In the year 3010, pro wrestling has become the most popular bloodsport in the galaxy. In hopes of shortening his prison sentence, Dick the Bastard reluctantly agrees to train under wrestling legend and amateur lawyer Mad Doc Crockett on Prison Asteroid 32J. With the help of Mad Doc’s experience and training, Dick hopes to gain enough heat to make the jump from Prison Pro Wrestling to the big leagues, and his freedom.
My name is Jeff Martin, and I write and draw HEAT. I’m a University of Alberta graduate who draws comics. A lot of comics. You can contact me by email at jeff (at) rentathugcomics.com or on Twitter @HEATcomic.
HEAT came about because I’ve been a fan, to varying degrees, of pro wrestling since I was 7. One of my best friends was a huge wrestling fan, and his grandmother had a HUGE collection of tapes, which were invariably popped into his VCR whenever I was at his house. The earliest stuff I watched was late ’80s and early ’90s WWF, back when gimmicks were king: The Undertaker (old school Undertaker before the stupid “American Badass” thing), Doink the Clown, Yokozuna, Razor Ramon, etc. As I got older I started watching WCW after accidentally finding WCW Saturday Night while channel surfing. My wrestling fandom peaked during the Monday Night Wars and WWF’s Attitude Era (which started around the time I was in grade 5, and continued through grade 8 or 9). I stopped watching wrestling for quite a while when the WWF bought out WCW and ECW and that whole “Invasion” schlock happened. I got back into wrestling a little bit when I heard about NWA (at the time) TNA, which featured wrestlers who actually wrestled, instead of just repeating the same series of six moves on different people. Then TNA became WWE lite with a better in-ring product and an inexplicably six-sided ring. And then there’s Ring of Honor, which is fantastic except that it’s production values are junk (which normally I don’t mind, but when everyone’s promos are incomprehensible because of mic feedback, there’s a problem).
Congratulations on making it through that rambling and not entirely necessary nostalgia trip. On to the comic. After working on Rent-A-Thug for five years, I wanted to do something different. The basic premise for HEAT had been kicking around in my brain for quite a while, so I decided to sit down and see if it was something I could work with. Turns out it was. It didn’t hurt that, as far as I’ve been able to discern, there are only three other wrestling webcomics of note, and all them take wildly different approaches than what I had in mind for HEAT.
HEAT takes place in the far future, partly because I like drawing aliens and partly because if you set things far enough in the future, they can mimic the past surprisingly well. HEAT exists in something akin to the old territories of 1980s North America. Except that there are prison asteroids, aliens, and where wrestling is real. Grapplers fight to win, because much like modern sports, if you don’t win you don’t matter.