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The Gimmick

Illustrated by Elena Gogou
Published by AHOY Comics
Distributed by Simon & Schuster



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About The Book

Welcome to THE GIMMICK, a Coen Brothers–style dark comedy from AHOY Comics, writer Joanne Starer (Sirens of the City; Away From Here) and artist Elena Gogou (Quests Aside).

The Undertaker. Danhausen. El Santo. Every wrestler needs a good gimmick: a colorful in-ring persona that dazzles the crowd. Then there’s wrestling champ Shane Bryant. Shane’s a “nice guy” who floats through life with no repercussions and a forgettable gimmick. But Shane’s been keeping a life-changing secret: he has super strength. And when he loses control of that strength, punching his fist straight through his opponent’s brain—in front of 2.4 million horrified viewers—everything changes. Now Shane needs a new gimmick—and a new life.

The now fugitive Shane Bryant flees to Tijuana, where he begins a career as a masked wrestler. But Shane’s life has too many loose ends to make a clean escape possible. His manipulative mother, his ex-girlfriend, his child, the friends he left behind, and the daughter of the man he killed all want a piece of him….

About The Author

Joanne Starer has worked with Marvel, Image, King Features, and Walter Foster Publications, among others. At Marvel, she was part of the team that launched the now-legendary Marvel Knights line. She has served on the board of the Editorial Freelancer’s Association and holds a master’s degree in Media Studies as well as a certificate in Digital Film Editing from The New York Film Academy.

Outside of her publishing pursuits, Joanne owned and operated a women’s wrestling promotion in 2002, championing equality in pro-wrestling a decade before it became a nationwide trend.

About The Illustrator

Elena Gogou is a freelance comic artist and illustrator living in Patras, Greece, who made her US-comics debut with Vault’s Quests Aside, written by Brian Schirmer. She holds a very cool degree in Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics that she never uses but likes to mention.

Product Details

  • Publisher: AHOY Comics (September 26, 2023)
  • Length: 144 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781952090264

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Raves and Reviews

“The story has all of the makings of a dark and dread-filled tale that unravels more like a Coen Brothers movie than an episode of Monday Night Raw, but Starer’s quick and snappy dialogue coupled with Elena Gogou’s bright and kinetic art style keeps things refreshingly animated. Gimmick’s pages are colorful and chockfull of life, going for spectacle rather than grittiness.

– Comics Beat

Ahoy Comics is uniting the kayfabe of wrestling with the deadliness of superpowers… Another charming addition to the publisher's ever-growing library… The comedic new title that promises action, laughs, and people being hit with folding chairs


A violent, darkly comedic tale right out of a Coen Bros. movie.


Back-breaking laughs and shin-cracking action…plus a lot of heart. The Gimmick has it all!

– Patton Oswalt (Minor Threats)

You need to be living THE GIMMICK! Here's a raw exploration of the wrestling business's underbelly that's one part LUCHA UNDERGROUND and one part A HISTORY OF VIOLENCE. Go behind the curtain and see what happens when superstars meet superpowers!"

– Steve Orlando (Eisner, Ringo, and GLAAD Nominated Writer)

THE GIMMICK is anything but a gimmick. This book is the real deal, full of humor, heart and indelible characters who feel perfectly realized right out of the gate. It’s so good it makes me mad! I’m so mad.

– Chip Zdarsky (Batman)

THE GIMMICK delivers like a flying elbow to the brain. Elena Gogou has drawn a beautifully illustrated book and Joanne Starer takes us deep inside the dark side of wrestling. Together they deliver one of the freshest books of the year. If you love adventure featuring wrestling, manslaughter, redemption, betrayal, and over the top chaos, THE GIMMICK is custom made for you.

– Jimmy Palmiotti (Harley Quinn)

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