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Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown
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Andre the Giant: Life and Legend: 07/06/14

cover art

Andre the Giant: Life and Legend by Box Brown is a graphic novel biography of Andre Roussimoff. It starts with his childhood in France when people first started to notice is unusual stature. It goes through his wrestling career in Canada, the United States, Japan and his role as Fezzik in The Princess Bride (1987).

Andre the Giant, and Hulk Hulgan, who introduces the book through an illustrated interview, are a pair of wrestlers celebrities who were a ubiquitous part of my childhood. Even if one didn't watch wrestling (myself included), one knew their names. So reading his biography, especially as a graphic novel, was a no brainer for me — I even had it on pre-order.

Most of the book is divided between Roussimoff's health issues that arose from his uncontrolled growth, and his drinking. Brown suggests that his drinking became a way to self medicate especially as the pain worsened and his sense of isolation grew. His breakneck schedule of numerous appearances, long distance flights and bus trips, didn't give him much time do unwind. The alcohol, drunk in copious amounts was the solution.

Box Brown's style is one of heavy lines, squared edges and an emphasis on black. It reminds me of Hope Larson's use of black space in Mercury.

Five stars

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