Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Eighth Wonder of the World

I had the good fortune of reading, not one, but two Andre the Giant graphic novels this weekend! 

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown 

An underground/indie style comic that tells Andre’s story w/ a delightful “print the legend” type of ethos. Brown backs up his anecdotes by providing his sources, but since so many of them consist of oral histories given by other wrestlers, for whom blending the real & unreal is a way of life, there may be a few tall tales in the mix :)

For example, the too good to be true, but also too awesome to deny, story about Samuel Beckett driving a young Andre to school, because he was too big to fit on the bus.

Andre The Giant: Closer To Heaven by Brandon M. Easton & Denis Medri

This is the much more official seeming version of Andre’s life story, authorized by his estate, and with more mainstream production value. This is a wonderfully illustrated & poetically composed account of the Andre the Giant mythos. The details in this version diverge quite a bit from Brown's account, often telling the same stories in very different ways, but they end up painting a strikingly similar portrait of Andr√© Roussimoff, the heroic, flawed, and very human person behind the larger than life icon of the Giant. 

I always find it especially fun when highbrow & lowbrow culture become intertwined, and Andre's story is a perfect storm of the sacred & profane.

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