On March 24th, AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura sat down with us in Trenton, NJ to talk about their long-awaited clash at WrestleMania and pose for portraits. Andrew Boyle shot original portraits and ringside during the show. AJ and Shinsuke dedicated time to write and draw some personal messages on several photos in this story. With all this content in hand, Andrew created collages for the limited edition zine of the story of this Dream Match.
I’ve always wanted to create an artistic project for WrestleMania. The AJ Styles and Shinsuke Nakamura story really lended itself to the opportunity. This match is not only their dream come true, but it’s been highly anticipated by their fans. I wanted to make something special to commemorate it. Their dream match, my dream project.
From 2007-2008, I made a zine series. I recently saw Andrew making zine for his projects and it made me want to dive back into it. It was a big team effort to put this together quickly and get it printed. The gallery version was published on WWE.com, original collages were created for Instagram, and the 24 page limited edition of 100 hand-numbered zines were given away. 80 were handed out in-ring to fans at Axxess during WrestleMania week in New Orleans. And, we did a MS Paint Megathread drawing participation on Reddit, where 20 contributors to the thread were randomly picked by /u/RealWWE to receive an exclusive prize.
Here are some of my favorite spreads and the original collages for Instagram. See the entire zine HERE.
Collage and Original Photography by Andrew Boyle Photo Direction and Creative Production by Christine Reilly Digital Content Production and Interviews by Anthony Benigno Editorial Director, Ryan Murphy Copy Editing by Jon Chik Lighting by James Schieber Digital Technician, Charley Parden Art and Design Consultant, Joelle Brito