Wrestling and I go way back. From the beginnings of the “Attitude Era” of the WWF to the mid-2000s, I enjoyed watching the now legends of the industry battle and break each other for the entertainment of others. I loved the drama, the action, and, most of all, the storylines. And, from the look of it, Joe Keatinge and Nick Barber seem to share at least some of that sentiment with the second issue of their new series, Ringside, which takes a deeper look into the world of wrestling.
Written by Keatinge and with art by Barber (along with colorist Simon Gough and letterer Ariana Maher), the book focuses, at least for now, on former wrestling legend Daniel Knossos, a man who broke his body and then was put out to pasture.
The book is heavy on the drama and lighter on the wrestling itself, which is a good tactical move, since not everyone will understand the jargon of the industry, or even care. The plight of Daniel and the others in his life (both inside and outside the wrestling industry) is an interesting enough story to keep things going, especially since it looks like Knossos isn’t the only focal point of the story.
Barber’s work on the book is great with a loose, but fitting, style for the world that this lives in. It’s familiar in a way that isn’t intrusive, especially for those of us who are familiar with the wrestling world, both in the ring and backstage, in one aspect or another.
Gough and Maher do an excellent job of complementing Barber’s art, with muted colors gracing the pages and just the right amount of finesse on Maher’s lettering, an aspect of the industry that I think is far too overlooked.
While it’s not entirely clear where this book is going, even after two issues, it’s very clear that the creators love the world they’re working in, something that really helps the book shine. It’s been a fun trek thus far, and I’m excited to see where this story goes. Keatinge is a writer I’ve enjoyed for quite some time, and with a subject matter that hits every nostalgia button, this is a really fun book to read.
Also, there’s a character that looks exactly like Diamond Dallas Page which is pretty fun.
Even if you’re not a fan of the sport, this is a book well worth checking out.