The Dead Wrestler Elegies by W. Todd Kaneko and Beat the Champ by the Mountain Goats
Wrestling is more than just wrestling. For some it's an escape, an outlet, and for these artists, it's a way to cope.
The Dead Wrestler Elegies covers themes of loss, love, regret, redemption, and remorse. Kaneko's poems and illustrations blend Charles Bukowski's raw-boned verse and Randy "Macho Man" Savage's devastating elbow drop to mine the history of professional wrestling and examine complex relationships between fathers and sons.
Of his songs, John Darnielle of the Mountain Goats writes, "Beat the Champ is about professional wrestling, which was an avenue of escape for me when I was a kid. Wrestling was low-budget working class entertainment back then, strictly UHF material. It was cheap theater. You had to bring your imagination to the proceedings and you got paid back double. I wrote these songs to re-immerse myself in the blood and fire of the visions that spoke to me as a child, and to see what more there might be in them now that I'm grown."