Since time immemorial, the wrestling ring has been a space of violence. Big, beefy gladiators step into this sacred spot to engage in physical combat for a chance to assert their dominance over those who brave the profession. As a metaphor, it’s been used as a testing ground for will and resolve, a place where warriors go for a chance at glory or redemption.
For Max Fuchs, the squared circle is all those things, sure, but more specifically, it’s a place that can also champion romance and raw horniness—a meeting ground where violence can take the form of courtship and where a piledriver is as much a wrestling move as it is a sexual position. This is what’s at the heart of The Motherfucking Fucker, Fuchs’ aptly titled wrestling comic about a hot and sweaty intergender fight that leads to passionate foreplay, bloodletting, and the summoning of elder wrestling gods to properly initiate a mating ritual.
The titular wrestler, The Fucker, is the story’s protagonist, a purple-skinned behemoth that reminds a bit of Sam Keith’s The Maxx with traces of Simon Bisley’s stylings in its physicality. He fights to retain the privilege of being with his gloriously aggressive lover Tigoria Killblood, a female wrestler that also exerts alpha predator levels of power. Wrestling makes The Fucker horny, which he expresses by pummeling those who dare get between him and Tigoria.
The story takes some very surprising twists and turns with the concept. First, it operates entirely in kayfabe. There’s no behind the scenes antics because everything that happens in the ring happens for real. It gives the narrative a fantastical element that makes its character shine in that 1980’s wrestling way where every wrestler was larger than life, like walking muscle gods looking for an excuse to kick ass.
Second, what starts as a very horny wrestling dance between The Fucker and Tigoria turns into a legitimate courtship that infuses magic with the sport, complete with elder wrestling gods that oversee the happenings of their domain.
Fuchs is invested in building a world and a myth with his comic and it shows. Things start blooming from there and then go to some very surprising places. There’s actual romance, but it’s all told in a way that fully embraces the power of wrestling.
I had the opportunity to interview Fuchs at New York Comic Con, at his Artist Alley booth. A quick note and shoutout first. Artist Alley is a labyrinthian space that can hold oceans of people. It’s very easy to miss out on some great comics and creators because of the volume of fans and cosplayers walking all over. I got the amazing chance to acquire The Motherfucking Fucker and ask Fuchs for an interview thanks to Hell is a Squared Circle writer Chris Condon pointing me towards his booth, which was just across his own. Thanks for Condon for playing the part of wrestling manager in this occasion, a true Jimmy Hart of wrestling comics in my book.
RICARDO SERRANO: To say your comic is unique is an understatement. It’s a wrestling comic with romance, sex, and a fairly complex kind of courtship all taking place inside a wrestling ring. Tell us about the genesis of your story. Where does The Fucker come from?
MAX FUCHS: Well, if you want to really go back to the absolute beginning of the idea, it really all started with a one-off sketch in a sketchbook I had. I wrote this ridiculous name down, drew a character that went along with it, and then posted the image on social media. The response was amazing. Everyone loved him. It’s always the last thing you expect, you know?
Because of this groundswell of interest, I had to build something around it. You can’t let that lightning strike go to waste. I felt it was a labor of necessity. The way I went about writing the arc for the first story was kind of piece by piece. I did the first five pages as a part of a larger anthology that I was working on. I wanted to do something with these characters, and I knew I wanted to have a romance play out in the ring.
I’ve always thought romance angles in wrestling have been mishandled. Very few ever come off as not awkward. Sure, there’s Macho Man and Elizabeth, but with so many of others, the spark kind of lasts but for a few weeks or months and then it fizzles. This was my chance to give it a try and do something interesting with that blend of drama and athleticism.
SERRANO: Anyone who decides to write a wrestling comic has to decide whether to maintain kayfabe or break it, go for wrestling as a real thing or to recognize its fiction and expose the ‘behind the curtain’ stuff. You go full kayfabe. Did you struggle with that decision?
FUCHS: Not at all. For me, this was total mythology. It’s more exciting for me. As a storyteller, I’m definitely interested in more real-world stories of wrestling, and I love reading about that stuff. But for this character, for a giant purple-skinned luchador whose arms look like tree trunks, I think it was obvious I couldn’t get bogged down by too much realism.
I’m also a big fan of Sam Keith and Simon Bisley. I wanted to let loose with my designs and all the craziness that unfolds while digging into my inspirations. The story did set me on this path, I feel. I’m really glad it turned out that way.
SERRANO: I agree. It does remind me a bit of 1980s wrestling, the bombastic gimmicks era, but with a more mature bent. I mean, the book is very, very horny. And yet, there’s a sense that as the story was progressing, you saw the potential for a deeper myth.
FUCHS: Funny you should say that, because when I did the original five-page story, there was a sixth page I decided to leave out. It basically took the story into all-out erotica. I thought about it for a long time and then made the decision to go for a larger myth.
I asked myself if I wanted to go for an X-rated type of comic—which I had no problems with, by the way—or if I should go for something that might have a slightly wider appeal? I ended up going with the latter, which makes me at times feel like I might have sold myself out. However, I feel like the choice to build upon the world allowed me to explore enough totally insane material that I was playing around with in my head and it did end up letting me indulge my own urges further.
SERRANO: I think I know the moment you decided to change course in the comic. There’s a point in which The Fucker must consider a kind of tradition that requires action and intention on his part. It’s what ends up making the whole mating ritual aspect of the story so gratifyingly bonkers, and beautifully inventive at that.
FUCHS: And it’s stuff that we see in the wrestling that we know and love, too. Story is always progressing, but it also takes sharp turns into weird territory quite often. We’re always striving to get to the goal, but then something comes out of nowhere and knocks the story off course. You know, somebody runs out in the middle of a match and throws a wrench into the storyline, or somebody comes out from under the ring and then a new contender takes over. The excitement, though, is in the anticipation something like that could happen at any moment.
SERRANO: As The Motherfucking Fucker and the newer wrestling comics on the market can attest to, wrestling is a very malleable and adaptable genre. What do you think makes wrestling such a good outlet for storytelling?
FUCHS: Wrestling is a really powerful blank canvas. There’s a huge audience for it and a lot of people share in the language of it. It’s very much like other genres of comics. People that are fans or have a common language within those genres can see certain images and immediately understand what they’re seeing, be it with horror or science fiction or superhero fiction. Wrestling has that built into its fanbase. They see three ropes and some turnbuckles and they know what to expect. You use that shorthand to lock the audience in, and once they’re in that world, they’re willing to go along.
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