Tony Schiavone has been the voice for WCW, WWE, and now AEW, providing commentary for historic matches for years. Now, his story is being told in Butts in Seats, a ten chapter graphic novel retrospective from Source Point Press, currently on Kickstarter.
“My story, especially my years growing up as a wrestling fan, has never been fully told. I went from a passionate baseball and pro wrestling fan to working in both sports. I also had a time where wrestling was not part of my life, and that story is interesting and deals more about perseverance and determination than it does about wrestling and sports,” says Schiavone.
Schiavone curated the content for the graphic novel himself. The book is written by Dirk Manning and each chapter highlights a different era in Schiavone’s life so it’s illustrated by a different artist. These include DJ Coffman, Sally Scott, John Marroquin, Les Garner, Scott James, Jan Apple, Colm Griffin, Josh Ross, Austin McKinley, and Riccardo Rosanna. Sean Burres handled colors for several stories and Justin Birch took care of lettering. The book features a main cover by Marianna Pescosta and was edited by Drena Jo.
“Butts in Seats is a story about Tony, a true ‘everyman’ character, and his life among all these giant, larger-than-life personalities in the world of wrestling. As such, the comic medium is a perfect avenue to tell this story with these huge and colorful characters,” says Manning.
The title, Butts in Seats, comes from the now infamous moment in the Monday Night Wars when Schiavone revealed on WCW Monday Nitro that Mick Foley (aka Mankind) was going to win the WWE Championship over on Monday Night Raw. “That’s gonna put some butts in seats.” Unfortunately, a good amount of people switched over to see the match,
“People familiar with some of my previous work, such as Nightmare World, know that I love working with multiple artists to tell one large story, and this project lended itself perfectly to this format. Each of the ten chapters in this graphic novel is illustrated by a different artist with a different style that best visually compliments that part of Tony’s life,” says Manning.
Rewards for the Kickstarter campaign include digital and physical copies of the book, as well as a Kickstarter exclusive deluxe hardcover version, t-shirts, and lithographs. At the time of this writing, it has already plowed through its funding goal and has hit seven stretch goals.
“[Schiavone] has worked with just about every major professional wrestling promotion in the industry over the course of his career, and when you combine that with the fact that we’re telling this story in a prestigious original graphic novel format illustrated by an incredible array of diverse and extremely talented artists, you have something that any comic fan and/or wrestling fan should be looking forward to!,” says Manning.
The Butts in Seats Kickstarter campaign runs through April 16th, 2021.