The CHIKARA Comic-to-DVD Cover Gallery

May 31st, 2009 Posted by Gavok

For the past couple years, I’d take a second every once and a while to talk about CHIKARA, an indy wrestling organization based out of Philadelphia. Founded by wrestler and head trainer Mike Quackenbush, it’s a school that turned into its own federation. With seven years under its belt, it’s grown to have its own cult following and for good reason.

I regularly bring guests to their shows, tending to take those along who know little or nothing to do with wrestling. They always have a blast. Where else can you see a mute sea monster in a muscle suit team up with a amateur wrestling Rocky Balboa against two clown-like figures dressed up like ice cream people? And not only that, but the wrestling is actually GOOD! It’s routinely funny and the storytelling is top notch.

Back when I first got into it, I did a post about how a bunch of the DVD covers are homages to notable comic book covers. As time went on, the article became a bit popular, but I lost track after a while and kept putting off an update. Now, I think it’s time not to pick up from after I left off, but to redo it from beginning to end. Here we go!

Kids Eat Free On Tuesday & Pick Up Or Delivery
Based on: Flash #123
Features: Mike Quackenbush… and Mike Quackenbush

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Wrestlecomics Interview: Gavok Battles Shayne Hawke at Snarkfest ’08!

June 12th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

Yep. It’s already time for another interview, this time with an honest-to-Gog comic fan. First, I should point out that it’s been a while since I’ve done any articles that compare the CHIKARA DVD covers to their comic book counterparts, but I should be getting around to that next week. I hope.

In the meantime, check out this awesome cover of Café Culture, featuring Claudio Castagnoli.

Obviously, that’s based on the comic cover where… uh… Despero was… er… enjoying a cup of coffee. Yeah.


So! This time I get to interview Shayne Hawke, a charismatic youngster in the CHIKARA ranks with a lot going for him. He’s entered in this weekend’s Young Lions Cup 6 tournament, convinced he’s going to make it to the end and acquire the championship trophy. Meanwhile, he and his raspy mentor Mitch Ryder have won three tag matches in a row, thereby earning them a title shot against the tag champs Delirious and Hallowicked.

Shayne Hawke agreed to meet me up on the 4th Letter Helicarrier for an interview, mainly as an excuse to keep his pale hide out of the sun for a few minutes. I mean, that’s not what he told me, but I got that vibe just from looking at him. Anyway, the interview.

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All King of Trio’d Out

March 4th, 2008 Posted by Gavok

You may have noticed that for the past week or so, I haven’t said a damn word on this site. That’s because last Friday I went off to Philadelphia for the three day CHIKARA wrestling show known as King of Trios ’08. What a blast.

Me hanging out with Stupefied, El Generico and Player Uno. This should be the new Mount Rushmore.

King of Trios was the biggest tournament in wrestling history, featuring 28 sets of three-man tag teams. The first two days would feature 14 teams each, whittled down to four teams after ten matches and two byes. By the third night, they’re down to eight teams, with several non-tournament matches added on. Follow that? It doesn’t matter. All you need to know is that there were 31 matches over the course of three days and it was rocktastical.

That’s not to say that there weren’t any disappointments in the roster. CHIKARA top guys Chris Hero and Claudio Castagnoli are in Japan, so they missed out. Plus some of the more memorable guest stars from last year like Yago, Dino and American Balloon weren’t returning. Despite that, we had some of the reliable mainstays, surprisingly entertaining new guys and some bizarre surprises.

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Forget the Zombie Covers. It’s CHIKARA Time

May 8th, 2007 Posted by Gavok

Time for something a little different. A few weeks ago, I talked about the World Championship Wrestling comic, discussing a horrifying clash between comics and wrestling. Of course, I’m not done. I have to cover WWF Battlemania, after all. Plus I have a guest article on the way covering a comic that’s very concept causes my brain to explode.

Mixing comics and wrestling isn’t always a bad thing, though. I’d like to talk to you about CHIKARA, an independent wrestling federation that lives out of Pennsylvania. I had heard of it a while ago, but only recently have I given it a look. A couple weeks ago, I was invited to tag along to their show Rey De Voladores and I was basically blown away. It’s got everything I want in wrestling. The wrestling talent is there, giving us innovative and exciting match-ups. It’s got enough story to get by without making it more important than the actual matches. Even when the match is lopsided and the winner is blatant, they don’t make it a one-sided match that lasts two minutes. The match-ups aren’t entirely stuck on good vs. evil. Two heels can fight without having to worry about the crowd not knowing who to cheer for. Two tag partners can compete against each other without some forced storyline about them breaking up.

Most importantly is the fun factor. A lot of these guys are just weird. There’s a guy named the Hydra, who wears a monster mask, but is so skinny that he has to draw a six-pack onto himself with a sharpie in a desperate attempt to make himself seem menacing. There’s Chuck Taylor, once a smiling good guy, now driven mad by success and ego as he physically threatens children and the elderly on a regular basis. He also has a random love for dolphins and has the theme from Pete and Pete as his entrance music. There’s Player Uno, the 8-Bit Luchador, who usually wears tights that resemble overalls, as well as a lucha mask and a cap. During some matches, he’ll even kick a turtle shell into his opponents.

Others I’ll get to later.

The point of this article is the DVDs. Since CHIKARA doesn’t have a TV deal, they mostly get by with their DVD sales. This is actually what got my initial attention, as many of the DVD covers are based on classic comic book covers. The homage covers are done by Marco de Alfonso (possibly spelled wrong) and he does an amazing job.

Let’s have a look.

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