sick, I had my cashbox stolen, and my box of comics burst open on a packed escalator. It was brutal. As for how I got over it? Probably the same mixture of stubbornness and stupidity that’s guided me for most of my life.
Have you had a moment where you realized you are living your dream?  What was it?
There have been more than a few moments: being backstage at Raws or PPVs, drinking with Ric Flair, watching Wrestlemania from a VIP suite…that barely touches the tip of the iceberg. But in all honesty, the coolest thing is when a creator you respect, respects something you’ve created. That’s the best.
And I’m personally excited for your Andy Kaufman exclusives, how did that come about?
I’m always trying to make sure that there’s a cool experience for wrestling fans. When I started doing comic cons, wrestlers were either stuffed in a corner or not allowed to appear. Headlocked has opened the door to wrestlers at a ton of shows where they weren’t allowed. I try very hard to create a space where wrestling fans feel welcomed at shows.
Also, you have some big name wrestling legends in attendance, who is at your booth? 
This year we have Jerry “The King” Lawler, Rey Mysterio Jr, Lita, Psicosis, and Joey Ryan. There will likely be another signing or two added at the last minute but that remains to be seen.
Is there anything else you’re doing at SDCC?
I’m part of a panel exploring the connections between wrestling and comics. We’ve done that for the last few years but we’ve always had a late Saturday timeslot…but even with that, we’ve managed to grow it. This year, we’re in an afternoon Thursday timeslot, so we’re hoping to really get a crowd in there!
Being a fan of comics and wrestling, is there anything else you are personally excited about for SDCC?
I love everything about SDCC. I love the spectacle, I love that so many creators are all under the same roof, I love the food, I love the city of San Diego itself…it’s the most expensive show I do all year but it’s always the most fun!
What do you feel makes SDCC so special? 
It was the first big convention…the Wrestlemania of comic cons. It’s proximity to Hollywood gets a lot of extra star power there. It just has this energy that no other convention can duplicate.
Have there been any plans to do comics outside of the wrestling genre?
I’ll write anything if someone wants to hire me. With that being said, I’m primarily focused on Headlocked as a brand and expanding it out into different genres.
What’s next for Headlocked Comics after SDCC?
I have shows from now until Columbus Day. We’re working on finishing the next book, I’m working on some side Headlocked stories as well as stories for the WWE Comic. I’m in talks to do a couple of other wrestling projects as well. The main goal is just to keep pushing out good content, developing relationships, and continuing to expand the brand. We hope everyone who digs on pro graps and four color funnybooks will come along for the ride!

Dave Hisaka

Hello, I am the Creative Content Director. I don't like talking about myself.