I am a huge fan of Keith J. Rainville’s lucha magazine From Parts Unknown and when I first heard about Rudo Can’t Fail and heard Keith was involved, I had to check it out. I figured it would be hard to equal “From Parts Unknown”, but I figured with Kevin Kleinrock also involved I wouldn’t be disappointed, as I’ve always felt he has a genuine love for lucha libre .
For some reason I thought the magazine was only available by signing up with Lucha Loot, which is Lucha themed monthly box like LootCrate. It wasn’t till I saw one of Masked Republic’s tweets about the magazine going to start being available at San Diego’s FCW shows I looked a little deeper into the website and saw that I could subscribe. So I signed up, and the first issue arrived in less than a week. I don’t know if that is the normal turn around or if I just got lucky and happened to sign up when the magazine was ready to ship.
This review is for issue #4. I have not seen the first three issues, so I can not compare it to previous issues.
As I mentioned, I had no idea what to expect, so the first thing that struck me was the size. Probably in my mind I was expecting a full size magazine, but the actual magazine is 5 1/2 x 8 inches. Slightly smaller than a comic book. It is printed on a really nice quality thick paper. The magazine is mostly in black and white, with only the center 4 pages and inside the front and back covers in color.
The magazine starts with a message from the publisher, followed by In Case You Missed It news from Mexico covering AAA and CMLL. Most of, if not all of this section is readily available online, however it is a pretty good recap and it’s probably necessary for a lucha magazine to cover the two biggest lucha promotions in the world.
Next up was a column about Lucha Underground that included a short recap of the first episode of season 2.
The next seven pages were devoted to different promotions that I believe are affiliated with Rudo Can’t Fail. Each promotion had one page devoted to it. These have a ton of potential but the execution in this issue was hit and miss. There were some really great articles, most notably the Santino Bro’s section with a column by Ruby Raze about getting into wrestling. This was excellent. Some of the promotions had small interviews, there was a wrestler profile, a couple of show recaps, then in UIPW’s case the page just had results from their January show. There were a few photos to go with it, but results could easily be found online. At least the other promotions that focused on their shows added a little substance to their results and did more of a recap.
There was an article on what lucha matches to look up on YouTube. I like the idea of this. I’m guessing a decent percentage of people buying the Lucha Loot boxes may be interested in lucha for reasons other than the wrestling, or through Lucha Underground and this is a good way to introduce them to some great lucha matches.
There was an article about United Lunchadores food truck business in Phoenix, AZ. I was just in Phoenix and wish I read this before going; I would have checked them out. Then there was a couple of lucha themed comic strips by Mr. J. They were pretty well done. AAA and Lucha Underground’s Sexy Star was the centerfold for the issue.
Now we get to the real meat of the issue. This month’s theme is lucha’s creative types. This includes interviews with “Urban Aztec” Jesse Hernandez, who is an artist, Oscar Garcia Jimenez, AAA’s graphic designer, filmmakers Alexandria Hammond & Ian Markiewicz, the artists behind Qbito Grafico, and profiles of various lucha photographers. I personally found all of this fascinating, as it is an aspect of wrestling that is often over looked. I really appreciate the magazine giving us this small look at something different. There is probably a thousand interviews out there for most wrestlers, but this may be the only chance Oscar Garcia Jimenez gets to tell his story.
The magazine ends with a hot picture of Shelly Martinez as their “page 39” girl. They also have supplemental content for each issue on their website. For issue 4 they had an Oscar Garcia Jimenez, Qbito Grafico, and Shelly Martinez photo galleries.
If all issues are as good as this issue, then I am very happy with my subscription. There was some really interesting stuff in this issue, and most importantly there was a lot of content that you won’t find anywhere else. If you see it for sale at wrestling show or decide to subscribe it is more than worth the $5.00 cover price, especially if you are a fan of lucha and indy wrestling. I can’t vouch for the value of the Lucha Loot chest, but if you are into that sort of thing the magazine would be a nice bonus to everything else you get.
*Disclaimer: I understand Jay Cal writes for the magazine on occasion. I was in no way compensated for this review nor was it solicited by anyone. This review is my opinion, and not necessarily the opinion of anyone else associated with SCU.