In yet another sign of the massive mainstream popularity of MMA and the UFC, IDW, one of the largest publishers of comics in America, whose top-selling comic book titles include G.I. JOE, TRANSFORMERS, True Blood, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Godzilla, and the award-winning 30 Days of Night has signed a deal to publish the first full-length MMA comic book ever, JOE PALOOKA.
Issue #1 of this groundbreaking comic book series will be available online and in comic book stores nationwide in late 2012. Plans for international distribution including the creation of multi-language versions of the series are also underway.
“This represents a huge moment for me, and is a culmination of a real team effort,” stated JOE PALOOKA creator Joe Antonacci. “To sign on with a tremendous publisher like IDW and to have the opportunity to bring Joe Palooka to comic book and MMA fans worldwide is a tremendous opportunity. We’re also proud to have sponsored many UFC fighters and plan to expand our relationship with them by having UFC fighters appear in the comic book as well.”
“Team Palooka is bringing a ton of fire and energy to this book and we think it’ll really strike a chord with comic fans and MMA fans alike,” said IDW’s Chief Creative Officer and Editor-in-Chief Chris Ryall.
The Joe Palooka comic series tells the story of Joe Palooka, an MMA fighter who travels the world desperately trying to clear his name while fighting to earn a spot in the legendary “Legion of Combat,” fight series that features team matches between fighters representing countries such as the U.S., the U.K., Brazil, Russia, Japan, China, and other nations.
Antonacci added, “I’d also like to thank all of those who helped make today possible, including our advertisers, JACO and Authentic Sports Management, Azad Watches, Pete Morgan and Peerless Boilers, Dragon Door Kettle Bells, and KettlebellKing.com. Of course, Ted Adams, Chris Ryall, and Greg Goldstein from IDW, as well as Ed Catto and Heidi McDonald for their guidance, and my Team Palooka crew: writer Mike Bullock, artists Fernando Peniche and Matt Triano, letterer Josh Aitken and colorist Bob Pedroza.”
“And the comic book has realistic MMA action throughout thanks to our MMA technical consultant, Phil Ross,” concluded Antonacci.
About IDW Publishing
IDW is an award-winning publisher of comic books, graphic novels and trade paperbacks, based in San Diego, California. Renowned for its diverse catalog of licensed and independent titles, IDW publishes some of the most successful and popular titles in the industry, including: Hasbro’s The TRANSFORMERS and G.I. JOE, Paramount’s Star Trek; HBO’s True Blood; the BBC’s DOCTOR WHO; Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles; Toho’s Godzilla; Wizards of the Coasts Magic: The Gathering and Dungeons & Dragons; and the Eisner-Award winning Locke & Key series, created by best-selling author Joe Hill and artist Gabriel Rodriguez. IDW is also home to the Library of American Comics imprint, which publishes classic comic reprints, and Yoe! Books, a partnership with Yoe! Studio.
IDW’s critically- and fan-acclaimed series are continually moving into new mediums. Currently, Jerry Bruckheimer Films and Disney are creating a feature film based on World War Robot, while Michael Bay‘s Platinum Dunes and Sony are bringing Zombies vs. Robots to film.
About Team Palooka
“Joe Palooka” and “Legion of Combat” are MMA comic books that feature action adventure stories as well as compelling MMA fight action. Created by professional ring announcer Joe Antonacci, the books are being written and drawn by an all-star team of talent known as Team Palooka. The team includes Mike Bullock as the chief writer and Fernando Peniche (both of “The Phantom fame”), who are bringing the exciting stories of Palooka and the LOC to life.
For more information on “Joe Palooka” and “Legion of Combat,” please visit http://www.palooka.com/.
You can also “like” the Palooka Facebook fan page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Joe-Palooka/138709889539006?closeTheater=1
Follow Joe Palooka on Twitter @TeamPalooka