WWE #13 is celebrating 25 years of Monday Night Raw, and one of their own Superstars is making his writing debut in the issue.
That would be Raw Superstar Samoa Joe, who took some time to talk to ComicBook.com about his first foray into comics and working with Headlocked's Michael Kingston.
"Yeah, I mean, I think when it comes to comics I've been a lifelong comic book fan," Joe said. "And it actually presented itself to me before this with the same co-creator of this book Mike Kingston, who asked me to submit a short story for his Headlocked book. And I did and he loved it and it went well and then when Mike was brought on to work on the WWE book, I know, Mike knew I wanted to do some collaboration work, and Mike right away offered up my name. And I got a call the next day and I was more than happy to jump on and work with Mike again."
The story Michael Kingston and Samoa Joe worked on presents Joe's ascension to the main roster, and he admits there are some weird quirks that come along with writing a story about yourself.
"Oh, completely and totally it gets disgusting," Joe said. "It's really bad. It feels that way and honestly I think that's why Mike came in, cause for me, I remember saying, "Oh it's different when you're writing for yourself." And he's like, "Yeah, I know." He said, "Well, I tell you what, let's sit down. Let's talk about the journey a little bit and we'll come up with what we like, and then, just sitting down and working with him and hashed out the story. And he kind of helped remove a little bit of that weirdness. Cause, yeah. Anytime you're sitting there writing a book about yourself it's a pretty self-fulfilling prophecy, I guess."
As fans will see in the story, Joe took some convincing to come to Monday Night Raw, and most of what appears in the story actually did happen.
"So, for the most part, the story of my journey to Raw really it's ... The way I tell people this is most of the instances that you see throughout the book lead with a touch of dramatic license, but for the most part, a lot of the things that were said were said. A lot of the meetings that were had, were had. It may have stretched out over a decade period, but I know sometimes I even pushed out 15 year period. But we took various aspects from that journey and we put that down into the story," Joe said.
"So, the dinner meeting with Triple H and the phone call, we have a dinner, we had a phone call," Joe said. "In fact, the restaurant might have been actually a little bit nicer than the one that was in the book."
Joe also made sure to give props to just how much it takes to make a comic these days, despite all the technology and advancements in the process.
"I look at the writer and the artist that have a monthly deadline every month and meet it diligently and I take my hats off to them, cause no matter how much technology you put into the industry and into creating these books, it still takes a lot of blood, sweat, and tears and a lot of ink on paper," Joe said. "And my hats off to all the writers and the artists, because to produce high-end content month after month after month is a chore in and of itself. Being a part of the creation of this book and seeing all the work that Mike Kingston and Mike Mulipola put into the writing and the art and how dedicated they are to making this book a great read, it really makes you appreciate all the effort that goes into producing one of the best mediums of entertainment today."
The art team of Michael Mulipola and Doug Garbark pretty much nailed Somoa Joe's likeness in the book, and Joe admits it is surreal and amazing to see yourself on the comic page.
"Yeah. It's funny," Joe said. "You always think that the shock will wear off, but it was like the first time I saw myself in a video game, I was over the moon. And the first action figure I ever had I was like, "Wow, that's incredible." And then, Mike Mulipola sent me art well before I had worked with him. He was working with Mike Kingston at the time and he was just doing some art panels and stuff and sent me a drawing of myself. Which is very like what you'll see in the book. And I hadn't seen any art for the book, obviously while writing it, but when Kingston told me who was at the helm in that aspect, I knew it would be fine. Mike Mulipola is a fantastic artist. I think he has a really great way ... Especially with wrestling and drawing physicality and really nailing the likeness of a lot of the guys."
"I think for an artist when you're drawing somebody who actually exists, it's a much steeper critical curve as there is an actual representation of that person out there," Joe said. "You can't just interpret it any way you want. You have to nail it and I think he nailed it perfectly."
WWE #13 features four separate stories, including Undrafted (Samoa Joe, Michael Kingston, Michel Mulipola), The Yes! Movement (Julian May and Rodrigo Lorenzo), Unbroken (Lan Pitts and Kendall Goode), and Fest Prep (Kevin Panetta and Daniel Bayliss). The issue is colored by Doug Garbark and lettered by Jim Campbell.
Fans can experience the issue for themselves when WWE #13 hits comic shops on January 17.0comments