The new comic The Dirtsheets (Kickstarter) has wrestling, swearing, and a brilliantly cartonish art style. And really, what else could you want? We entered the ring with creator Rich Richardson to get the details.
AP2HYC: Looking at the images, I couldn’t help but think South Park. Was it an inspiration?
Richardson: Trey Parker and Matt Stone are big influences on my writing. Nobody writes a funnier TV show than them.
Artistically, no, I don’t consider South Park an inspiration. I understand the comparison though. The Dirtsheets characters were created with Sharpies on office paper. My artwork isn’t exactly Frank Miller material (though damn close), but I feel they fit the story and writing very well.
AP2HYC: So why wrestling?
Richardson: Pro wrestling uses such a unique method of storytelling. It’s the never ending battle between good versus evil. There are alliances, betrayals, heroics, surprises, backstabbing, theatrics etc. Fighting is just a small part of wrestling, and almost non-existent in The Dirtsheets. With this series, I focus on the drama and clashing personalities and structure the storylines as a sitcom for a one of a kind reader experience.
Plus, wrestling’s awesome.
AP2HYC: Can you talk about the characters of The Dirtsheets?
Richardson: Real life wrestlers portray characters that are exaggerations of real life personalities. The Dirtsheets embellishes those characters even further but they also don’t have to deal with pesky things like physics, the law and mortality.
Characters include the dim-witted uber-American Richie Gunn, the racially ambiguous Samoa Ngo, the drug dealer Sek-Sean 8, the born loser Jobbie Jobberson, the geriatric should-be retiree Oldust and more. The wrestlers of The Dirtsheets live and breathe their gimmicks and we watch how these personalities clash in this environment.
AP2HYC: Do you plan more for the series in the future?
Richardson: After the Kickstarter I’m going to complete the first six-issue story arc where the first five issues culminate to the sixth, a per-per-view style finale. Issue #1 is ready for the Kickstarter and the remaining issues are in production. I’m already writing the follow-up six issue arc building to another pay-per-view.
I’ve been having a blast creating these comics. As long as the fun continues and the fan support is there, I intend on continuing the series. With an infinite supply of characters and ways for them to kill each other, The Dirtsheets might not be going away anytime soon.
AP2HYC: Will it be mature readers only?
Richardson: Yes, there’s a bit too much violence and foul language for Little Timmy, especially after we introduce the universe and things really take off.
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