Sunday, August 17, 2014


Andre the Giant: Life and LegendBeginning in Molien, France, in 1958, this graphic novel* traces the wrestling career of Andre Roussimoff.  Over seven feet tall and weighing in at 600 pounds, the man was truly a giant. 

Author Box Brown captures the true flavor of professional wrestling as he chronicles Andre's life in and out of the ring.  Life in the spotlight led to heavy drinking and at times a vulgar lifestyle.  Brown explains that the stressful and physically taxing life of a wrestler would have been hard enough, but it was even more devastating for Andre since his huge bulk was due to a condition known as acromegaly.  Guaranteed, because of the condition, to have a shorter than normal lifespan, Andre made the most of his fame and traveled the world to perform for his fans.

Brown also lets readers into the inner world of pro-wrestling.  He describes the roles of hero and "heel" as the wrestlers get the crowd geared up before the fights.  In Andre's career he played both roles well.  Readers also learn some of the secrets of how moves are faked to create the theatrical performance well-known in the sport.

ANDRE THE GIANT portrays the man behind the legend in startling detail.  His personal life, his appearances in movies, as well as his professional career are clearly written and illustrated within the graphic format.

*One note of caution - considering the graphic novel style might attract younger readers, this reviewer cautions some of the language and innuendo are more suited to mature readers.

No comments: