I have talked with John Crowther before about wrestling comics and other projects but know he is doing a comic about one of the most inspirational stories. the story of Bruno Sammartino. Bruno was a man who escaped the Nazis and found amazing success in one of the worlds most unlikely professions. John has taken from direct from his own interviews with Bruno himself. John was nice enough to stop by First Comics News and let our fans know what to expect from the comic version of the Bruno Sammartino story.

First Comics News: How did you get together with Bruno Sammartino?

John Crowther: I was introduced to Bruno by our mutual friend and Bruno’s former peer, Nikolai Volkoff, at WrestleMania 33 in Orlando. At that time, I was working on a series for Nikolai.

1st: So this story is directly from Bruno himself?

John: Yes, the story is directly from the words of Mr. Sammartino from a series of interviews I conducted with him for about a year prior to his passing.

1st: His childhood story is so interesting, it could be a movie by itself. What did he tell you about hiding from the Nazis?

John: It was scary. Every day was a lesson in survival… from constant mortar bombings from the Germans and the Allies, to fearing for the life of his mother, who would sneak back to their home to pilfer food from there home, which had been seized by German troops.

1st: He was in Italy and the Italians and the Germans were on the same side in World War Two. Why did he have to hide from the Nazis?

John: In 1943, a faction in Italy overthrew and executed Mussolini, Italy withdrew its support of Hitler, and declared war on Germany. The Germans feared that the Allies would invade Italy and join Italian insurgents in the war against Germany.

1st: How did he get to America?

John: Prior to the war, his father came to the United States and settled in Pittsburgh, with plans of bringing his family over. This was obviously delayed by the War. After the War, the family had to apply to immigrate to the United States and pass a physical. It took Bruno two years…he was so malnourished, he couldn’t pass the physical.

1st: How did he go from being a frail sickly kid to the strongest man in the world?

John: Training, training, and a bit more training. He and his brother read an advertisement in a comic book about the Tony Atlas Workout Program. They pooled their savings from their part-time construction jobs and purchased the program for $5. Their Pittsburgh basement was their gym.

1st: How much of his life does the comic cover?

John: The series will highlight his life from his childhood in Italy, through his early life in the Pittsburgh area, and throughout his illustrious career, concluding with his retirement.

1st: In addition to your interviews with Bruno, what other research did you do?

John: I did quite a bit of pre-interview research on Bruno in old wrestling magazines, chatting with former opponents, and reading a ton of articles on his life. I was able to clarify and confirm many accounts with Bruno once we were able to talk.

1st: When does the kickstarter go live?

John: The Kickstarter goes live this Sunday, August 19, at 12:00 pm CST.

1st: How far along is the project already?

John: The complete script is written, but only the first issue of five is completed with art, colors, and lettering.

1st: How much are you hoping to raise?

John: We’ve set our funding goal at $4,000.00. These monies will go towards covering expenses involved in the creation and in shipping rewards. A great thing about this project and the other wrestling projects we do, is that a large portion of the proceeds go back to the wrestlers or, in Bruno’s case, to his family.

1st: What is the minimum bid to get a PDF? What is the minimum bid to get a print copy?

John: PDF versions start for as little as $2, and print copies start at $5.

1st: What are some of the incentives/rewards/add-ons you will be offering?

John: We are offering some great rewards, including trading cards and prints signed by Bruno before he passed, original art from the books, commissioned sketch covers (some signed by Larry Zbyszko), the option of having yourself drawn into the series, ad space in the comics, and more.

1st: When is the comic expected to ship?

John: Since the first issue is completed, all we really need to do is print and ship, so we’re shooting for September.

1st: Any parting words you would like to share with our readers?

John: I invite you to check out the campaign a become a part of something really special. Bruno was an amazing person, who led an amazing life. I truly believe his fans will love the series.

Visit the Kickstarter HERE

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I have talked with John Crowther before about wrestling comics and other projects but know he is doing a comic about one of the most inspirational stories. the story of Bruno Sammartino. Bruno was a man who escaped the Nazis and found amazing success in one of the worlds...