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Winnipeg comic publisher signs WWE legend Ken Shamrock as character

Shamrock has signed on to promote a Winnipeg-made dystopian comic about gladiatorial combat.

Comic book creators Melody and Greg Renton in Winnipeg Manitoba, October 18, 2016.

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Lyle Stafford / For Metro

Comic book creators Melody and Greg Renton in Winnipeg Manitoba, October 18, 2016.

Let Conor McGregor and Floyd Mayweather share their global stage.

Here in Winnipeg, combat comic-book publisher Mel Renton just signed a UFC hall-of-famer to star in her fictional fighting promotion.

Pro-fighter Ken Shamrock has thrilled fans of WWE wrestling and the UFC alike, and now he’s the titular character of Renton’s recently re-named “Ken Shamrock’s Rumblesport: Roads to Ragnarok” comic book series, and she couldn’t be happier to have found her star.

“This is a really big win for Winnipeg, I think,” Renton said, who described Shamrock’s role outside of the story as that of a spokesperson.

His first appearance in Winnipeg will come at the end of October, when he’ll help unveil the first official issue of Rumblesport during Central Canada Comic-Con. But in that story, Shamrock’s character belongs to a group of fighters who captivate what’s left of civilization with gladiatorial combat in a post-cataclysmic future.

Renton said he was “very excited” to sign on for the project.

“When we pitched him this whole idea, we drafted out to him what the cover of the book would look like with his name on it, the picture of his face on it… lucky for us he agreed, and thought it was a great thing to get involved with,” she said.

The Indigenous-owned independent comic book is the brainchild of Renton’s partner, Greg Renton, who has been working on the concept since 2013.

In fall 2016, the pair held a talent search to find a local artist to collaborate with on their first issues.

Now, with those issues coming together, due out this fall, and a real, top-billing fighter signed on to help promote the comic, the writer finally feels like his idea is taking off.

“We have huge momentum, people want to be involved more and more, I think because the project is getting bigger,” he said.

But no matter how big it gets, both Rentons emphasized it’s a Winnipeg-made product through-and-through.

Beyond supporting local artists and printing in Winnipeg, shirts and products associated with the title will be available first locally at Wild Planet, and the “Ground 0” issue to promote Issue Number One will launch at the World Famous Palomino Club.

Long-term, Mel Renton said she hopes to play a card from big comic players Marvel and DC and turn the Rumblesport story into a television show—which is currently in pre-production.

“This is growing with tremendous potential,” she said.

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