Joey Ryan has been on WWE television and has worked for all the major television professional wrestling organization including, NWA, Ring of Honor. Wrestling Society X, TNA, and Lucha Underground. However, Joey Ryan became an international superstar in Japan. During a match with Danshoku Dino, Danshoku grabbed Ryan by his penis and Ryan’s penis grabbed him back and was able to overpower Danshoku with a penis suplex. The Match went viral and was seen all over the world. Ryan became the King of Dong Style and since then his penis has gone on to defeat wrestlers all over the world. Joey Ryan’s penis has made him BIG IN JAPAN. The team that produced last year’s Lucha Underground Comics is back with more wrestling action tag teaming with Ryan on the Kickstarter project “Joey Ryan: Big in Japan! Comic”
First Comics News: Lucha Underground comics 1-4 were free downloads, why is Joey Ryan a Kickstarter?
Tres Dean: Well, to put it simply, because we want to get it printed! Funding an actual run of physical copies is one of the main points of the Kickstarter. The other is that we’re doing this independent of El Rey Studios. So it’s up to Chido Comics to pay me and Jamie, pay Joey, and get donor rewards purchased.
1st: Tres, you weren’t part of the Lucha Underground comics last year, how did you get involved with this project?
Tres: Jamie and I have been working together on our cowboys-with-mech-suits comic DODGER for about two years now. Ivan from Chido and Jamie have been buds for years and worked together on the Lucha Underground comics. So when the opportunity to work on Joey Ryan’s book came up, Ivan hired Jamie as the artist. Jamie gave him a recent comic I’d written called KILL THE DRUG WAR that served as a sort of proof-of-concept that I’d be good for this kind of comic and Ivan reached out to me from there.
1st: What makes Joey Ryan the perfect character for Chido Comics launch?
Tres: Joey’s perfect because his character isn’t one defined entirely by in-ring performance. It’s a fully-realized vision. You run into so many characters in wrestling that are defined by, well, wrestling. Their character will be “does dropkicks well and is an a-hole” or “does dropkicks well and isn’t an a-hole”. And that’s fine! That works in wrestling, but that doesn’t work as well when you’re trying to tell an engaging story in comics. So the fact that Joey’s character doesn’t have as much to do with his in-ring style and more to do with his behavior, his promos, the way he holds himself, that gives us something to work with. You can stick him in any setting, any story, and he’ll adapt organically to it. That’s why he was the perfect choice for the Chido Comics launch: because we could tell any kind of story we wanted with him and it would work.
1st: How much of the story is based on the Joey Ryan we see on TV?
Tres: Both very much and very little, at the same time. It’s definitely the same guy and he’s definitely done all the things we’ve seen him do in his work in various promotions. But this story takes place slightly into the future, at a point in Joey’s career he hasn’t quite reached yet.
1st: Is this comic about Joey Ryan’s backstory or is there some in-ring action as well?
Tres: There’s actually very little backstory in the comic. But there’s plenty of ring action!
1st: What is Joey’s backstory for this comic?
Tres: He’s been out of the game for about five years. He had a tag match go bad. Somebody died. And somebody’s career was ended. So he left. And he’s been carrying that guilt with him for five whole years. One day, an opportunity for revenge and redemption presents itself, and he finds himself coming back to the world of wrestling.
Tres: It definitely plays a part! I don’t want to spoil too much, but obviously, you can’t tell a Joey Ryan story without dick flips. And dick flips are, weirdly enough, a major plot point in this book.
1st: What is it like trying to adapt a character that tells a 10 minutes story in a ring into a 24-page linear story?
Tres: It’s weirdly liberating, actually! We aren’t bound to a ring for this story. We can fill in the blanks, we can tell this story in ways that you can’t in pro wrestling. We can control the passage of time in this story in ways that you can’t in wrestling, too. A 10-minute match is a 10-minute story in real life. But we have the liberty, by telling this story through comics, to tell a story that takes place over the course of a few days.
1st: How much interaction do you have with Joey in crafting the story?
Tres: Jamie, Ivan, and I don’t make a single creative decision without running it by Joey first. Luckily, just about every decision we’ve made has been met with enthusiastic approval. Our biggest priority with this book is making sure it honors the character Joey has spent so long crafting, and making something that betrayed that would be a failure on our part. So everything goes through him.
1st: Is this comic a Kickstarter only project, or will fans be able to buy copies from Joey’s merch table at indie wrestling shows?
Tres: That’s a good question! I know that it will NOT be solicited through Diamond Distributors as of right now, but I’m sure copies will be available online for purchase. We’ll also be sending Joey plenty of copies and I think it’s a great idea for him to take them out on the road with him.
1st: What makes this comic so cool no self-respecting comic fan should miss it?
Tres: Permission to cut a promo?
Tres: YOU’RE TALKIN’ TO ONE-HALF OF THE BEST DAMN TAG TEAM IN MODERN COMICS RIGHT HERE. AND DON’T YOU BELIEVE FOR ONE SECOND THAT JAMIE JONES AND TRES DEAN AREN’T COMIN’ FOR THOSE CHAMPIONSHIP BELTS. EVERY TIME, YESSIR, E-VER-Y-TIME WE PUT OUR PENS TO PAGE WE’RE MAKIN’ MOVES NOBODY ELSE IN THE GAME IS MAKIN’. WHY SHOULD NO SELF-RESPECTIN’ COMIC FAN MISS JOEY RYAN: BIG IN JAPAN? I GOT A BETTER QUESTION FOR YA, RIK, WHY WOULD THEY? YOU’VE GOT JOEY RYAN, THEEEE HOTTEST ACT IN INDEPENDENT WRESTLING BRINGING SLEAZE TO COMICS IN WAYS THAT WOULD MAKE RON JEREMY JEALOUS. YOU’VE GOT JAMIE JONES, THE TOP PROSPECT IN THE WORLD OF COMIC ARTS, SLINGIN’ PENCILS AND INK LIKE HE’S MARIANO RIVERA IN GAME SEVEN OF THE WORLD SERIES. AND YOU’VE GOT ME, THE BONAFIDE CERTIFIED NEXT BIG THING DROPPING A STORY ON YOUR ASSES UNLIKE ANY YOU’VE EVER READ, ONE DRENCHED IN NEON, BABY OIL, AND FLORAL TRUNKS. POINT IS, RIK, ANY SELF-RESPECTIN’ COMIC FAN THAT SKIPS OUT ON JOEY RYAN: BIG IN JAPAN AIN’T NO SELF-RESPECTIN’ COMIC FAN AT ALL.
(Seriously, we’re so stoked to make this comic and wouldn’t be doing so if we didn’t believe in it. If you want a wrestling comic that’s all heart and made completely independently by an up-and-coming creative team and a brand new publisher, JOEY RYAN: BIG IN JAPAN is the book for you.)