Christopher Daniels Gives Update On AEW Comic Books, Talks SWERVE Film Short

Dec 3, 2020 - by James Walsh

Christopher Daniels Interview

Conducted by Wrestling Inc. Managing Editor Nick Hausman

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On how he got involved with the short film “SWERVE”:

A couple of years back, a comic book writer by the name of Jon Judy contacted me. He knew that, in addition to being a wrestler, I’m also a big comic book fan. I’ve been a comic book fan since I was 10 years old. He was like, ‘Yeah, I’ve got this comic book that I’m writing. It’s coming out from Arcana called SWERVE.’ He let me know about it.

I picked up the first issue and immediately thought it was great. It’s about the Texas independent wrestling scene in the ’70s, but that’s the backdrop. It’s more of a crime drama. It’s about this young guy coming up who gets involved in drugs with wrestling as the backdrop. It’s a six-issue miniseries that came out. So I read all six issues. I thought it was great, and that’s the last I thought of it.

A couple months ago, Sean McArdle, who directed the short that you just watched, he let me know that he was looking to try to adapt the comic book into a film, and so he wanted to make a scene, the opening scene of the actual story and use that sort of to drum up some interest in hoping to make this a feature film. So when he let me know that this was happening, I called Frankie, I called Sky [and] I called Eric Watts. I told them that we could help him film the wrestling part of the opening scene, and the end result is what you watched man.

On what could be next for the SWERVE franchise:

This is the opening scene of the first issue of the comic book, and it sort of sets the stage. One of the characters that’s in there is one of the main villains in the entire series, but I thought this was a really cool — when I read this scene in the comic book, I thought it was a really cool set up for the entire story of the series, and the idea of making this sort of snippet that they show potential investors to try and make this into a feature film, I thought it was a great idea.

Sean did a really good job of capturing the feel of the comic book in the short, and hopefully, he finds people that are interested in this. I think the good thing about it is wrestling is a part of it, but it’s not the main part of it. I think there’s a great crime story there. There’s some great characters in here. There’s some real meat on the bone when it comes to story, and so I think this is something that if they can find some people that are interested in this sort of story, I think it’s going to find a big audience out there.

On his history writing and working on comic books:

I wrote a couple comic books with Art Baltazar and Franco [Aureliani], the AW YEAH COMICS guys, and there’s still an issue that has yet to come out, but Art and Franco are so busy with their own stuff. We’re hoping that it still comes out, but yeah, I’ve been involved with comic books. I’ve had the opportunity to write some stuff, but I’m not as prolific as some of these guys and certainly not as prolific as Jon, who wrote the original series, so I tip my hat to those guys that write full series and full-on series. That stuff’s difficult, and my hats off to them. I enjoy all their work.

On bringing his wrestling clout to the world of independent comics:

Yeah, absolutely. I think the fact that Sean took it upon himself to try and get this made into a feature film, I think it’s great for Jon and Dexter, the artists of the original series, to sort of get that notoriety. I hope that fans get a chance to see this in a movie theater in the near future. It would be great for Jon and Dexter to sort of have their work brought to life on the silver screen. Yeah man, it’s just cool. It’s cool to see wrestling fans that are also comic book creators sort of put their fandom on the page, and then take that fandom and put it on the screen. I think that would be awesome.

On if Tony Khan is a comic book fan:

We haven’t yet. I don’t know what Tony thinks of comics. I’m sure he’d appreciate SWERVE. He’s got a real love for professional wrestling, and like I said, that comic book’s got a real, gritty ’70s Texas feel to it. So I think he’d appreciate that story, but I don’t know if Tony’s a comic book guy or not. That would be cool if he was though. I’ll have to bring some stuff, bring some trade paperbacks his way.

On the possibility of AEW comic books:

Yeah, because TNT has ties with Warner Bros. who also has ties with DC Comics,” Daniels noted. “We did a little bit of a thing especially because we did our Revolution PPV earlier this year. It was a part of C2E2, which is the big comic book convention in Chicago. It was great. We had some DC artists, Ramon Villalobos and Howard Porter, did some great cover art of some AEW stars. There was some great shots of Cody, and Chris Jericho, and Nyla Rose and they did an SCU piece that I really dug. It was very cool.

Because we’ve got that tie, we’re looking into doing an AEW comic book I’m sure. I don’t think there’s been any movement on that just because of the stuff that we’re doing with the television show right now that takes precedence, but we’re always in the market to sort of find new ways to get new fans to get their eyes on the AEW product.

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