Kai Greene, a multi-talented star is paving the way for many to pursue their talents in whatever field they choose to. He is a bodybuilding champion, artist, illustrator and creator of his own graphic novel ‘The Chronicles of King Kai’, and has also starred in the hit Netflix series “Stranger Things".
Having recently made his first appearance at MEFCC, as he muscled his way in to the region’s largest and best pop culture convention meeting his army of fans, and giving up-and-coming artists some tips on how to succeed in the world of comics, Weekender managed to get an exclusive interview with the US born entrepreneur, actor and businessman, as he shed light on his first graphic novel recently unveiled in his native New York, aside from what exciting new projects he will be taking up.
W. For someone who has made a strong mark in bodybuilding, what led your interest towards creating your own graphic novel?
Kai: Bodybuilding is about creating. It may look like it’s about lifting weights and eating protein, which it may be comprised of, but that’s not what it’s about. Bodybuilding is about struggling against insurmountable forces to create a body you see in your mind’s eye. To manipulate and sculpt the physique only you can see. I didn’t want to create a graphic novel. I wanted to create a universe that paralleled what bodybuilding was. It’s not a 300-pound man benching 500 lbs. It’s not just posing trunks and lat spreads. It’s that belief that you can create something from nothing. That you can shape and mold your own path, your own story. The Chronicles of King Kai and my comic company, Dynamic Muscle Comics, is proof that thoughts become things.
W. Kindly share some details on what is ‘Chronicles of King Kai’ all about?
Kai: The Chronicles of King Kai is a sci-fi fantasy story set on the world of Tricari. Tricari is a place of magic, warriors, and tragedy. The world is rich in natural resources that have been plundered by invading forces. It has a storied history of war and betrayal that have left it on the brink of collapse. The story follows our hero, King Kai, as he fights to save his world.
W. Did you always know you would want to illustrate your own comic?
Kai: Art has always been an escape and a celebration for me. I remember sitting so quietly copying the dynamic Marvel and stoic DC characters. I could hear my heart race as I traced the lines and saw these heroes come to life. It’s nothing short of a dream come true to work alongside my fellow artists to bring the Chronicles of King Kai to life.
W. What have been the major setbacks you had to face towards becoming an illustrator and artist?
Kai: There is always a multitude of setbacks in the pursuit of any goal. Ask any sculptor, architect, basketball player, entrepreneur - anyone who achieved their vision had to survive these setbacks. The common denominator is perseverance. I don’t like to focus on setbacks. I like to focus on how I got here, to this very moment.
W. How do you manage to create a perfect balance between both of passions of bodybuilding and comics?
Kai: The passions overlap more than you’d think. Every great bodybuilder must appreciate the beauty of the human form. Pick up any comic anywhere and I can guarantee you’ll notice a celebration of the muscular physique. The covers of these comics are dominated by striated quads, prominent serratus, and barrel chests.When I’m lifting, I can imagine moving through the world of Tricari. When I’m designing a character, I can imagine manipulating their muscles as I would in the gym. The two passions stem from the same seed.
W. Who has been your influencer or role model when it comes to pursuing your dreams?
Kai: I don’t believe that any one person can inspire us to achieve our dreams. It must come from a spark deep inside. No one can plant that special something in the depths of your psyche that you can then water and nourish over the years. I have great admiration for the titans of comics, art, and bodybuilding, but I do not look outward for motivation or influence.
W. Do you think there’s a strong stance for Comic Conventions in the Middle East now paving the way to create strong superhero characters generating from the GCC?
Kai: Absolutely. Each of these conventions shows the world what is possible. You have no idea what doors you’ve opened with this event, which people walking these halls have realized what is possible! You may have helped awaken that dormant spark inside their creative minds with a whisper that “it’s possible”. Superheroes represent the best of the human condition. They are men and women that sacrifice themselves in the pursuit of the greater good. These characteristics know no borders. Your work here has certainly furthered the growth of comics and superheroes within the GCC.
W. Do you plan to come to Bahrain anytime soon?
Kai: Yes we plan to come there potentially this year. I have friends and business partners in Bahrain with my supplement company and you never know what our venture with Comics May take us ?! Let’s hope that’s Bahrain !
W. Where can Bahraini residents purchase your comic?
Kai: I’m currently selling limited edition copies at several comic cons before launching the comic officially online. If you want you or your local comic shop to carry Chronicles of King Kai, they can email us firstname.lastname@example.org