Regular Show's Mordecai and Rigby have already made their wrestling fandom known in their long-running Cartoon Network animated series, but now they're taking it to the wrestling ring in the upcoming BOOM! Studios OGN Regular Show: Wrassleplosion.
Scheduled to debut June 28, Regular Show: Wrassleplosion creates a tag-team out of long-time Regular Show artist Laura Howell and indie writer Ryan Ferrier to take Mordecai and Rigby to Pound Town - a dimension that is dominated by a wrestling promotion headed up by the coniving Chestergood Cardsharp.
Newsarama spoke to Howell and Ferrier about this upcoming OGN, mixing pro wrestling with Regular Show antics, and what kind of tag team Rigby and Mordecai would be.
Spoiler, Ferrier said it's not the Mega Powers.
Newsarama: Wrestling and Regular Show.... not as crazy as it seems. Ryan, Laura, how'd you get all this together?
Ryan Ferrier: That’s the wonderful thing about Regular Show! There’s really no such thing as crazy.
Laura Howell: OK, so there was this magical quest I had to undertake, involving fighting some orcs and pulling a magical pen out of a stone... no, wait, that's a total lie. I was wrapping up my last few issues as lead artist on the monthly comic when the BOOM! team asked if I'd be interested in working on a new OGN. They know I'm a massive fan of the show, so I was eager for the chance to stay in the Regular Show zone for a while longer.
Ferrier: I love the show because it’s such a seamless blend of grounded character stuff and complete absurdity. When the opportunity came my way, I knew I wanted to tap into as much ridiculousness as possible, so I actually spent a lot of time during outlining and writing doing the opposite of what my brain was telling me. It all came together on my end by me being a hermit at my keyboard and trying to make myself laugh.
But really, Laura Howell, the artist, is the star of this book. None of the intensity, comedy, or huge action is possible without her incredible, brilliant work.
Howell: Mordecai and Rigby were established as big wrestling fans way back in season 2, so I think it's cool to build on something we already know about them from the show. But this story isn't just another dip into Really Real Wrestling; this is quite literally a whole new world.
Nrama: What can people look forward to in this OGN?
Howell: Spoiler alert: wrestling. But to be serious, a generous slice of old-school crazy Regular Show action.
Ferrier: First and foremost, people can look forward to getting a good sweat going while they read it, that’s for sure. There will be tears, and there will be trembles. I would advise against reading this OGN while operating any heavy machinery. Laura Howell’s incredible pages feature the most over-the-top, high-flying, bone-crushing, spandex-tearing wrestling comic ever made, and that’s a fact, Jack. It’s got tag team wrestling, backyard wrestling, horses, training montage songs, and even some nice hot tub moments. And you get my particular brand of humor. But all that weirdness and action is really anchored in a lot of heart. This is as inspirational a story as any. I’d say it’s the Rudy of comics. Wrasslesplosion is the new The Life of Pi.
Nrama: Regular Show is known to sometimes forego the evil adversary trope, but what are the crew up against here?
Howell: Well, it ain't wrestling without an opponent, and Mordecai and Rigby definitely have their work cut out for them in the ring. Without giving too much away, the stakes get pretty high.
Ferrier: While their biggest foe will always be themselves, that conflict is brought to Mordecai and Rigby by Chestergood Cardsharp, a big time wrestling promoter from the dimension called Pound Town - literally a world that exists solely as a wrestling promotion. Within that framework, you’ve got all these totally bonkers characters, beasts, creatures, and performers who are all trying to climb the ladder, figuratively and at times literally. Mordecai and Rigby going to Pound Town isn’t a fluke, and there’s some pretty nefarious stakes on the table. But they definitely have to learn how to get out of their own heads, confront their own hurdles, and become better pals in order to overcome Chestergood’s machinations. Laura Howell’s character and world designs are going to melt your face, certainly.
Nrama: Wrestling's on the marquee - how much pugilistic nerdiness do you get into here?
Howell: Full disclosure, I'm a real featherweight when it comes to wrestling knowledge. Fortunately, Ryan clearly knows his stuff, so with his guidance I got plenty of real moves in there. And I guarantee all the pain depicted is 100% not fake.
Ferrier: It’s high-octane, I’m not going to lie. This ain’t your mama’s wrasslin’. This isn’t practicing scoop slams with a pillow on a Sunday afternoon. The wonderful thing about comics as a medium is that you can do anything. Anything! And the fact that we’re in the Regular Show universe adds a whole other level of possibilities. But we also understand our audience. So, while it’s not a totally brutal gore-fest, the stakes and intensity are sky high, and we wanted to focus on what makes good professional wrestling matches so captivating, and that’s the storytelling. There are, however, a ton of moments and little things that will make any wrestling nerd squeal.
Nrama: Tale of the tape time: how would you describe Mordeci and Rigby as a tag team?
Ferrier: Initially terrible. Mordecai and Rigby are actually forced into becoming tag team partners, which you’ll see in the book. Imagine the Mega Powers, but instead of Macho Man and Hulk Hogan, it was two wind-up chattering teeth in a burlap sack. At some point, though, they have to team up, and we start to see their differences shine. There’s a lot of navigating those differences and balancing instinct and ingenuity. We really explore how professional wrestling changes Mordecai and Rigby, for better and for worse.
Howell: They always play to their strengths—bickering, goofing off, and their unbreakable bro-bond.
Nrama: This is your second Regular Show project following last year's short in the main title's #34. Did this come directly out of that experience?
Ferrier: I think so! I was thrilled to write that short in #34 that Matthew Smigiel illustrated. Everything just clicked, from getting my head and voice into this specific sandbox, and with our wonderful editors and licensors. It was really positive, fun, and smooth - and I think it came out great. So when the opportunity to do a much-longer story came up because of that, I was pretty pumped. I’ve been wanting to tackle an OGN for a while now, and I feel like this was a great way for me to experience that. And to have Laura Howell involved is just fantastic; she’s been such a huge part of the Regular Show comics, it’s really cool to me that I got the chance to have done this with her.
Nrama: Big picture, what are your goals for this OGN?
Howell: That everyone enjoys reading it as much as I enjoyed drawing it!
Ferrier: I’d like for someone who maybe isn’t a fan of wrestling to give this book a shot and really enjoy it. That’s something we kept in mind because wrestling can be a niche interest. But it’s super fun even if you don’t know anything about that part of the story. Above that though, we want people to laugh their heads off and have a great time reading the book. We’re really proud to have been a part of the Regular Show universe, and we wanted to pay our respects to such wonderful characters by making the best book we possibly could. Another goal is to sell five million copies so I can get a hot tub Lamborghini.