What attracted you to this project initially?
"In the back of my mind, I've actually wondered for a long time what I might do with the WWE licence in comics. When I was approached by Titan Publishing, my interest was instantly piqued, especially when my editor Ned, or as I like to call him, my Neditor, gave me an idea of the direction they wanted to take the property. As a lifelong wrestling fan, the lure of [fictionally] stepping into the squared circle was too hard to resist. I'm secretly planning on writing myself into the book. I'll be under a mask."
"Let's face it, there have been a lot of crappy comic books about wrestling. I didn't want this to be another one. So the biggest challenge was finding an approach that would appeal to both the wrestling fan AND the comic book fan, a balance of body slams, actual story and characterisation."
Which of the characters did you most enjoy writing?
"I like writing the Big Show quite a bit. My version is probably a little more... sensitive than the one in real life but I have a lot of fun with him. It's fun trying to imagine Vince's voice in my head when I write Mr McMahon's dialogue. How many sentences can I start with the words, 'I would suggest he...'? Triple H is a good time, same as Undertaker and I enjoy trying to add a little flavour with the undercard guys. I'm going to try to do more with Goldust in a later arc, I'm pretty sure he'll be a blast to write."
"First of all, I don't think there's much difference between writing for DC and writing a licenced property. Ultimately, DC has to approve of what you do with their characters, same as WWE or Sony for Ghostbusters and on and on. And wrestling and superheroes have a lot in common. My approach is basically the same for both. The story content is obviously different but I try to give everything I write the same respect for story and character. Titan Publishing has been very easy to work with and, while they suggest plenty of ideas, give me a lot of latitude to do what they hired me for."
You began your career as an artist? What influenced your move into writing?
"I've had a long career as a comic book artist/inker, something that continues to this day. I always wrote as a hobby but started to pursue it seriously thanks to Pete Tomasi, mainly. He was my main editor at DC for a number of years. His friendship and influence inspired me to start writing screenplays and pitching ideas for comics. That led to an issue of Legion for DC, my creator-owned title Armour X for Image, onto a fill-in stint on JSA and on and on. Writing was something I always wanted to do but thanks to Pete, I got off my ass and got the ball rolling."
WWE Heroes #1 arrives in stores on March 23.