Friend Encounters is a weekly series featuring friends who have met celebrities.
Today is another example of a friend who is a celebrity meting another celebrity. The fiend is Dirk Manning, a talented creators. The celebrity is Orange Cssidy, a popular wrestler with All Elite Wrestling. I argue Dirk Manning is a celebrity, too, although he would eschew that notion. If he isn't a celeb, he is well on his way.
I have known Dirk for about 10 years. I have interviewed him many times about his career, wrestling and ice cream. I was well aware he knew a lot about wrestling, but I was pleasantly surprised when he announced he would be involved with a graphic novel bio on wrestling broadcaster Tony Schiavone.
With Dirk behind it, I knew the product would be great, but I was blown away at how cool Butts in Seats: The Tony Schiavone Story is. Dirk is very excited and proud and rightly so. The book is 148 pages of pure, colorful entertainment. It covers Tony's life in and out of the world of pro wrestling.
Through his work on the book, Dirk has become even more immersed in wrestling, especially AEW. Many wrestlers have given their support or approval of Dirk's work. Such was the case at New York Comic Con when Dirk connected with OC. As I have written before, OC is a unique wrestler. He remains in character virtually all the time. Even for paid photo ops, OC stays in character, barely acknowledging his fans. True fans get it though. It's old school at it finest.
The picture below is about as out of character as OC gets. He at least connected with Dirk. He still looks somewhat aloof, but that's just him.
I couldn't be happier for Dirk. He deserves all the success he is having. I know there will be more fun coming his way and I am betting there will be more graphic novels, too!
NYCC returns October 6-9. I will be "On the Beat" and I hope to see my friend Dirk there again. I am sure there will be a big wrestling presence, as well as many other celebrities and creators.
Go to AllEliteWrestling.com for more info on OC and his grappling mates. Check DirkManning.com for everything about Dirk. Go to NewYorkComicCon.com for scheduling and updates on NYCC.
Orange Cassidy and Dirk Manning in New York, NY-October 2021.