Welcome to the conclusion to my interview with Aubrey Sitterson. When Aubrey is not busy writing comics, he also hosts a weekly podcast called Straight Shoot and if you are a fan of wrestling, stop reading this article, go download the newest episode and then come back!
RM: Favorite wrestling comic of all time?
AS: It’s actually a really recent one: Ed Luce’s Wuvable Oaf Battle Zone! It ran weekly on Vice.com and it’s absolutely incredible. What sets it above pretty much every other wrestling comic that I’ve read is that it does exactly what I was talking about earlier. Instead of trying to just do wrestling in comics, Ed found a way to explore all the stuff that makes wrestling great, but in a way that plays to comics’ strengths, nimbly sidestepping all its weaknesses. Also? It’s funny as hell, drawing its humor from wrestling as opposed to laughing at it.
RM: Your worked for WWE Games for a time, were you ever in a position to pitch a comic? If you could tell one wrestling story featuring a WWE Superstar in a comic form, what would it be?
AS: I never got to pitch a WWE comic during my time at THQ and 2K (the two companies that made the WWE video games), but I actually got to write a webcomic during my time at WWE.com! It’s something I’d pitched ever since first arriving at the company, and I was really eager to do a Slaine-esque thing with Sheamus, a King Conan type of story with Triple H or a full-on jungle girl comic with Beth Phoenix. Given the superhero connection though, the powers that be requested a series of shorts about Gregory Helms fighting crime in his Hurricane persona.
Jacob Chabot was onboard for the art and we had a bunch of installments finished and ready to go. Unfortunately, the weekend before we were set to launch…Helms was released by the company, which scuttled the entire project.
If I got a chance to do a book on a WWE Superstar today, however, I’d probably cheat and pick a dude who’s no longer with the company. How could I not want to do a trippy, Starlin-esque cosmic comic about the Prince of Dark Matter himself, Stardust?
RM: Have you read any of CM Punk’s work over at Marvel? Do you think the ability to tell a story in a wrestling ring has any weight or bearing on the ability to write a story in other mediums, such as comics?
AS: I’m horribly, embarrassingly behind on my reading – one of the costs of doing as much and as varied work as I do – so I haven’t had a chance to read Drax yet. That said, I did check out the Punker’s short Thor story with Rob Guillory when it came out and I, quite frankly, loved it.
A lot of times, when writers come to comics for the first time – especially from prose, television and film – they have a difficult time adjusting to the very visual nature of the form. Unsurprisingly, that wasn’t an issue with Punk, as that guy’s spent his entire life telling visual, fight-based stories, stories nuanced enough to keep your attention, but broad enough to be understood by someone in the nosebleed section.
So yeah, I don’t think it should come as any surprise that a dude like Punk, who operated at the absolute top of his profession, comes to comics with a considerable amount of baked-in proficiency. I wouldn’t go so far as to say that everyone who can wrestle can write a good comic, but there are certain types of wrestlers, who do certain things extremely well, for whom it would be an easier transition than a novelist or screenwriter.
RM: Have you thought about following up your current work with a G.I. Joe x Street Fighter x WWE mini-series? (Kidding) But if you could write a triple threat match for the three franchises, who would you pick to represent each and why?
AS: Honestly? I’d love to do fight comics in the style of Street Fighter x G.I. Joe for the rest of my life, cycling in different franchises to keep things fresh. I think Emilio and I landed on a way to approach the material that really lends itself to comics while retaining everything that people like about fighting tournaments.
As for my dream triple threat…From Street Fighter I’m going to go with Zangief. I’m a big professional wrestling fan, so of course I love that big, hairy, piledriving brute and it broke my heart that I couldn’t manage to squeeze him into the Street Fighter x G.I. Joe tournament. From G.I. Joe, I’m picking Croc Master, for no other reason than the fact that having crocodile run-ins makes me inexplicably happy. And from WWE, I want a guy who I adored in New Japan Pro Wrestling and am so excited to see step out onto a larger platform…The King of Strong Style, Shinsuke Nakamura.
RM: Aubrey, Thank you so much. This has been a ton of fun!
Thanks for checking out Part Three and for my interview with Aubrey Sitterson. If you have not checked out parts one and two, check them out over at twoheadednerd.wpengine.com. If you want to see more of Aubrey’s work, check out GI Joe x Street Fighter issue #6 at your local comic shop and comixology on July 27th and look for his upcoming work at IDW on GI Joe! Also make sure to check out Aubrey on his podcasts SKALD and Straight Shoot, availabel wherever you listen to podcasts!