Apr 072017

WWE Superstar, AJ Mendez, will sign her new book: Crazy is My Superpower Wednesday, April 19th @ 6:00pm at Meltdown Comics in Hollywood, CA.

  • Each person attending must purchase one or more books from Meltdown Comics to have any items signed. 
  • AJ will personalize and take photos, no memorabilia please.
  • Signing begins at 6PM. Line up is first come, first served.
  • The event is FREE, if you want a signature you must buy Crazy is My Superpower book.

Dee Dee DeBartlo, DeBartlo & Company
212-365-8766 | deedee@debartlo.com

WWE Champion AJ Mendez Brooks’ literary memoir is a raw and powerful account of how her greatest weakness became the key to her success, in and out of the ring

“AJ Mendez Brooks is a stunningly gifted writer. Crazy Is My Superpower is at once breathtakingly honest, hilariously funny, self-deprecating and incredibly inspiring. I absolutely loved every page of this book.”
—Julie Klam, New York Times bestselling author of Friendkeeping and You Had Me at Woof

“AJ Mendez Brooks’ candid account of her struggles and success offers young women a wonderful role model regarding how to be yourself, stand up for what you believe in and embrace the ‘crazy.’ AJ’s story promotes empowerment, not just through physical strength, but through emotional strength as well.”
—Dr. Jen Hartstein, family psychologist and author of Princess Recovery

“This compelling memoir, written with heartfelt humor and strength, shows how AJ persevered over circumstances that a lesser human would have been destroyed by. She is truly a superhero.”
—Caroline Rhea, actor, TV host, and stand-up comedian

Former WWE superstar AJ Mendez Brooks, known in the ring as AJ Lee, isn’t your typical wrestler. (And not just because she’s only 5’ 2”.) Neither a damsel-in-distress nor an Amazonian vixen, she’s instead a scrappy powerhouse, a feminist, and a self-described nerd who regularly geeks out with her 4.11 million Twitter followers about topics like comic books, junk food, puppies, and video games.

But AJ wasn’t always so comfortably herself. In her new memoir, CRAZY IS MY SUPERPOWER: How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules (Crown Archetype; Hardcover; $25.00; On Sale April 4, 2017), she shares her incredible journey from an awkward, insecure girl in an unstable home to an internationally recognized wrestling phenomenon. It’s the honest and unflinching story of her long road to self-acceptance, including her struggles with bipolar disorder, and all the twists, turns, and turmoil that made her who she is today.

Long before she entered the ring, AJ was a quirky, quiet girl, the youngest of three growing up within a highly dysfunctional family—in the kind of household where chaos reigned and she and her siblings often took care of their parents, instead of the other way around. Her father dabbled in drugs and hung with a dangerous crowd, and her mother, who had undiagnosed bipolar disorder, could be erratic and cruel. Destitute, they were evicted twenty times before AJ turned ten, moving every few months, sleeping on relatives’ couches, shopping for dented cans at the supermarket, and salvaging toys from dumpsters. They were, as AJ puts it, “straight-up pilgrims without the scurvy.”

AJ was born premature and asthmatic, and as a kid, she felt weak, uncoordinated, and above all powerless. She struggled to fit in and act “normal,” and when that didn’t work, she tried to embrace her aesthetic as “the tiny weirdo in baggy clothing who always looked angry.” She escaped her torments by devouring comic books and video games, inspired by their tough and unconventional female characters. But it wasn’t until she discovered professional wrestling that she realized superheroes could be real. Sprawled out in front of the TV watching WWF with her brother, she was fascinated by the strong, confident, badass female wrestlers she saw onscreen, kicking butt, taking names, and fighting their own battles. Tired of feeling small and pitiable, AJ decided this was her dream: to become a professional wrestler. Or as she recalls the decision: “I felt like a freak and outcast, so naturally I would want to run away with the circus.”

AJ trained hard, gaining more than a few bruises along the way, but eventually earned a WWE contract. As she came up in this male-dominated sport, she resisted industry pressure to dress provocatively and instead carved out a space for herself, creating an ass-kicking persona that reflected her nerdy interests—right down to her signature Chuck Taylors. As a three-time Diva champion, she gained a legion of devoted fans, including young women who were inspired and empowered by her style and her attitude. AJ retired at the height of her career on her own terms, having done what she set out to do: find her inner strength and show it to the world.

But the road to becoming a wrestler wasn’t AJ’s only difficult journey. In CRAZY IS MY SUPERPOWER she opens up for the first time about her bipolar disorder, confronting her demons, and changing her life for the better. Her mother’s illness cast a shadow over her life, as did her family’s insistence that it didn’t exist – illness was weakness and the Mendez family was anything but weak. AJ struggled to balance her ambitions with the need to take care of her mother. Saddled with this immense responsibility, her own symptoms, like panic attacks, insomnia, and depression, became harder to ignore. She started to realize that she needed help herself, and that the first step was to be brave enough to acknowledge this simple fact.

AJ describes discovering her disorder with her typical humor and candor—“The first time I went to see a psychiatrist I was dressed like Carmen Sandiego and just as determined to not be found.” Her honesty is raw, radical, and deeply moving. Her diagnosis wasn’t the end of the world; in fact, it helped her in her day job. As a wrestler, she took the darkness she’d spent years trying not to look at, and channeled it into the wild-eyed “crazy ex-girlfriend” persona that fans loved for her passion and unpredictability. What most people view as a hardship, AJ embraced as inspiration, shattering the stigma attached to mental illness.

AJ’s writing is full of wit and heart.  In CRAZY IS MY SUPERPOWER, her natural talent and one-of-a-kind voice make for an engaging and compelling read. Among AJ’s many frank and funny observations about life in and out of the ring:

•    On growing up with a complex family dynamic: “I have the fun parents that take us to R-rated movies… and who will encourage me, at age fourteen, to get a tattoo (I will decline, saying, ‘I feel like one of us needs to think rationally about this’). But having the ‘fun’ parents can have its drawbacks… Fun parents accidentally spend the rent money on a new pair of sneakers for themselves… Fun parents party hard… Every time I opened our refrigerator to find nothing but a forty-ounce Budweiser, I would ugly cry.”
•    On her first time watching the leading ladies of the WWF: “I was floored. I had thought spandex-wearing heroines had only existed within the pages of my comics or pixelated games. But here were real-life, flesh-and-blood ass kickers. Some of the women were jacked and tough as nails. The others were gorgeous blond bombshells. All of them were confident, interesting pieces of the show. I watched as they received brutal beatings and doled them out twice as hard…I needed it to be real. I needed to experience the power and strength with my own hands in real life.”
•    On whether professional wrestling is “fake”: “It is an entertainment business like any other, but with the caveat of sometimes breaking bones. Just because something is planned doesn’t meant the physicality hurts any less. If someone tells me they are going to punch me in the mouth, does that make the punch hurt any less just because I know it’s coming? I’d argue it takes bigger balls to know that pain is coming your way and not run in the other direction. When done right, pro wrestling can and should be a work of art.”
•    On misogyny and the perils of being a woman in the world: “Asking a woman to smile is either a creepy invasion of personal space or a rude assumption that a woman needs rescuing. We are not damsels in distress. I’m a self-rescuing princess, thank you very much… And misogynists, please shut the f**k up… Step up. Be kinder. Be smarter. Be better. Or just smile real pretty for me, so I can punch you in the teeth.”
•    On dealing with mental illness: “My family did not believe in mental illness. They thought it was a creation of pansies who couldn’t tough it out when life got rough. And then it screwed us without even having the courtesy to buy us dinner first… What I wish for anyone reading this who feels even the slightest worry that something could be wrong inside of them is that you find the strength to talk to someone about it… Just taking the time to put your mental health first, acknowledging that it deserves respect and care, and accepting help when you need it, can save your life.”
•    On playing “crazy” in the ring: “I had spent so long ignoring my bipolar disorder, I was still used to being in denial about it, and sometimes untrained in controlling it. Would reaching deep down and pulling it to the surface only serve in helping it to consume me? Or would it be the perfect way to hide in plain sight?… I got in touch with the deep, dark corners of my mind I had tried to never look at for too long… I picked the worst qualities I knew I was capable of and my character proudly shouted them from the rooftops… To me, I wasn’t playing crazy. I was discovering my superpowers.”

In CRAZY IS MY SUPERPOWER, AJ’s unique charm and oddball sense of humor shine, as she tells her fascinating story for the first time. AJ’s tale is a brave confessional about embracing your weird, your weakness, and your crazy, and turning those things into your greatest strengths.

AJ Mendez Brooks is a former WWE wrestler and three-time champion under the ring name AJ Lee. She currently works with several animal rescue and youth-oriented non-profit organizations. She lives with her husband, their rescue dog, and her Xbox in Chicago.

How I Triumphed by Breaking Bones, Breaking Hearts, and Breaking the Rules
By AJ Mendez Brooks

Find out more at www.ajmendezbrooks.com

A.J. Lee

More Advance Praise for

“This book is for every young woman who couldn’t find a seat at the lunch table. AJ Mendez Brooks writes about loneliness, mental illness and finding her place in the world with genuine vulnerability and perhaps more importantly, genuine strength.”
—Amy Koppelman, author of A Mouthful of Air, Hesitation Wounds and I Smile Back

“AJ Mendez Brooks not only pulls no punches in the ring, her pen is just as mighty and ass-kicking. This woman is 5’2” of raw talent, heroic honesty, and gut-busting humor, and her roller-coaster of a story of triumph over Dickensian roots, search for authentic selfhood, and redefining what it means to be female in the world left me both breathless and feeling like I should be jumping up and down in some loud stadium somewhere shouting, “Yes, yes, oh my god, f**k yes!!!!!”
—Deborah Copaken, New York Times bestselling author of Shutterbabe and The Red Book

“AJ Mendez Brooks is the role model we desperately need in today’s culture! Authentic and inspiring, AJ embraces her challenges, bravely discusses her past, and shows us all how to turn pain into power.”
—Emily Roberts MA, LPC – “The Guidance Girl” psychotherapist and author of Express Yourself: A Teen Girl’s Guide to Speaking Up and Being Who You Are

WWE Superstar, AJ Mendez, will sign her new book: Crazy is My Superpower Wednesday, April 19th @ 6:00pm.

Feb 152017

Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con Launches
Monthly Streaming
Monthly Interview Events
Live From Meltdown Comics Hollywood

Los Angeles Comic Con’s “A Conversation With…” Streams Live via www.Meltcomics.com the First Wednesday of Every Month Beginning March 8
with Guest Duncan Rouleau,
Co-Founder of Man of Action Studios

 Co-Hosted by L.A. Comic Con CEO Keith Tralins
and Meltdown Comics’ Adam Parker

“A Conversation With…” Features Several of Today’s Most Celebrated Names In Pop Culture
Live and Direct From Meltdown Comics In Hollywood

For Immediate Release:

LOS ANGELES (2/15/2017) – Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con has set Wednesday March 8 for the launch of L.A. Comic Con Presents A Conversation With…at Meltdown, a monthly series of one-hour live streaming interviews featuring several or the most prominent creative talents in pop culture.

Produced by L.A. Comic Con and Meltdown Comics, and streamed live from Meltdown Comics on Sunset Boulevard in Hollywood, L.A. Comic Con Presents A Conversation With…at Meltdown is open to the public, beginning with a meet and greet, participate in the audience Q&A portion of the program and an opportunity to purchase each guest’s merchandise. Each conversation will be a casual master class on creating best-of-breed pop culture entertainment.

Co-hosted by L.A. Comic Con CEO Keith Tralins and Meltdown’s Adam Parker, L.A. Comic Con Presents A Conversation With…kicks off with Duncan Rouleau, celebrated comic book writer-artist and a founding member of the creative think tank and studio MAN OF ACTION ENTERTAINMENT.  Together with fellow partners Joe Casey, Joe Kelly, and Steven T. Seagle, Rouleau created the Cartoon Network original animated series Ben 10, along with the spin-off series Ben 10: Alien Force and Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, two live action made-for TV-movies, and a live stage show.  As a comic book illustrator, Rouleau contributed to a variety of popular titles for Dark Horse Comics, DC Comics, Image Comics and Marvel Comics, including the 8-issue miniseries The Metal Men for DC Comics and the Marvel Comics super-hero Big Hero 6 In collaboration with Steven T. Seagle.  Rouleau also serves as co-executive producer on Disney XD’s Avenger’s Assemble.

Each month’s event begins at 7:00pm for the in-store meet and greet, followed at 7:30pm for the hour program.  The streaming feed can be accessed via Meltdown’s website located at www.meltcomics.com.

“We are excited to team with Meltdown Comics for our monthly video streaming series A Conversation With…and look forward to making the program a part of the pop culture media landscape,” said Tralins. “This is an excellent opportunity to learn more about how creators go about the business of creating, and should please anyone who craves learning more about the creative process.”

“We are pleased to serve as the streaming home for A Conversation With…and join forces with Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con in presenting the series to fans of comic books, sci-fi entertainment and all categories of pop culture throughout the country and around the world,” said F. Dominguez.

About Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con:

Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con is Los Angeles’ biggest and best large-scale, multi-media pop culture convention. Held annually Halloween weekend at the Los Angeles Convention Center, Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con assembles the most exciting and innovative in comics, video games, sci-fi, fantasy, horror and all things pop-culture. Partnering with comic legend Stan Lee himself and Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con is the only pop-culture convention owned and operated by true pop-culture icons. With a mission to provide celebrity, creator and talent access that is unequalled in comic conventions, Stan Lee’s L.A. Comic Con’s unique panels, autograph sessions and photo-ops give fans once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to truly interact with their favorite creators and major players in the entertainment industry.  Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con is a partnership of Stan Lee’s Pow! Entertainment, Cassandra Peterson, and Comikaze Entertainment, Inc.  Visit http://www.stanleeslacomiccon.com/. This year’s Stan Lee’s Los Angeles Comic Con will be October 27-29, 2017.

About Meltdown Comics:

Established in 1993, Meltdown Comics serves as the mecca for all things comic book, comedy, podcasting, and pop culture related.  Located in the heart of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard, Meltdown is the recipient of accolades from such leading trendsetters “Best of LA: LA Weekly, “Best of LA: LA Magazine, “Best Comedy: LA Weekly, “Top 50 things why LA kicks ass: LA Weekly, “Best Store: Playboy Magazine and “Top 10 stores you must visit before you die.”  Visit Meltdown at www.meltcomics.com.

# # #

SSA Public Relations
Steve Syatt
David Syatt
(818) 907-0500

Nov 162016


November 16, 2016


Comedians Rory Scovel and Jay Larson Bring

to Meltdown Comics Every Wednesday at 8:30pm Starting November 30, 2016

(LOS ANGELES, CA) – Meltdown Comics is proud to announce Rabbit Hole with Jay and Rory, a new weekly comedy show hosted by Jay Larson ( Conan, The Late Late Show) and Rory Scovel (Those Who Can’t, Ground Floor) and produced by Caitlin Durante. This stand up showcase will feature an eclectic mix of talent, from national headliners to the hilarious up-and-comers who will shape tomorrow’s comedy landscape.

The show kicks off on Wednesday, November 30, 2016 at 8:30pm in the NerdMelt Showroom at Meltdown Comics [7522 Sunset Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90046].

The debut line-up will feature:
– Kate Berlant (Netflix’s The Characters, Transparent)
– Todd Glass (Tosh.0, The Daily Show)
– Bridey Elliott (Silicon Valley, Search Party)
– Baron Vaughn (Conan, Grace and Frankie)
– And a surprise guest!

Tickets will be available online for $10 at http://rabbitholeshow.com

Rabbit Hole with Jay and Rory fills the Wednesday slot famously held for the past six years by The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, which ended its run in October 2016. Gaston D-L from Meltdown, Inc. says, “The legacy of comedy on Wednesdays runs deep at Meltdown Comics; we have been putting on shows here for ten years now. We couldn’t be happier to have our flagship show be reincarnated with such qualified and familiar names as Jay and Rory. Keep the Wednesday energy alive and come laugh with us again!” The Meltdown Show producer Emily V. Gordon expresses her support for the new show as well: “The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail are collectively stoked for the next chapter of Wednesday nights at Meltdown Comics knowing that Jay Larson and Rory Scovel are at the helm.”

About Meltdown Comics
Located in the heart of Hollywood on Sunset Blvd, Meltdown Comics opened in 1993 and has since become one the most respected comic book stores in the world. Taking a sophisticated approach to merchandise and operations, the 10,000 square foot giant has garnered a reputation for hosting successful gallery openings and award winning comedy, including the Comedy Central’s The Meltdown with Jonah and Kumail, as well as live shows and podcasting events in their collaborative space with Nerdist and the NerdMelt Showroom. Meltdown Comics is a mecca for all things comic book, comedy, podcasting, and pop culture.

About NerdMelt
To put it simply, the Nerdist Showroom at Meltdown Comics is comedy in the back of a comic book shop. Also known as NerdMelt, it’s an intimate space to see some of the best comedians, podcasts, panels, and art shows come to life. This room is the D.I.Y. beating heart of Los Angeles’s comedy community, thanks to Chris Hardwick’s vision of bringing the best, most unique entertainment to comedy lovers with the help of Program Director Caitlin Durante and the NerdMelt team. www.nerdmeltla.com

About the Hosts
Jay Larson is best known as a stand up comedian with multiple appearances on The Late Late Show, four appearances on Conan, and his own half hour special on Comedy Central. Jay’s style is completely original and his ability to connect to an audience through storytelling is unmatched. Jay’s Storytelling has been featured on This American Life with Ira Glass, Comedy Central’s This is Not Happening, and can be heard every Toozdee on his wildly successful podcast, The CrabFeast. Jay’s first album, Self Diagnosed, was released in 2011 by AST records, and his follow up album, Human Math, was released this Fall. But at the end of the day, the job that gives Jay the most satisfaction is being a father to his two kids.

Rory Scovel recently finished shooting the New Line feature The House, alongside Will Ferrell and Amy Poehler, as well as The Legacy of a Whitetail Deer Hunter for director Jody Hill alongside Danny McBride and Josh Brolin. Some of his television credits include the TBS series Ground Floor as well as the NBC series Undateable, ABC’s Modern Family, F/X’s The Comedians  and the original series Those Who Can’t for TruTV. Last year Rory also starredalongside Demetri Martin in Demetri’s directorial debut Dean  which premiered at the 2016 Tribeca Film Festival, and his new hour stand up special is available on Seeso. Rory’s stand up has been featured on Comedy Central, CONAN, and Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. His second album, Rory Scovel Live at Third Man Records, was released in 2013 and was recorded live at their studios in Nashville. Whether discussing drugs, politics, or life in general his infectious stage presence and engaging charisma will quickly shift the vibe of any room and place the
audience in the scene of every punch line. www.roryscovel.com


FACEBOOK (www.facebook.com/rabbitholewithjayandrory)
Brand new comedy show Rabbit Hole with Jay and Rory kicks off on November 30 at 8:30pm at
the NerdMelt Showroom at Meltdown Comics. TICKETS: http://rabbitholeshow.com

TWITTER: New comedy show @TheRabbitHoleLA hosted by @JayLarsoncomedy &
@roryscovel starts 11/30 at 8:30pm @MeltdownComics @NerdMelt

INSTAGRAM: New comedy show @therabbitholela hosted by @jaylarsoncomedy &
@roryscovel starts 11/30 at 8:30 @meltdowncomics @nerdmelt

Caitlin Durante, Producer

Meltdown Comics
7522 Sunset Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90046
(323) 851-7223