The wait for MMA and comic book fans is almost over. The first full-length, full-color MMA comic book ever, Joe Palooka, debuts online and in comic book stores across the U.S.A. on December 19th, 2012. Creator Joe Antonacci joined MMA Fight Corner on Tuesday night to hype his vision of bringing the sport into another platform for fans to enjoy.
The comic was published by IDW, one of the largest publishers of comics in America. Their top-selling comic book titles include: G.I. Joe, Transformers, True Blood, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Godzilla, and the award-winning 30 Days of Night.
It took a process of over three years and sponsoring MMA fighters like Johny Hendricks, Dan Miller, Brendan Schaub, Amanda Nunes and Jimy Hettes who wore Palooka.com on their trunks, to get the word out there and bring the comic to fruition.
“IDW is the fourth largest comic book publisher in the world. They got it, they said yes and that was perfect,” Antonacci said. “Marvel and DC they’re giant, but you don’t want to be the tiny fish in the big pond. With IDW they’re the perfect fit. They’re big enough to get it in everybody’s hands on every kind of device, but they’re small enough to really care. They’re passionate man, they love Palooka. So, we’re really psyched.”
Starting Wednesday morning, fans can get their first copy of the first ever MMA comic, Joe Palooka. As a bonus, Antonacci explained that every issue will come in two covers, a standard release cover and an alternate cover. Stores that sell comics will get one edition with an alternate cover for every 10 comics that they purchase.
They will release a new issue of Joe Palooka once a month. The first issue will be a collector’s edition. Antonacci said the idea is that every six issues are a graphic novel within themselves.
The comic series tells the story of Joe Palooka, an MMA fighter who travels the world desperately trying to clear his name while fighting to earn a spot in the legendary “Legion of Combat” fight series that features team matches between fighters representing countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Russia, Japan, China, and other nations.
“I have an award winning writer, an award winning artist,” Antonacci said. “This is all my blood, sweat and tears, my vision. But I put together the best team that I could afford, best writers, best artists, best colorists, best letterers and the finished product it jumps off the page.”
Phil Ross, who formerly worked with fighter Mike Massenzio and with the UCC in New Jersey, was on board as the MMA technical consultant to make sure all aspects of MMA were depicted properly. ”Phil is technical to the nth degree. Every omoplata, or rear naked choke, it is exact…They just did whatever he told him and the thing came out perfect because the people who are in the know, read it, and they’re like perfect, perfect,” Antonacci explained. “Yet the story, where Joe goes and what happens to him, it’s so heart-wrenching and thrilling. It’s like a little bit of a fugitive, a little bit of an action adventure story.”
Check out comixology.com Wednesday to get your copy! If you view now, you can get a free 13-page preview.