For the past couple of years Philadelphia’s Box Brown has made a name for himself through insightful and often funny works like Bellen and Everything Dies. As wonderful as those works often are, they could not have prepared readers for the mini-masterpiece that is Andre the Giant: Life and Legend. Patched together using sources as disparate as obscure interviews, vintage TV appearances and recollections from those who knew the big man best, this graphic novel is the definitive look at Andre the Giant’s life.
Through his sparse and simplistic art (think a visual mash-up of Charles Schulz’s and Chris Ware’s work), Brown presents a swift-moving glimpse into the French-born wrestler’s work that is as informative as it is moving. The book is crammed with fascinating anecdotes about Andre that include a fascinating tale of the Giant getting rides from Samuel Beckett in the famed playwright’s truck and some truly legendary stories about the grappler’s love for drinking.
Although this is a warts-and-all bio that does spend some time examining Andre’s less admirable traits, Brown never treats his subject matter with anything but the deepest respect. His reverence for the Giant and professional wrestling in general is infectious, so don’t be surprised if you find yourself wanting to throw on one of his matches, or, at the very least, The Princess Bride, when you’re finished. If only all comic bios were this well done…
$17.99. First Second Books.