San Diego, CA (July 31, 2012) – 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.