I’m a big wrestling fan. You can see it in my barks on Facebook. I spent my growin’ up years listening to Hogan and Macho Man deliver sweet promos to the camera, and it is in their memory that every Tuesday I pull on my tights and write something that beckons readers to give my comic a try (please!). I mention this because it is Wrestlemania today, and I’m fired up.
Those old wrestling promos are responsible, in part, for the way my writing style turned out. The other part is my incredible brain and sexual prowess, for the record. In those brief speeches the WWF Superstars would do a bunch of things in a small amount of space. For one, they had to be 1000% their character every time they spoke. If Hulk Hogan is talking, you better believe , BROTHER, that he’s gonna tell you to about how far around his biceps are and that you should drink milk, pray, and eat vitamins (later he would tell you to believe in yourself, but eat it Hulkster, don’t tell me what to think). When writing a comic book, you have to do similar things. This is the EXACT reason Wolverine always shoehorns in the fact that he is the best there is at what he does every chance he gets. We get it, dude. It is also the reason McGinty says Crivens, and Joe runs towards danger with a snarky quip, and Doc knows how to do shit with science. 1000% all the time.
Another thing those awesome promos taught me is that you have to leave them wanting more. They would issue a challenge at the end of their monologue most of the time, and it would get viewers minds going. ”He did NOT just call out Stone Cold! He’s CRAZY!” It is obvious we hold this one very dear. We get 1500 by 1065 pixels to make our case every week. At the end of that, we need you to be like “They did NOT just do that to McGinty! They CRAZY!” If we are doing the jobs we set out to do, then right now you’re worried about all the main characters while we jam some backstory in your eyes.
The backstory sections are akin to the old “underwear guy” matches of yesteryear. Underwear guy matches used to fill the midcard of wrestling events, and they would pit a well known Superstar against just some dude in his underpants. The guy was probably a amateur looking for a break, but in the meantime he just took this job to lose to a known guy (the insider term for this underwear guy is “jobber.”) The purpose of these matches was to show how awesome the well known Superstar was. He’d go out there and land a few jabs and then blast the poor jobber with his super move, 1, 2, 3. It wasn’t a match so much as it was a showcase for the known guy. That’s what we’re trying to do with backmatter. We don’t have to do a ton of setup to jump right into a place where we can start making characters look awesome. Right now we’re doing it with Abigail, but before we did it with Lord Godalming and Dracula. As you’ll see next week, we can also use them to flip the whole script of what you think you know about the character.
The last thing that I’ll say we took from wresting is that we live off the crowd reaction. When the wrestlers of yonderyear spoke their promos, they would get immediate reactions from the crowd. If your promo sucked, the worst thing that could happen is that nobody did anything, and everyone just stared at you like you were an asshole. Our comment section is like that, we let it all hang out on the blotter, and if you dig it you let us know in the comments.
That’s the Lunch for 4/6,
To the Future,