Former Pro Wrestling Guerrilla Co-Founder Talks His Comic Book series, founding PWG, the rise of both Kevin Owens & Sami Zayn
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One of the co-founders of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and creator/artist of the comic book “The 2nd Shift” Scott Lost joined “Multi-time Award Winning” the Rack Thursday Night. In a nearly 45 minute interview, he discussed the Kickstarter campaign for his comic “The 2nd Shift”, what is ‘The 2nd Shift’ about and where did he come up with the idea, what comics did he read growing up and were they an influence, what made him want to be part of the starting group of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla and who was some of the people he enjoyed facing, his thoughts on PWG alumnae Sami Zayn and Kevin Owens, his view on NXT and the product as a whole, was it an easy decision to retire from the ring, what some of his memorable stories are from his time in the ring and so much more.
His Kickstarter project for his graphic novel “The 2nd Shift”: “This is my third Kickstarter and it is to have issue five of my comic series “The 2Nd Shift” printed, as well as the trade paperback, which would collect issues one through five. So, I have a goal of $5,700, which takes care of all of the printing costs, so when we hit $5,700, we’re good as far as printing goes. So, I’m really hoping to get that done and I think we have about 21 days left. So far, we’ve raised $1,703 dollars, so we have $3,997 to go.”
What ‘The 2nd Shift’ is about: “It’s about a young superhero team, coming up and learning how to balance the normal 9-5’s life you or I would have. So, you know how Peter Parker is a photographer, and he gets to take pictures of Spider-Man and he makes money that way, or Clark Kent is a reporter so he can go around and save the world and then write a report on it. So, in a way they have jobs that are pretty amazing jobs, but not all of us have; my characters have really regular, mundane jobs that you and I would have, like one works at a restaurant and is a waitress, another is a college student and doesn’t even have a job. One guy works at a comic book store, which is really cool, but you don’t really make a lot of money working at a comic book store. The last guy, the leader, works at FishWorld which is kind of like SeaWorld but all four of them live in a three-bedroom apartment.
They don’t have a Batmobile or anything like that, but they have this ’85 Toyota beater van they drive around in and in the first story arc, they’re facing off against a villain that has the ability to feed off negative energy and anger. So, the more anger that’s around him, or irritation or anything like that, he get stronger and stronger and he’s a psycho/sociopath so he has no conscience and just kills anyone and everyone. The team is basically on the search for him and the fifth issue, which we are trying to fund, is the culmination of this story arc and they actually all showdown with him, so it is like a 22-page fight.”
How did he come up with the idea for “The 2nd Shift”: “They’re actually characters I’ve had since I was in the seventh grade, so they’ve been around, in my mind forever; all throughout junior high and high school, I was always drawing them and through the years they’ve evolved and they’ve gone through the different story lines I was planning on doing with them. I think, at one point, vampire hunters…no, they were zombie hunters, before zombies blew up, so I was just trying to find a different take and Buffy the Vampire Hunter was huge at the time so I thought ‘Well, I can’t do vampires; what else can I do? I can do zombies, I guess. I don’t know; zombies aren’t that cool.’ And looking back now, that might have been a good idea.
I kind of wanted to write about my life; something relatable. So, my characters, there’s four of them and they’re all different parts of my personality. The younger brother/the youngest guy on the team is kind of like my adolescence, my childhood, and my teenage years. He’s obsessed with pro wrestling, comic books; he’s just a goofy, geeky guy in a way. The leader is kind of like my leadership qualities and he is the leader but at the same time he questions his decisions. And then there’s the older sister on the team, and she plays the older sibling role and the fourth character, Anne, she’s the Brainiac and is deductive reasoning and things like that so she’s the intelligence side of me. So, they are all just different parts of my personality.”
What comics did he read growing up and did any serve as inspiration: “Absolutely. I loved the X-Men growing up. I was a huge X-Men kid and I still am to this day. I don’t have unlimited resources to buy comics, but the one series from Marvel I’ll always keep up with is X-Men; I always want to know what is going on over there. They always have new faces but also have the familiar faces and it’s cool to see the evolution of those characters. In my teenage years, I was a huge fan of the Wildcats and Gen-13. Those books really inspired ‘The 2nd Shift’ initially and they’re still in there and then I have modern influences in Invincible; invincible is a huge influence on my book. I would say that’s about it.”
What made him want to help form a wrestling company: Pro Wrestling Guerrilla: “Around that time, if I remember correctly, was a lot of the smaller indies, like little indy federations out in Southern California, were kind of dying out and a lot of the us guys were used to working at least twice a week and it started to become once a week and then once every other week. I had an idea a while back; I used to wrestle at this place called The Marketplace, it was where all these rinky-dink federations would pop up for a show or two would run out of. It was a hole; it wasn’t a glamorous place, it was outside, under a tent next to an indoor swap-meet type situation. So, I had an idea to run out of there but that idea never came about.
Months and months later, a few of the guys that were close were like ‘we should just start out own federation; how about we all just chip in and create a new company, so that way we’ll run on the weeks where no other feds are running so that way we don’t interfere with our normal bookings and we’ll still have another place to run.’ Then, it became the place to wrestle at, so it was really cool to watch, again, the evolution of Pro Wrestling Guerrilla from what is used to be; we started off at Frank & Sons Collectibles, which was this really cool, indoor geek swap-meet, where anything nerdy or sports related, like comic books or random things. So, the first show was out of there and then we started running out of other places and we outgrew those and we ended up out in Reseda, where the wrestle to this day.”
His thoughts on PWG alumni Kevin Owens (Kevin Steen): “You know, Kevin’s an amazing talent. I remember I thinking I love about Kevin: much like El Generico (Sami Zayn), he’s the same guy. I did a show with ROH and a lot of the guys there, even though I knew them from PWG, everything felt just business related, everything felt just kind of cold in the locker room but Kevin was always the same. He’s just Kevin. So, the guy that you see on the screen out there and on TV; that’s Kevin, just turned up a little bit. A lot of personalities that work in professional wrestling, they just say it’s your personality times ten, like you’re supposed to be just this outrageous person and Kevin just turned up a little bigger than that. Kevin is exactly like that; the way he looks, the way he talks, it’s all the say, just higher. He’s just the same dude and I love that about him, he’s just a real person and that kind of translates into his character. He’s a family man, so his character is like ‘I’m this bully but I’m a family man’. So yeah, that’s Kevin.”
You can follow Scott through his Twitter (@scottlost) or through his personal website (www.scottlostcomics.com) for the latest news about him and his upcoming projects. You can help support Scott and his Kickstarter for ‘The 2nd Shift’, go to https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1835538384/the-2nd-shift-2015 for your change to support the project and get such goods like digital copies of ‘The 2nd Shift’, trade paperback editions of the book and more!
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