Mike Hartmann is a skinny theater major who dreams of a future in the arts. That is, until he discovers professional wrestling!
While attending his first wrestling event- albeit against his will- Hartmann is awed by the spectacle and pageantry that is the WFW. But it’s the performance art behind all the bluster that has the most profound effect on him. Now against the wishes of his family and friends, Hartmann walks away from the life that he’s built to chase a new dream: learn the craft of wrestling and make it to the top of the WFW.
But before he can make it to the bright lights and the big stage of the WFW, he must first navigate the underbelly of a business that hasn’t evolved much from its carnival roots! Does Hartmann have what it takes to survive in the wrestling business and make his dream a reality?
Headlocked was created by writer Mike Kingston, in conjunction with Visionary Comics Studio, as a response to a long history of wrestling comic books that were insulting to wrestling fans. After years of being fed books featuring wrestlers fighting demons, wandering post-Apocalyptic futures, or masquerading as secret agents, Kingston decided on a novel concept….a wrestling story that actual highlighted wrestling.
In late 2007, Headlocked: Work of Art hit the stands to critical acclaim, garnering positive reviews from both wrestling and comic book fans alike. The respectful and realistic portrayal of the wrestling business has earned near unanimous praise from those in wrestling as everyone from current superstars, retired legends, and up and coming talents began to take notice.
Shortly after Headlocked debuted, WWE Hall of Famer and noted artist, Jerry “The King” Lawler signed on to contribute cover art to the series. His fully painted cover for Headlocked: The Tryout #1 stands as his first published comic book art. Soon after, “The King” signed on to be the permanent regular cover artist for the book.