Earlier this week I read this incredible, biographical graphic novel about Andre The Giant. I knew of him from The Princess Bride, and I had a small inkling that he was involved in wresting, but I knew very little about wresting. But the graphic novel really opened my eyes to the way things are done in wrestling, and to a multitude of information on Andre The Giant.
This graphic novel was part of a tote full of things that our friends gave us when I moved down. It was originally a tote to be donated, but there were many things in it that looked interesting, so I grabbed what I would use/read, and the friends asked that if I no longer require any of it, that I donate it. So I’ve been very slowly picking my way through graphic novels and books. This one had my attention since I saw it (literally 6 months ago), but I was a bit worried that I didn’t know enough about wrestling to enjoy the book.
Luckily, Box Brown (the author) took that into account. The book starts with some information on wrestling in general; specifically addressing the “wrestling is fake” situation right off the bat. To briefly sum it up, the matches have planned outcomes, and parts are borderline choreography. Not everyone hits full force all the time, and many of the bigger moves are done with acting, so no one gets too badly hurt. For example; Andre was fighting someone, and head-butted them, but his hands absorbed most of the head-butt; it was up to his opponent to act like it hit him full force.
Just from that paragraph, I feel like I learned something. I knew that matches were predetermined, but I wasn’t sure to what end. And the opening of this book made it far easier to read the entirety; don’t skip the prologue, friends.
The graphic novel follows Andre The Giant from a young age to his death. It tracks big milestones, and sad moments. He was a drinker, and an incredibly heavy one at that. According to the book, he racked up a bar tab of $40,000 one night. It also talks about his disease, acromegaly (or giantism); how his body was growing, and would continue to grow, too fast for his heart and bones to keep him alive.
Andre The Giant lived an incredibly interesting life, and that made for a phenomenal graphic novel. I highly recommend everyone read it; it does have quite a bit of cursing so younger readers may want to wait a bit before diving in. I really enjoyed reading this, and I can’t wait to lend it to someone else to read.
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