Tagged: MMA

Marc Alan Fishman: WWE, Marvel & Fairness

CM Punk ThorFans of this column (minus my mom, that leaves what, ten of you?) will no doubt recall my dirty love of professional wrestling. Oy, that came out wrong. That’s what she said! Sorry. Over Thanksgiving weekend, C.M. Punk – the Chicago-Made indie wrestling darling turned WWE Superstar turned turncoat whiny quitter (if Twitter is meant to be believed) – took to the airwaves of his friend’s podcast to pontificate over the sordid details of his departure from under the hooks and claws of Vince McMahon.

It broke the Internet (for smark marks like myself), and did exactly what it was meant to do: give an honest recounting of the multiple reasons why Punk made the bold choice to walk away from the only game in town. Amongst the cadre of reasons presented, they all boiled down to fairness.

Punk was hurt physically, burnt out mentally, and denied creativity by the powers-that-be at the WWE. Ultimately, it sounded like Vinnie Mac’s corporate brainchild was operating like… a corporation. Punk was merely a cog in the wheel, and for whatever reasons those above his pay-grade felt, he wasn’t given the opportunities he sought out professionally. With nothing left in his tank, he took his ball and went home.

In the year since his walkout, Punk healed his body and mind. Local Chicagoans saw him at Blackhawks games. Geeks nationwide saw him on the Talking Dead. And Jason Aaron and Marvel Comics saw him when he inked a quick deal to co-write an upcoming Thor annual as well as “some other books in 2015.” Anyone who was on the Internet at any point last week no doubt saw Punk everywhere, as he announced that he’s also now signed a deal with Dana White and the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Punk fans like myself were elated over all of these sightings and announcements. But there’s also been a groundswell of haters assembling as well. Why? Because to throw back in his face what he himself complained about… all of these opportunities come across as being unfair.

OK, take away the good seats at Blackhawks games. Punk is no doubt well-off enough that he was able to purchase his tickets like anyone else. And if you listened the podcast, you’d also note he paid United Center prices for hotdogs and beer. This means he’s friggen’ rich. Nothing unfair there. And let’s even dismiss any whining over his Talking Dead appearances. Punk is a friend of Chris Hardwick, and I’m 99% certain that the casting of the panels for that show aren’t earned over merit. That leaves the UFC and Marvel Comics.

C.M. Punk is a great at many things. But professional writer… well, I didn’t see it on his LinkedIn profile. It’s not a secret that he’s an avid reader of comics, and has even dabbled in writing scripts and promos and storylines for himself when he was wrestling. But never over those years did I see bylines in the dirt-sheets declaring “Punk submits new ideas in to Dan DiDio” or “C.M. Punk taking meetings with Axel Alonso”. But to paraphrase the man himself, Punk was clear to denote in one documentary (“The Best in the World” as put out by the WWE, in case you’re interested) that he would “bother the guys in the Marvel booth at every chance” in an effort to score a deal, when he would do signings at Wizard World conventions. Well, consider the perseverance (and the litany of fans outside of mainstream comic book aficionados) noted and accepted. Put a pin in that.

The UFC is by it’s own definition the “world’s leading MMA promoter,” offering bouts “where hybrid athletes are required to know various disciplines in order to compete at an elite level.” C.M. Punk has some experience with Brazilian jiu-jitsu and kenpo karate. And while I’d never wish to befoul him in a darkened alleyway… to the best of my googling abilities, Punk isn’t exactly cited anywhere as being elite in either of those forms of combat. Suffice to say, much like his deal to write comics, Punk’s biggest talent (by way solely of available data) is his passion, his commitment, and his fan-base.

This all converges on the point of fairness. Is it fair that a man be given opportunities others are competing for by leveraging popularity over proven talent? Is it fair without a comic book credit to his name otherwise, Punk be given a shingle with one of the most powerful publishers in the industry –while guys like me, and the hundreds (if not thousands) of independent creators who would break our thumbs for the chance – simply because he asked perpetually? Is it fair that he also be given a deal to fight for a promotion that has hundreds of other known fighters with professional experience, when he himself hasn’t even a single bout to his name? Well, no. It’s not fair.

But really, this was never about fairness. Punk’s contract with Marvel and the UFC is about business.

Marvel Comics and Dana White provided C.M. Punk with the writing and fighting gigs because he is a known draw. Jason Aaron is an acclaimed writer on his own, no doubt, but slap Punky Brewster on that Thor annual and you might just move more copies. And the UFC is the premier fight promotion with 181 pay-per-views under it’s belt to date. Adding Punk to a card probably means Dana White and company will be able to fund 181 more of them based on the increase in buys. Haters will purchase it to see Punk turned into an ink stain. Punkateers and first-time MMA fans will too, to see their darling beat the odds. For all parties concerned? It’s win-win.

And for those that will call Punk out for the hypocrisy that he’d complain he was treated unfairly at the WWE where part-time stars were given preferential treatment only to do the same thing now in two new industries? Well, you can cash that check at the bank anytime you’d like. C.M. Punk isn’t a babyface hero, here to live by a honor-bound code of justice. He’s an entrepreneur, a passionate fan, and lucky son-of-a-bitch. It’s not fair…

… and it never had to be.

Fight Card Introduces the Can’t Miss Contender

Fight Card Books’ latest, Can’t Miss Contender by Kevin Michaels writing as Jack Tunney is now available as an ebook at Amazon.

Press Release:

AVAILABLE NOW ~ FIGHT CARD: CAN’T MISS CONTENDER

Our latest entry Fight Card: Can’t Miss Contender is now available on Amazon.  Behind our Jack Tunney pseudonym this month is Kevin Michaels.  Fight Card: Can’t Miss Contender is Kevin’s second Fight Card fisticuff.  This puts him in good company with David Foster and Eric Beetner, who have both written two epic punch-ups in the Fight Card series.

While Fight Card: Can’t Miss Contender is not a direct sequel to Kevin’s Fight Card: Hard Road, there is some minor character crossover.

FIGHT CARD: CAN’T MISS CONTENDER

St. Louis, Missouri, 1958

Billy Flood was the kind of boxer who had ‘can’t miss’ written all over him.  He had the tools and talent to make him a middleweight champion.  But a few wrong turns changed everything.  Now, after a hard three year stretch inside the Missouri State Penitentiary, Billy is determined to get back in the ring and punch his way to the top. But, while other fighters his age have risen through the ranks, Billy is back where he started – fighting palookas, catchers, and tomato cans.

With his past on his heels and his future filled with obstacles, Billy finds himself backed into a corner by false friends and an unscrupulous promoter.  He may get his shot at becoming a contender, but will it cost him his future?  Can’t Miss Contender is another hard punching Fight Card tale…

August will see the debut of both Fight Card: Barefoot Bones from Bobby Nash and our first Fight Card Romance from Carol Malone, Fight Card Romance: Ladies Night.  On the horizon are Fight Card: Union Of The Snakes from Anthony Venutolo, Fight Card: Fight River from Tommy Hancock, and Fight Card: Sherlock Holmes from Andrew Salmon.

Learn more about Fight Card Books here.

Fight Card Delivers a Brooklyn Beatdown

Fight Card Books’ latest, Brooklyn Beatdown by Derrick Ferguson writing as Jack Tunney is now available as an ebook for Kindle.

Press Release:

AVAILABLE NOW ~ FIGHT CARD: BROOKLYN BEATDOWN

Brooklyn – 1954.

Bare knuckler brawler Levi Kimro battles his way through the bloody backroom ghetto bars of Brooklyn in pursuit of his dream of owning his own business. It’s a hard and vicious road he walks and it becomes even more complicated when he falls hard for the electrifying Dorothea McBricker.

Dorothea’s brother, Teddy, has fallen under the influence of notorious gangster Duke Williamson – a powerful man who is pressuring Levi to join his stable of fighters or face off against the human killing machine, ‘Deathblow’ Ballantine. A knock-down, drag out, Brooklyn Beatdown is brewing, and Levi will need every ounce of his fighter’s heart if he wants to save not only himself, but the woman he loves…

Learn more about Fight Card Books here.
Learn more about Brooklyn Beatdown here.

Free Fight Card In July

On July 1 -3, Fight Card Books is making Fight Card: King of the Outback available for Free at Amazon. You can find it here.

About Fight Card: King of the Outback:

Outback Australia 1954

Two rival tent boxing troupes clash over a territorial dispute in the Outback town of Birdsville. In the sweltering heat, tensions simmer, tempers flare, and as things reach boiling point, a boxing tent is burned to the ground.

Fighting men know only one way to solve their disputes, and that’s in the ring. The solution, a show-down, smack-down, winner take all bout between the two rival outfits.

In the blue corner, representing ‘Walter Wheeler’s Boxing Sideshow’ is Tommy King, a young aboriginal boxer with a big heart and iron fists.

In the red corner, representing ‘Arnold Sanderson’s Boxing Show’, is ‘Jumpin’ Jack Douglas, a monstrous wrecking machine from the city – a man who’ll do anything to win.

The fight – brutal. In the world of Tent Boxing, in the harsh Australian Outback, weight divisions and rules don’t count for much. It’s a fight to decide, who is indeed, King of the Outback!

Learn more about Fight Card Books here.

Fight Card Comes Out Swinging!

The latest outing from Fight Card Books, Fight Card: Get Hit, Hit Back from author John Kenyon, has just been released under a cover by David Foster.  Learn more about Get Hit, Hit Back here.

Next up in June will be Fight Card: Brooklyn Beatdown from top New Pulp writer Derrick Ferguson.  July will premier the sophomore effort from Kevin Michaels, Fight Card: Can’t Miss Contender, and August will give us the very cool Fight Card: Union Of The Snakes from Anthony Venutolo.

The Fight Card editorial team has been working hard with author Carol Malone on their first Fight Card Romance entry Ladies Night, which will also be coming soon along with more titles in or new Fight Card MMA series.

The Pulp Ark convention held last month found six Fight Card authors duking it out in the same room together.  Everyone at Fight Card is excited for the upcoming December entry Fight Card: Sherlock Holmes from Andrew Salmon. The publisher has also been soliciting Fight Card tales featuring Robert E. Howard, Papa Hemingway, Rod Serling, and… wait for it… luchadores (because everything is better with luchadores)…

A new issue of Fight Fictioneers Magazine is also imminent.

2013 has been a busy year for Fight Card Books and they keep on swinging.

Fight Card: Get Hit, Hit Back from author John Kenyon is now available.
Learn more about Fight Card Books here.

The Kalamazoo Kid Arrives in Paperback

Fight Card Books has released The Kalamazoo Kid, a Fight Card MMA Novel, in paperback to accompany the ebook release.

About The Kalamazoo Kid:
Authored by Jeremy Brown
Edited by Paul Bishop, Mel Odom

Ray Kurt was one of the first guys to step into a sanctioned MMA fight – back when you scrapped four times a night and didn’t wrap your hands until you got to the hospital afterward. Now he trains fighters in his Kalamazoo mixed martial arts gym, searching for someone he can take to the top.

Young fighting phenom Tallis Dunbar might just be that someone, but Tallis comes attached to a whole lot of trouble. Detroit mob fixer Andru Harp wants Kurt to turn Tallis into an MMA beast tough enough to take on the Chicago mob’s fearsome fighter, High Voltage – the same man who nearly killed Tallis’ brother a year earlier.

For Detroit and Chicago it’s all about turf, but for Kurt and Tallis their lives and redemption are balanced on a razor’s edge. Kurt is used to fighting with few rules, but now there is only one – survive…

Fight Card Books Steps Into The Ring– MMA Style

Greetings Fight Card Fans…

Fight Card Books has unleashed the first two titles in their new Fight Card MMA series. Currently in release in e-book format for Kindle, a paperback will follow soon.  Fight Card MMA: Welcome To The Octagon from Gerard Brennan, and Fight Card MMA: The Kalamazoo Kid from Jeremy Brown both deliver the same dynamic pulp action of the Fight Card novels, but moves it all up to date and inside the cage.

Jeremy Brown (Fight Card’s erstwhile website guru) broke ground with his MMA themed novels Suckerpunch and Hook And Shoot, both featuring his series character fightrer Woodshed Wallace.  In Fight Card MMA: The Kalamazoo Kid, Jeremy brings his kick-ass style prose to a new MMA tale and a deadly battle for his new hero, MMA trainer Ray Kurt.

Previously winning critical acclaim for his hard-hitting novels The Point, Wee Rockets, and Fireproof, Gerard Brennan takes readers deep into the hardscrabble world of Ireland’s burgeoning MMA scene in Fight Card MMA: Welcome To The Octagon.

Both writers have delivered terrific stories that fight fans are sure to enjoy.

Next up in May, Fight Card: Get Hit, Hit Back from John Kenyon and more Fight Card MMA action.

FIGHT CARD MMA: WELCOME TO THE OCTAGON

Belfast 2013

Mickey The Rage Rafferty has gone through some tough times, but he’s not ready to tap-out just yet. The Belfast widower has to take care of his eight-year-old daughter, Lily. However, his main talent is fighting and the only way he can make enough money off it to support his girl is to take dodgy underground matches paying off in bloodstained cash. Mickey’s trainer, Eddie Smith, doesn’t approve. He wants his most promising student to step into the cage as a real martial artist, not as a fool for thugs and gangsters.

With Eddie on the verge of cutting him loose, Mickey is up against the cage – crushed between fast cash and a legitimate career. Mickey has some big decisions to make and some even bigger opponents to face.

The MMA life can be harsh, and it’s never easy … Welcome To The Octagon …

FIGHT CARD MMA: THE KALAMAZOO KID

Ray Kurt was one of the first guys to step into a sanctioned MMA fight – back when you scrapped four times a night and didn’t wrap your hands until you got to the hospital afterward.  Now, he trains fighters in his Kalamazoo mixed martial arts gym, searching for someone he can take to the top.

Young fighting phenom, Tallis Dunbar might just be that someone, but Tallis comes attached to a whole lot of trouble.  Detroit mob fixer Andru Harp wants Kurt to turn Tallis into an MMA beast tough enough to take on the Chicago mob’s fearsome fighter, High Voltage – the same man who nearly killed Tallis’ brother a year earlier.

For Detroit and Chicago it’s all about turf, but for Kurt and Tallis their lives and redemption are balanced on a razor’s edge.  Kurt is used to fighting with few rules, but now there is only one – survive…

Keep punching…

Learn more about Fight Card Books here.

COMING IN APRIL: FIGHT CARD MMA!

Our friends over at Fight Card Books shared their latest announcement.

Press Release:

COMING IN APRIL: FIGHT CARD MMA!

Fight Card Publications announces the upcoming April debut of its new series Fight Card MMA, the first of several new expansions of the bestselling Fight Card brand.  Fight Card MMA will take the Fight Card series from the ring to the cage, while delivering ground-and-pound action equal to the exciting fistic pulp action demanded by fans of the monthly Fight Card novels.

Like the original Fight Card novels, the Fight Card MMA tales will be written by many of the best authors working in New Pulp under the series unifying pseudonym, Jack Tunney.

First up in the cage is author Gerard Brennan. His Fight Card MMA: Welcome To The Octagon takes readers deep into the hardscrabble world of Ireland’s burgeoning MMA scene, from dangerous underground battles to the spotlight of the cage.  Brennan has previously won critical acclaim for his hard-hitting novels The Point, Wee Rockets, and Fireproof.

Published simultaneously, Fight Card: The Kalamazoo Kid comes from top MMA author Jeremy Brown.  Brown’s previous MMA themed novels, Suckerpunch and Hook And Shoot – featuring rising MMA star Aaron Woodshed Wallace – have become the benchmark by which all other MMA themed novels are judged. Fight Card: The Kalamazoo Kid is a tightly plotted tale of revenge where every move inside and outside of the cage can be deadly.

Fight Card MMA: Welcome To The Octagon and Fight Card MMA: The Kalamazoo Kid will debut digitally and in print during the Pulp Ark convention to be held April 26-28-2013, in Springdale, AR.

Pulp Ark is one of the nation’s leading popular culture conventions, and will be featuring Fight Card co-creator Paul Bishop as a Guest of Honor.  Pulp Ark will also see the digital and print debut of Fight Card: Swamp Walloper, written by Bishop as a sequel to his first Fight Card novel, Fight Card: Felony Fists.

For more information on Fight Card and Fight Card MMA CLICK HERE.

For more information on Pulp Ark CLICK HERE.

COMING SOON AS A TRADE PAPERBACK

Fight Card Books has released the cover to the upcoming paperback edition of Irish Dukes by Mike Faricy. Currently available as an ebook, Irish Dukes will have a paperback release in the near future.

ABOUT FIGHT CARD: IRISH DUKES–
Dublin, Ireland, 1951

After winning his latest bout in Berlin, US Army boxing champ Sergeant Kevin Crowley is on military leave in Ireland.  Raised in St. Vincent’s Asylum For Boys in Chicago, he has finally returned to his place of birth, where he is sure he will find the family he never knew and lay claim to his dream of a royal fortune.

What Crowley actually finds is the fight of his life … A near destitute grandmother, crippling debt left by a father he never knew, a feisty redhead with hatred in her heart, a villainous landlord and his gang who’ll stop at nothing to settle a score going back a generation …

Kevin Crowley has never backed down in the ring or out … The treasures and truth awaiting him in Dublin are not what he first imagined.  But with his past, his family, and his future at stake, Crowley will put up his Irish dukes and fight like never before …

Learn more about the Fight Card series at www.fightcardbooks.com.
Listen to Paul Bishop’s Fight Card interview on the Earth Station One podcast here.