Michael Kingston created Headlocked, which is a wrestling comic book series that has worked with dozens of high-profile pro wrestlers. One wrestler who Kingston almost got the chance to work with was The Rock and he discussed why it fell through when he joined The Wrestling Inc Daily podcast.
"I think it was right about the time he sorta became 'Disney Superman' and I think the material was a little darker in tone than they wanted. I think if I had got him five years ago, I would have been ok and maybe Headlocked would have been Ballers," said Kingston. "It was right when Jumanji took off and he was doing straight Disney action franchises and stuff like that. They liked the material a lot, but I think branding-wise it wasn't necessarily the best fit. And that's fine as you want people who are gonna do justice to the material.
"I'll be honest with you, I always wanted it to be a cartoon. I know that sounds weird, but when I did wrestling comics nobody did wrestling comics. Nobody really does adult animation so I feel like doing a dramatic animated series… and honestly I like to use wrestlers as voices. This has always been a series created by wrestlers. Jerry Lawler does the covers. Michel Mulipola, who is a Samoan wrestler from New Zealand, does the interiors and I've collaborated with 40 different wrestlers. This has always been a piece of art that, aside from myself and Joe Thompson, it's been produced by wrestlers. So, I'd love to be able to make it a cartoon and have wrestlers do the voices and push the envelope in that direction."
Kingston then talked about what the project with The Rock was going to be about.
"It was a general exploration of the brand and wanting to maybe take it to television and make it a cable drama or something like that. I'd be fine with that but it always makes me nervous that they say if you film one bump for television, then you've got to do it like 30 times. Part of me would feel guilty if some poor dude had to take 200 bumps an episode just to film 5 [laughs]," Kingston said before being asked if that's what he thinks when watching GLOW.
"So, I've never watched GLOW. Obviously, it's very similar to the story I'm telling and you try not to let any of that stuff seep into your influence. There's gonna be a day that I watch it and I've heard great things and I'm sure it's excellent. But I try not to consume dramatic wrestling stuff."
Kingston started a Kickstarter campaign to help with his next project and it has already exceeded its goal of $12,500. He was asked what he'll do with the excess money raised.
"I just make more stuff; it's more money that goes into it. A lot of times when I put up a goal it's just generally to fund the art cost and usually I end up footing the printing bill itself with money that I generate at conventions. But with no conventions, I had to put some of that in there as well," stated Kingston. "We've got three more collaborations upcoming with some other wrestlers that we're working on. That will probably initially go to start that process."
He then noted that Kickstarter sort of serves as a distribution method since they don't sell through comic book stores and it also works like a pre-order service which helps the Headlocked brand.
"That's the kind of stuff that helps us because the bigger the number, the better it looks when we go to animation studios or TV or film. That's the kind of stuff that makes the brand look stronger," said Kingston. "Just read it if you wanna read it. If you wanna read it, get yourself a copy. It helps us more for you to do it now than it does to do it later."
Michael Kingston's latest project "Headlocked: Tales From The Road" is currently running it's Kickstarter. You can donate and view it by clicking HERE. Michael's full interview aired as part of today's episode of our podcast, The Wrestling Inc. Daily. Subscribe to get the latest episodes as soon as it's released Monday - Friday afternoon by clicking here.