michael kingston headlocked comic

Michael Kingston: ‘Tales From The Road’ Is A Labor Of Love, It Exceeded My Wildest Expectations

Michael Kingston is excited to share his latest Tales From The Road with the world.

In an interview with WrestleZone, Kingston gave his “elevator pitch” for what Headlocked’s Tales From The Road is all about.

Tales from the Road are short comic book stories that I co-create with different professional wrestlers. There’s really no limit to what the stories could be. Some of them are based off of real-life experiences, some of them are just totally out there. We really hit any type of genre. They’re s a lot of fun. Some of them are powerful, some of them are comical, just depends on the talent, depends on how the stories come together. Every collaboration is different.”

What Is Headlocked?

The third volume is live on Kickstarter now, and it boasts a lineup that includes Lita and AEW’s Andrade, Jay White, Adam Cole and Powerhouse Hobbs. Kingston has been working on comics for nearly fifteen years, and he’s gotten to know a wide range of people from pro wrestling.

Jerry Lawler did some of the covers for his Headlocked book, and wrestlers would often praise it. Tales From The Road was spun out of their admiration for the original book.

“Then just by virtue of me setting up at wrestling shows, most of the guys that are on top now were on the indies at some point. I’ve crossed paths with people. I have a staple at Comic-Con, as far as wrestling goes. A lot of wrestlers want to do Comic-Con, so people find me, I find people. It works out. The people who really love comics come looking for me when they’re able to, and there’s a ton of people right now, I could probably do stories with that are under contract, that I just can’t. But it’s been a little bit of everything, and it’s been very cool. Wrestling has been really, really good for me for a guy that basically makes comic out of his bedroom. This whole process has exceeded my wildest expectations.”

Volume 3’s Tales

Kingston believes Tales’ third effort is the “most fun collection overall.” He teased some of the plots for each wrestler, boasting that there’s not a weak story in the bunch.

“The Adam Cole story is video game-centric in nature. As you would imagine, the Jay White story is essentially, ‘What if Willy Wonka was a wrestling school and not a chocolate factory?’ Dango’s is like a zombie-type story, but it’s so much more than that. Lita, I’ve done a ton of shows with Amy, and she always brings her dog, and I love dogs. We were trying to come up with a story and came up with the idea of making her a Lucha detective with her dog. It has a Scooby Doo vibe.

“Trinity’s is very Chicago-inspired. People that are fans of Chicago will see what we mean when that comes out. Andrade’s is sort of taking the superhero experience and applying it to somebody who grew up in a wrestling family, who has both babyfaces and heels in his family, and what that must be like as a kid to sort of learn that.”

Kingston says the most rewarding part of the process is getting to work with people he respects creatively and having them reciprocate those feelings. There have been challenges over the years, but Kingston is proud of what he’s accomplished with the project.

Work With The Greats

“I’ve been able to collaborate with the greats. We’ve done a story with Cody Rhodes, who’s one of the biggest stars in wrestling. We’ve done a story with Flair, we’ve done stories with Mick Foley, Kenny Omega. I think we’ve had seven or eight Hall of Famers, a good chunk of people that are on AEW, I think seven or eight people. So we have televised wrestlers. What we’re doing, nobody’s done. Nobody’s ever done.

“The fact to me that I’m doing it… everything that doesn’t involve art is me. So I’m doing it out of my bedroom while I work another full-time job. There’s just so much that goes into it. It is obviously a labor of love and a passion that I have, and I’ve been able to done amazing things. I’m always super proud of it. But I’m nobody’s priority. I’m not a million-dollar contract. So you work around what you have to work around, and I accept that.”

The Kickstarter for Headlocked: Tales From The Road Volume 3 is live now. The project is near its all-or-nothing funding goal and the campaign is open until Monday, October 2.