LadySports ::: PENCILED & PINNED


Chatting with the Creator of Rival Angels

Pro wrestling is, of course, a highly visual medium... albeit a high energy one.  And because of that 
energy, its proven virtually impossible to capture the excitement of wrestling in comic art.

Until now, that is.

"Rival Angels" is a popular web comic, focusing on the lives and battles of several young female 
wrestlers.  By combining personal drama with the 'rope opera' of the ring, RA's creator, Alan Evans, 
has crafted an ongoing sage peopled with characters with genuine depth, and punctuated with some 
exceptionally well-structured wrestling matches.  And he's managed to do this week after week since 
December of 2007... and he hadn't been late with a single installment yet!

You can find the entire RA run available for free at the official website, or you can purchase collected 
storylines in graphic novels for comparatively nominal fees, if you prefer to be able to hold your comic 
book stories in your own hands.  Either way, you're bound to be drawn into the fast and furious heaven of 
the Rival Angels!



LADYSPORTS: Hello Alan, and welcome to LadySports! Can you tell us just what Rival Angels is?
ALAN EVANS: Rival Angels is the #1 wrestling webcomic! It's the story about four girls who battle for survival in the ring, only for them to discover that surviving their battles with each other as roommates is a completely different matter. Rival Angels updates every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

LS: Although all of your wrestlers are original creations, are any based in any way on real ladies of the ring?
AE: Not yet, but I'm seriously thinking of basing a tag team after the Knight Dynasty! That being said, I do take great inspiration from a lot of great wrestlers.

LS: In the 'real world' of wrestling, who are some of your favorites?
AE: Cheerleader Melissa, Nicole Matthews, Ayumi Kurihara, Lita and Daisee Haze to name a few.

LS: What inspired you to launch Rival Angels?
AE: I was looking to do a project that I could be passionate about. At the time, there weren't ANY wrestling comics, web or otherwise and that just seemed wrong. I've been following wrestling since about 1986 and most if not all wrestling comics before then were campy and/or ridiculous. I decided to make a real wrestling federation, think UFC, but with the presentation and charisma that makes us love pro wrestling.

LS: Obviously, this is something that demands a lot of work. Just how much time to you put into each installment?
AE: On average, it takes about 8 hours to do one page, so 24 hours a week. The longest part is the actual drawing, but the most challenging is probably the writing and dialogue.

LS: One thing that impresses me is the sequencing of your matches. You don't simply have the wrestlers apply a series of random moves, but there's a genuine sense of flow, with holds transitioning logically. I take it you've studied an array of pro moves. When you're creating a match, do you plot it out move for move in advance, or do you just have a general direction, and you follow your muse?
AE: By the time I get to actually drawing the match, it's been decided move-for-move and unfortunately, there's many times that I have to cut moves or sequences to fit on a page or to keep the match from stalling.

LS: Given the amount of time and effort you put into this, is there a point where it goes beyond a hobby and into actual work? I'm just wondering if there are days when doing RA is a bit more drudge than delight?
AE: Sometimes it's not always roses, but it's usually a particular piece of the puzzle that can be a chore. For instance, if I'm drawing a character that has a complicated look and I've got 4 more pages at 6 panels a page. Or sometimes it's writing a piece of dialogue. I guess any time a challenge crops up, but even then it's pretty fun.

LS: I know you're a big fan of women's pro wrestling, and you attend indy shows. Have you ever received any feedback on Rival Angels from lady wrestlers who know your work?
AE: I did get some great feedback from Hollywood! For the most part though, not really. At least, not directly. I've heard that the SHIMMER girls like my work but never heard it personally from them.

LS: This is a question we generally reserve for the ladies, but let me ask you now: If you had the power, what is the one thing you would do to improve women's wrestling today?
AE: Give it the mainstream exposure it deserves. Once there, it'd jump off like UFC has.

LS: Who are some of your artistic influences?
AE: Jim Lee, Todd McFarlane and Marc Silvestri were some huge influences on me at an early age. Since then, I've come to appreciate a lot of artists outside of comics like Kristen Perry, Andrew Ryder as well as some of the old masters like Da Vinci and Michelangelo.

LS: Beyond visiting the website for updates, can fans purchase any material from you?
AE: Yes, they can! On a regular basis, I have the Rival Angels story available in print editions. Graphic novels #1, #2 and #3 are currently available as well as my second sketchbook. (AND they can all be had together for a sweet price.)

LS: And will you do customized artwork?
AE: Yes, I do! Though most often I only offer commissions near times that I'm doing comic conventions

LS: Any comic conventions you're planning to appear at soon?
AE: Yes! I'll be doing Wizard World Mid-Ohio in October.

LS: And if the Rival Angels movie is ever made, do you have any casting thoughts?
AE: Hah! That would be amazing. My pop culture is horrible these days so I don't know if I know of any good casting choices outside of Aly Michalka with a more powerful physique for Brooke, and Chiaki Kuriyama for Sun. I do use reference of Anna Torv for Sabrina and Chandella Powell for Krystin, but I think they might be a little too old to play the girls.

LS: Alan, thanks so much, and good luck to you and continued success for Rival Angels!


 photos courtesy of Rival Angels