Review: Andre the Giant - Life and Legend (OGN)

Growing up I loved watching wrestling, especially during the 1980’s Golden Era of Wrestling. Every week, I witnessed legendary matches from some of the greats in this business: Hulk Hogan, Macho Man Randy Savage, Roddy Piper, The Million Dollar Man, The Ultimate Warrior, and Andre the Giant.  Out of this group, Andre was a man who can be set apart. Best known as the Eighth Wonder of the World, Andre was an impressive man (~500 pounds) that drew the crowds by his stature of 7 feet 4 inches and performance in the ring. But what truly made Andre so special, in my opinion, was that he made the best of his condition (Acromegaly) where premature aging and uncontrollable growing of the limbs debilitates the organs and joints until the point of death. He didn’t let his disease make the best of him but rather, Andre used it to build his career.  Andre not only appealed to the crowds through his sheer size, his fights became legendary; his character and performance in wrestling simply can’t be replicated. Among his legendary matches were his fights against Macho Man Randy Savage, Antonio Inoki, and Killer Kahn, but perhaps the most predominant fight occurred in WrestleMania III (WM III). In WM III, Andre and Hulk Hogan duked it out for the WWF title in 1987, a match for the ages.

Andre the Giant - Life and LegendIn Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, publishers First Second will be releasing an original and compelling graphic novel highlighting the story of Andre the Giant from creator Box Brown. The graphic novel is a condensed biography of Andre’s life inside and outside the ring. From his early childhood in the farms of France to his movie career and all the way to his big match versus Hulk Hogan in WrestleMania III, the story depicts both in art and history the life of this legendary wrestler.

The book does a remarkable job of portraying Andre as a gentle yet torn man with personal problems and health issues that slowly deteriorated his existence.  Yet, in spite of his sad story, Andre managed to take control of his life and make the best out every endeavor he was a part of.  The stories, the narrations, and highlights presented in this graphic novel in the artistic rendering and writing of Box Brown, is simply a MUST OWN, MUST READ comic.

When reading this comic, I felt as if I was in a movie theatre slowly unraveling the pieces of Andre’s life.  The charm and heart put into this comic is obvious when you read Andre’s story (I hate to admit it, but even I got a bit emotional by the end).  Overall, I say pure wrestling fans will enjoy this book. Andre the Giant: Life and Legend presents a remarkable story of a true hero in the wrestling business. My recommendation is to grab this novel, read it, and relive Andre’s matches and movies to get the full “Giant” experience.  Now if you’ll excuse me I have some Andre the Giant wrestling matches to re-live.

Score: 5/5

Writer/Artist/Creator: Box Brown Publisher: First Second Books Price: $17.99 Release Date: 5/6/14