Long Beach, CA – Heroic Publishing today announced the release of a comic book with a postmodern kink. “At What Price Victory?”, the lead story in Champions #55, guest stars the alter ego of author Terrance Griep who spends his nights and weekends as professional wrestler Tommy “The SpiderBaby” Saturday. In the story, The SpiderBaby invades the Heroic Multiverse to challenge America’s Newest Costumed Heroine, the Sensational G-Girl.
To celebrate his own meta comic book debut, SpiderBaby, in full wrestling regalia, will be signing copies of Champions #55 on June 9, 2012 at the College of Comic Book Knowledge, 3145 Hennepin Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN, 12pm to 5pm.
“The reason I thought it would be fun to pit the G-Girl against a real-life wrestler has to do with the old Superman versus Antonino Rocca story that appeared way back in Superman #155,” explains publisher Dennis Mallonée. “The notion of a real-world character entering into a fictional world has a great deal of charm and fascination. Once thought of, the fact that we could do this with a writer who is the real-world character, and thus give him an opportunity to publicize his real-world character, made it a no-brainer.”
And Mallonée was just getting started. “Dennis actually suggested the plot when he proposed introducing The SpiderBaby to his comic book line,” remembers Griep. “The encounter between the Sensational G-Girl and my wrestling alter ego constitutes the final match of a charity tournament. I really, really loved the notion of appearing as a comic book character, but the concept didn’t become real for me until I saw Petrigno Gaetano’s fantastic cover art. Then the whole thing became awesomely real.”
Griep refers to the story’s artist, a European prodigy whose American inauguration is marked by Champions #55. “I love Petrigno Gaetano’s clean, crisp style,” Mallonée affirms. “I think the sweet sexiness of how he draws girls nicely complement the earthy approach of the G-Girl’s other main artist, Mark Beachum.” Adds Gaetano, “The whole story was a lot of fun to draw, but what I enjoyed the most was introducing the characters, especially SpiderBaby.”
With the maelstrom swirling around the writer’s rôle in the comic, the fact that the story also represents the Sensational G-Girl’s long-awaited Heroic Multiverse solo debut has nearly been lost. “The G-Girl herself, as is so often the case, grew out of a sketch,” Mallonée reports. “I drew a picture of a girl wearing a bathing suit costume that was nothing more than a great big ‘G’ and showed it to Mark Beachum. Mark ran with the notion, and we were satisfied enough with the design that we decided we should put her into the comics.” This double-premiere is sure to make Champions #55 an instant collector’s item.
“This is SpiderBaby’s debut as a fictional character, but it’s actually the second time he has been presented to a worldwide audience,” Griep distinguishes. “My grappling persona was featured in Out Magazine when I came out as gay before my first match. SpiderBaby’s gender identity becomes a factor in the story, but it’s presented as a good-natured, proudly-politically-incorrect gag.”
Even the series’ title carries significance, as far as Griep’s concerned. “Considering his lust for gold trophies, I’m sure The SpiderBaby will appreciate guest-starring in a title called Champions,” Griep laughs. “Best of all, this issue, which also includes a Tigress story, represents a perfect jumping on point for new readers!”
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And how does a wrestler cap off his appearance in a title called CHAMPIONS? By winning a championship, of course! SpiderBaby v. “The Egotistical” Robbie Thunder for the IWI United States Championship, 287 Maria Ave., St. Paul, MN, 06.09.12, 7:30p.
Finally, grease the arachniskids by checking out this terrific interview with Terrance at Jazma Online!