Scott Lost had always planned to bring superheroes to life through the pages of comic books. But 10 years ago, his intentions jumped off the page when he started jumping off the top rope.
Lost, a co-founder of Pro Wrestling Guerilla, chose to hang up the boots five years ago and return to his first passion. And in 2013, he looked to the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter to publish The Second Shift, the first in a comic series about a group of young heroes who work ordinary jobs and discover they have superpowers – an idea he has had since seventh grade.
The four heroes must learn to balance the responsibility of becoming superheroes with their traditional duties, which Lost said equates to life on the independent circuit of professional wrestling.
“Until you get to a certain point, you’re working day jobs then wrestling over the weekend,” said Lost, who is currently trying to raise $5,700 through another Kickstarter to keep the comic alive.
Lost co-writes The Second Shift with members of his wrestling family, Eburonson (who wrestled as Mr. Excitement) and Bobby Ramos (known in wrestling as Dino Winwood).
Eburonson and Ramos teamed with Lost about two years ago after a conversation at a friend’s house led to Lost emailing Eburonson character breakdowns. From the first comic, Eburonson said they “mapped out things loosely” as far as how they wanted the characters to develop and how the villains fit into the story.
“The Second Shift,” according to Lost, is a story that lets readers feel like they already know the characters.
“It’s like a brand new book that feels like an old friend,” Lost said, noting he has recently used that terminology in promoting the campaign on social media. “I’ve actually had people tell me that. It’s new and different but it’s familiar at the same time. So I really like the idea that people feel like the characters have been around forever.”
Ramos said they wanted to create a universe anyone can relate to.
“At the end of the day, the whole message of the book is that as long as you’ve got your friends and family you’re going to be fine no matter what,” Ramos said.
In the writing and drawing process, the initial idea comes from Lost, while Ramos focuses on the creating the villains and Eburonson takes care of the heroes.
“We both work together on the development of the characters, and we took it upon ourselves to challenge each other,” Ramos said.
The process is “very organic,” according to Eburonson, because Lost and he “co-plot” the comics and want to have “a really strong rogues gallery” – formidable villains for the main characters to wage war with who also force the heroes grow as people.
While wrestling and comics are two separate passions for all involved, Lost said the fight choreography in The Second Shift has been influenced through the wrestling styles of Ramos, Eburonson and himself.
“(Ramos) really liked the Japanese strong style… (He writes the fight scenes) how he would go about it himself. It feels like a way he would put his match together,” Lost said.
The trio, according to Ramos, knew immediately that wrestling would have an influence on the comic. Ramos said they tried to incorporate suplexes and DDTs, along with moves from Japanese and lucha styles.
“We knew right away that we were going to put some wrestling moves in there… but it’s along the lines of, ‘These are just the sick moves we want to throw in there,'” Ramos said. “If we had this power, what would we do? For starters, we’d put our wrestling training in there.”
Though Lost trained to be a comic book artist his entire life, he said wrestling became a passion during his teens. After writing a match of his own and putting it into action in the backyard, Lost and a friend watched training at Ultimate Pro Wrestling in California, which led to his decade-long journey into the squared circle. But as the decade came to a close, he started missing comics.
Lost is no stranger to Kickstarter campaigns, as this is his third for the series. The first raised enough to print the first two issues and the second carried the series through issues three and four. The hope, according to Lost, is to continue using Kickstarter to fund future issues.
Eburonson said the awareness Kickstarter has brought to The Second Shift is two-fold – the comic has an online presence through its website and social media and word spreads through the plethora of comic conventions in California, where the trio is based.
“Every great comic” or artistic work, according to Eburonson, starts at the grassroots level with nothing more than an idea, and Kickstarter gives creators an outlet. For him, The Second Shift is a “passion project.”
“Something that I’ve always wanted to do is write comics,” Eburonson said. “Right now, I’m a teacher. It’s what I do for my day gig… This comic book thing is our ‘Second Shift.'”
For more information, or to contribute to the campaign, visit Scott Lost’s Kickstarter campaign. It’s getting close to $4,000 as of this writing.