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Ringside, Vol. 1: Kayfabe

(Ringside #1)

3.26  ·  Rating details ·  199 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
RINGSIDE is a series set within the world of professional wrestling, written by JOE KEATINGE (SHUTTER, GLORY, TECH JACKET) and drawn by acclaimed illustrator NICK BARBER, combining the ensemble drama approach of THE WALKING DEAD with interconnected rotating perspectives akin to "The Wire." RINGSIDE explores the relationship between art and industry from the view of the wre ...more
Paperback, 136 pages
Published June 21st 2016 by Image Comics
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
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Sam Quixote
Jul 12, 2016 rated it it was ok
Dan “The Minotaur” Knossos is a retired wrestler looking for his estranged ex-boyfriend Teddy, a search that takes him down into the depths of the criminal underworld…

Joe Keatinge is an inconsistent writer who can sometimes produce a good comic but Ringside, Volume 1: Kayfabe is one of the bad ones. A wrestling comic about over-the-hill wrestlers sounded interesting, and the concept still might work with a better creative team, but Ringside doesn’t.

The stoic old tough guy who comes to town to
Jun 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2016
This is not just about wrestling. Like all great literature, it covers the human condition in all its glory and shame.
Aug 08, 2016 rated it liked it
Retired wrestler Dan “The Minotaur” Knossos receives a call from an ex-boyfriend in trouble. Flying back to the US from Japan, Dan soon learns that Teddy is in deeper than expected and Knossos may have to sacrifice everything just to pull him out.

Ringside combines two of my favorite things: professional wrestling and crime fiction/noir. How could I not love this? Truth be told, while I feel like this series has a lot of potential going forward, I felt like the first volume could have been a lot
Skye Kilaen
Jul 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
The gay noir pro wrestling comic I never knew I needed, but fell in love with anyway. Retired wrestler Dan Knossos, who was known as The Minotaur, flies back from Japan to the U.S. when he gets a call that his ex-boyfriend is in trouble. Teddy, an addict, is in hock to some very bad dudes for lots of cash. Dan's long-ago guilt for abandoning Teddy to try for success in pro wrestling won't let him walk away from a situation in which there are no good solutions. His personal story trying to save T ...more
Aldo Haegemans
Nov 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
It helps I’m a wrestling fan for me to appreciate this book more. There are insider terms that are funny for those Who understand the business. May not be for every one. I do think the story is deep enough for casual readers Who are Looking for a New comic.
Nicolo Yu
Feb 22, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: comixology
Ringside is a comicbook that gives us the story of two wrestlers, and this is a review of the first trade of the opening arc appropriately titled in the pro wrestling business term, "Kayfabe".

The two wrestlers in this story are Daniel Knossos, a former professional wrestler and his former contemporary, Davis. Make no mistake, Dan is the main character here, Davis is an ancillary character at best, but the pro wrestling industry story is told through his own arc within the main story.

Still, this
Feb 20, 2018 rated it liked it
Pro wrestling can’t love you back.

Combining the worst, most destructive parts of Hollywood and pro-sports, it’s a 25 hour a day job. You’ll travel 50 weeks a year, frequently while injured, or you don’t get paid. It’s physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausting and you’ll be lucky to burn out by 40.

But you know this all, already. You saw Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler.

The first volume of Ringside, Image’s ongoing wrestling themed title, shares more than a passing similarity to the 2008 Oscar
Wayne McCoy
Jun 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: graphic-novels
'Ringside, Volume 1' by Joe Keatinge and Nick Barber takes place inside the world of professional wrestling and gives it a bit of a noir twist.

In this volume there are three different stories that interweave and share the world of wrestling. In one plotline, an older wrestler takes a younger one under him and shows him how things work. A second, and somewhat minor in this volume, story involves management of the wrestlers and a new writer who has come on board. In one, an aging wrestler who went
Quentin Wallace
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
I've never read a graphic novel quite like this one. It deals with the world of professional wresting, but the REAL world of pro wrestling. There's no superheros here, just guys working together to put on great shows.

Having studied some of the way pro wrestling really works, I saw a lot of things that were familiar to me. The meeting of the writers where the owner (basically Vince McMahon) dresses down the writers is something I've heard about numerous times. One of the writers says something l
Alex Sarll
I've long said that if I ever got into a sport it would likely be wrestling, because it's so close to comics. Joe Keatinge has seen that too, but taken it a step further, seeing the parallels behind the scenes in both businesses - the shoddy treatment of veterans who built it all up, the suits hooked on safe retreads of old stories, the kids burning to be into an industry that'll likely break them even if they do succeed. And yet he still loves them both. So with debut artist Nick Barber, who ha ...more
Jock O
Jun 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Interesting take on the business as its viewpoint focuses more on the drama in the wrestler's lives outside the ring rather than in the ring. As the story progresses, I believe we'll get more of a taste of the in ring / business side of the drama as the young buck upstart makes his move up in the organization (CMW). Lastly, I'm impressed with its use of homosexuality within the culture yet without carrying a harassing tone regarding it. It's refreshing to read a story about revealing wrestler's ...more
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: comics
The writing in this is so fresh, original, and real. And I don't even like wrestling.
Bryson McCheeseburger
Jul 04, 2017 rated it did not like it
I am the biggest wrestling fan out there and I was so excited to get this graphic novel and see someone finally put wrestling together with comics the right way. Well, I was wrong. If you are looking for a wrestling story, go somewhere else. It's very slow, very drawn out, very very dialogue based... and very boring. I could barley make it through the book. I love IMAGE Comics and all the alternate titles they have, but this one should have been left on the shelf.
Paul Allard
Dec 19, 2017 rated it it was ok
Wrestling and bloody violence – not brilliant

This comic collection deals with the world of wrestling and the fate of washed-up wrestlers at the end of their working life. It also looks at the underside of the profession. With numerous flashbacks which are unexplained and sporadic, this is an unsatisfying and confusing mess. If flashbacks are going to be used, at least label them as such. I'll read Volume 2 and hope that it's better organised and better-illustrated as well.
Aug 17, 2017 rated it liked it
Ringside is a wrestling story that actually happends... outside the ring. It goes around the ups and downs of a retired wrestler and a fresh young promise with self confidence problems.
Really liked the story, but the art could have been so much better. A few panels were nice and ok, and the best one was the cover.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great, GREAT stuff.
Jul 14, 2017 rated it it was ok
This is not good. The art is rudimentary, the dialog is stilted, and the plot is hard to follow. Points for queerness, but this comic doesn't have much else going for it.
Jul 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a great mix of storytelling using the backdrop of professional wrestling right, getting the details perfect as well as telling a good story.
John Shaw
An intensely personal look into the world
of professional wrestling by going behind the curtain
and looking at the lives of the people
who combine violence and showmanship
into an art.
Jul 25, 2016 rated it liked it
When I saw Joe Keatinge was writing a new book, I had much higher expectations than the book achieved. Shutter is one of my favorite comic books on shelves today. This book is about the hidden side of wrestling. What goes on behind the curtain so to speak. The story moves at a snail's pace. The main character is a washed up wrestler who's had some kind of falling out with the top wrestling company. By the end of the book, you still don't really know what's going on or why Dan has come back to th ...more
Jul 15, 2016 rated it liked it
Three stars and no more for a book that could have been quite a bit better – the artwork for one could have gone a great deal further in differentiating both the characters to make us care, and all the different time zones and flashbacks. The world of wrestling seems to be evoked very well, but of course that's only a front for the darker stuff – the washed up chap coming back from Japan with regret that he left his best friend, who's in trouble; the newbie being shown the ropes quite literally; ...more
Jun 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: amazon-reviewed
Ringside, Volume 1 by Joe Keatinge et. al. is a free NetGalley ebook that I read after getting home from a week-long road trip in early June.

When its synopsis read that it had the drama of The Walking Dead, I entered this comic with trepidation. It turns out that such trepidation is very well-founded. Each cell seems to drip with dialogue where its speakers avoid eye contact, dipping or tilting their heads, instead, to reminisce in the past or scoff at the present, plus added reference to milita
Jun 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
The best crime noir are set against a backdrop that makes the story stand out. That's what Ringside does so well. Obviously well versed in the world that takes place behind the curtain of professional wrestling, Joe Keatinge uses that world to spin a yarn that feels like a spiritual cousin to the work that Ed Brubaker and company did with stories like The Fade Out and Fatale. It certainly isn't a book for everyone and "smart marks" will get the most pleasure out of the little nods woven into the ...more
Jul 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
There aren't many wrestling comics as far as I'm aware so I had to give this a try, and it was pretty good. It feels more like a crime story with a wrestling background though but, with that said, the wrestling is pretty integral to it (particularly for understanding the characters) and I'm not sure how big the appeal would be to non-fans. I read it as singles so I'm sure I'll get more out of it when I read the trade, but it was an interesting setting and different enough from anything else I've ...more
Roberto Diaz
Nov 24, 2016 rated it liked it
For fans of crime/noir and the wrestling bussiness, this is a kind of slice of life narrative of the misadventures of people in the pro wrestling bussiness, from the begining of the dream of becoming a larger than life character to the audience, to the realization that only a couple few are chosen to that spotlight, to what's left after you wretled your last match. If you have no deal with the industry or wrestling bussiness, this will be just another indie book, but if you grew up with it, this ...more
Aug 05, 2016 rated it liked it
Ex-wrestler gets caught up in some bad stuff. Issue One ends on a bad note, making it look like this is going to be a testosterone-ride revenge story, but then the main character is immediately knocked back down to earth at the beginning of the next issue. There's some good character exploration, but the volume ends with another turn that doesn't leave me wanting to read more. We'll see.

I'm not a fan of the art either, which is a pretty big deal considering the format.
Jul 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is an amazing graphic novel. And comparing it to the last one I read, Virgil, this is everything that isn't.

I'm totally in love with that characters and want to know more about them. The art is very simple and stylised but incredibly beautiful.

I'm not sure if this is intending to be an ongoing series as it totally works on its own (even if some of the ending is a little open to interpretation) but I just want to live in this world with these character for at least a few more books.
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Old wrestler's never die - they come back to rescue those they left behind.

A good graphic novel on wrestling and one man's return to fix the problems he left behind. The artwork is awesome, with lots of commentary on wrestling and life.

*I got this book through GoodRead's Giveaways - an excellent source of interesting books!
When I first heard about this I was really excited. unfortunately this just didn't live up to the hype for me, the hype being mostly myself. The story just wasn't interesting to me. The artwork didn't help matters.

I received an advanced copy of this from and the publisher
MacDara Conroy
Oct 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Pro wrestling is the background to what's really a neo-noir pitting a retired grappler against real-world heels in the criminal underground. If these first five issues are anything to go by, Ringside will keep me gripped for a while to come.
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Ringside (3 books)
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