Ringside #1 (Image)


Rating: 4.5/5 – Turns Out I Like a Story About Pro Wrestling!
by ComicSpectrum EiC Bob Bretall.

No disrespect for people with a long-lived fandom for pro wrestling, but it’s never been anything that particularly interested me.  When I saw this comic solicited I was initially “No, I’ll pass, I’m not interested in a wrestling theme”, but then I noticed it was written by Joe Keatinge who writes ‘Shutter’, one of my Top 12 favorite comics, so it was worth a try and I’m glad I gave it a chance.

Ringside is a behind the scenes look at the world of professional wrestling.  We are introduced to an ensemble of current and former wrestlers in this debut issue and I was riveted by the story Keatinge told.  Nick Barber’s art is simple, with an economy of line and not over rendered, it kept the story moving along.  The concentration is on the real stories that exist behind the flash that  is shown on TV, which is far more interesting to me.  There were elements of the story that made it feel like a crime story, but that’s not to imply in any way that there’s anything criminal about being a wrestler, just that the characters seem to have intersected with some unsavory elements of our society and are now dealing with the repercussions of that.

While I’m not that interested in the flashy public face of wrestling, it turns out I’m fascinated by the human drama that Keatinge unfolds behind the scenes of that world in this comic.  This was an immediate add to my pull list.  I can appreciate Keatinge’s love for the sport, I think the passion he feels for it comes across in the way he made the characters jump off the page at me.  This story grabbed my mind in a full Nelson hold and won’t let go, I’ll be back for more next month!

Reviewed by: Bob Bretall
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