If you’re any kind of a wrestling fan… wait… let me rephrase that. If you’re not a mark, but rather a smark, then you know what “dirtsheets” are. If you don’t, well I’m not google and by now you should have highlighted the word, right clicked and searched for it. If you’re on a Mac and that joke doesn’t work for you, well I can only solve one problem at a time and you’ve got two. The Dirtsheets is about wrestling. The artwork has an obvious influence of South Park which should inform non-wrestling fans what to expect. It’s poking fun at wrestling. Pointing out industry habits while both simultaneously making fun and relying on the trope. For the most part, it’s pretty successful on its first outing.
The first issue introduces us to our key characters. This is an ensemble cast of characters because that’s what wrestling is. We have our baby face champ that’s all about the U.S. of A. We have his heel challenger that spits venom at the fans and other wrestlers. We have the vaguely offensive foreigner that is the direct challenge to the USA, the other undefeated challenger with a manager that speaks for them and of course the Lucha inspired wrestlers that are boiled down to stereotypes. Lastly, there’s the announcers and interviewers which are painfully accurate. If you watch wrestling… none of this is that far from actual reality.
I guess that was my only problem with it. It wasn’t that over the top. It had some funny moments and some inside jokes about wrestling, but I was really hoping it would hit harder with the humor. Really go after the wrestling world, but instead it seemed like a safe introduction to the world and focused on establishing a baseline for comic readers that may not follow wrestling. I don’t know if that was necessary, but it’s a smart enough play for the first issue.
The art is definitely something between South Park and Cyanide and Happiness. Personally, I don’t love it or hate it. It’s pretty decent and though it’s intentional not detailed, there’s still a level of skill that goes into making art like that. Since there wasn’t a lot of actual wrestling in the comic, but rather promos, I wonder if and when there is wrestling how it’ll look moving around. That’s my only concern with the art at the moment.
The Dirtsheets is an entertaining comic. For an indie, it’s very well made and the story is competent and actually manages to wrap its chapter up in one issue. It’s very much like an episode of RAW, in which a chunk of story is told in one city, on one episode. I would definitely recommend it to wrestling fans and I would gladly read the next issue. I just hope that it gets a little riskier with its humor and lives up to the South Park design that it’s inspired by.