Wrestler combines sport with art
Seeing his dream project come to fruition has been nothing short of exciting for South Auckland artist Michel Mulipola.
The Ma¯ngere illustrator and wrestler has just completed his first comic book with WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment) and BOOM! Studios. He has worked on a comic book, WWE #13, which portrays the life of professional wrestler Samoa Joe. A worldwide release is expected this week.
‘‘I’ve worked with Samoa Joe on a comic before, that’s how I got the gig. I’ve drawn the comic for Samoa Joe, written by Samoa Joe for WWE,’’ Mulipola said.
‘‘It’s a behind the scenes story about how Samoa Joe found his way into WWE.
‘‘I get to draw Samoa Joe beating up Bray Wyatt, Chris Jericho, Brock Lesnar, Seth Rollins and Roman Reigns, which is kind of cool for this Samoan artist.’’
Being able to draw the wrestlers that he watches on TV was a lot of fun for him.
‘‘I had a blast working on this stuff. I feel like this is some of my best work to date because I was enjoying every panel and every wrestler I got to illustrate.’’
As a big fan of comics and wrestling, this was his dream project and it had led on to more work.
‘‘I’ve just finished another story for the WWE WrestleMania special. That was a lot of fun too. I got to draw John Cena and The Rock,’’ Mulipola said.
‘‘It’s a crazy kind of world I’ve found myself in and I wouldn’t change it for anything else.’’
His other work includes the graphic novel series Headlocked. For an upcoming graphic novel, he has illustrated a story written by retired professional wrestler Ric Flair who wrestled in New Zealand for a few years.
Mulipola considers himself ‘‘fortunate’’ to be doing what he always wanted to do as a child.
Now, he visits schools around South Auckland inspiring children to dream big.
‘‘Hopefully, I can inspire kids to follow not only what I do, but follow their own dreams ... just showing them what’s possible.’’
The WWE #13 can be bought online at bloodysamoan.com.
Mulipola will also be fighting in an Impact Pro Wrestling event at Papatoetoe on January 27.
Michel Mulipola is a Ma¯ngere illustrator and wrestler who is having a ‘’blast’'.
An image from a comic book about Samoa Joe drawn by Michel Mulipola, which will be released this week.