Andre the Giant
Andre Roussimoff is known as both the lovable giant in The Princess Bride and a heroic pro-wrestling figure. He was a normal guy who'd been dealt an extraordinary hand in life. At his peak, he weighed 500 pounds and stood nearly seven and a half feet tall. But the huge stature that made his fame also signed his death warrant.Box Brown brings his great talents as a cartoonist and biographer to this phenomenal new graphic novel. Drawing from historical records about Andre's life as well as a wealth of anecdotes from his colleagues in the wrestling world, including Hulk Hogan, and his film co-stars (Billy Crystal, Robin Wright, Mandy Patinkin, etc), Brown has created in Andre the Giant, the first substantive biography of one of the twentieth century's most recognizable figures.

Andre the Giant Details

TitleAndre the Giant
Author
FormatPaperback
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseMay 6th, 2014
PublisherFirst Second
ISBN1596438517
ISBN-139781596438514
Number of pages240 pages
Rating
GenreSequential Art, Graphic Novels, Comics, Biography, Nonfiction, Sports and Games, Sports, Adult, Graphic Novels Comics, History, Autobiography, Memoir, Comic Book

Andre the Giant Review

  • Sesana
    May 1, 2014
    I'm not a fan of professional wrestling, and I never have been. Nothing against it, it just isn't my thing. What interest I have in Andre Roussimoff comes from my many, many viewings of A Princess Bride. I was a little worried that I might not be able to follow all of the wrestling related stuff. I was surprised at how easy Brown made it for a non-fan like myself to understand what was going on. I could basically tell what was going on in the ring, which I didn't expect at all. Oh, I'm sure that I'm not a fan of professional wrestling, and I never have been. Nothing against it, it just isn't my thing. What interest I have in Andre Roussimoff comes from my many, many viewings of A Princess Bride. I was a little worried that I might not be able to follow all of the wrestling related stuff. I was surprised at how easy Brown made it for a non-fan like myself to understand what was going on. I could basically tell what was going on in the ring, which I didn't expect at all. Oh, I'm sure that anybody who'd been watching wrestling for the last few decades will get even more from it. They'll recognize more than just two or three names, for one. This isn't a lightweight bio, either. Brown doesn't hesitate to show some of the less savory aspects of Andre's life. He was a heavy drinker, absent father, and sometimes unpleasant. And he was often generous, thoughtful, and took the business of wrestling seriously. It left me with, I think, a more real understanding of Andre than if Brown had written the good parts version.
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  • Sam Quixote
    December 28, 2013
    As a pre-teen, I was a huge WWF wrestling fan in the early ‘90s - I had the sticker albums, a bunch of taped matches, and loads of wrestling toys and a ring (or squared circle); I loved all that crazy stuff. I left it behind when I became a teenager and never went back but I remember a lot from that time. There was a fake barber with gardening shears called Beefcake, a Scotsman in a kilt who was also in movies, and literally dozens of colourful wrestlers from hitmen to bushwhackers. Arguably the As a pre-teen, I was a huge WWF wrestling fan in the early ‘90s - I had the sticker albums, a bunch of taped matches, and loads of wrestling toys and a ring (or squared circle); I loved all that crazy stuff. I left it behind when I became a teenager and never went back but I remember a lot from that time. There was a fake barber with gardening shears called Beefcake, a Scotsman in a kilt who was also in movies, and literally dozens of colourful wrestlers from hitmen to bushwhackers. Arguably the most memorable was Hulk Hogan with his handlebar mustache and yellow outfit he’d tear before his matches with “I am a real American” playing as he entered the ring - and his most memorable fight was undoubtedly his match against Andre the Giant at Wrestlemania 3. It wasn’t until a few years later after watching The Princess Bride that I looked up what had happened to Andre the Giant and found out he’d died in 1993 - oddly, about the time I was at my most obsessed with wrestling - at the relatively young age of 46 in his sleep. That was the last I thought about Andre for over a decade until I read this excellent comic book on the Giant’s life by the superb Box Brown. The book follows Andre Roussimoff’’s remarkable life as a 7ft 4in tall man, how he got into wrestling and his rise to stardom. But this is more than a catalogue of events in a life; Brown imbues the story with Andre’s personality, a voice taken from anecdotes from friends, his numerous TV appearances and some artistic licence to make reading it more enjoyable. As a child, Andre was too tall to ride the bus so had to sit in the back of a pickup to be taken to school. Brown adds little touches like Andre’s dad giving the driver a bottle of wine for the ride, and the driver making jokes about his name, Beckett, and the famous playwright. Details like these - small, almost negligible - lift up this story and make it infinitely more personal. While wrestling in Japan, Andre sees a doctor for the first time in his life and is diagnosed with acromegaly - a condition that means that, as big as he already is, he’ll continue to grow. The extra growth would add extra pressure to his joints, bones and heart, and the doctor grimly tells Andre he’ll be dead at 40 (he was out by 6 years). To illustrate Andre’s vulnerable physical state, he once broke his ankle just getting out of bed in the morning!And while his condition is sad, and, as Hulk Hogan points out at the start, that wherever he went, he was ridiculed for his size, this book doesn’t sentimentalise Andre’s life nor make him out to be an untouchable saint - Brown gives us the full picture of the man he was. Andre was casually racist toward his fellow wrestler Bad News Brown (though they make up before Andre’s death), he fathered a daughter and only saw her 4 times in his life, the mother finally getting him to pay for child support after years of dodging payments, and he was frequently boorish, drunk and rude to friends. During a match with One Man Gang, a wrestler he knew to be a teetotaller, he snuck a beer into the ring and poured it down the unsuspecting wrestler’s throat! After the filming of The Princess Bride, Rob Reiner discovers Andre’s bar tab was $40k and his lengthy drinking sessions are documented here - he reportedly drank over 100 beers in one sitting! Each of the main actors in the movie get a page with an Andre anecdote, my favourite being when Robin Wright was cold, Andre put his hand on her head, enveloping it entirely, and warming her up! Other famous moments like his Letterman appearance in ‘84 and his fight with Chuck Wepner (the boxer whose fight against Ali became the inspiration for Rocky) are also included. Of course, the wrestling is written about the most and Brown explains the various wrestling terms so that anyone, regardless of their familiarity with it, will find the book accessible. Wrestlemania 3 was the biggest fight of Andre’s career, with the event selling 90,000 tickets, as Andre faced off against Hulk Hogan. Brown goes through the preliminaries of the fight, showing how the WWF (now the WWE, having lost a legal case with the World Wildlife Fund for the acronym) built up excitement for the match, staging a rivalry between the two wrestlers (in real life they were friends). Brown then goes through the fight, explaining how the two sold the action to the audience and how it was choreographed. Brown shows not only a strong understanding of wrestling but enlightens readers as to its machinations. And while a common refrain from critics of wrestling is that it’s all fake, and it is, well, the wrestlers are really up there doing the heavy lifting. Hogan does lift Andre in the fight and that’s not fake, nor is the giant standing on Hogan’s back fake. More than anything this book shows that you do need to be in good shape to do half of what these guys do in the ring. One of my favourite scenes in this book is when Andre’s in a bar drinking and a coupla drunks talk smack about how wrestling is fake and that wrestlers are pussies, then run away when Andre stands up in front of them. He chases them out and tips over their car - with them inside, terrified - single-handedly! Box Brown has created a wonderful book about the life of one of wrestling’s greatest, Andre the Giant, as well as a great book on wrestling itself. It’s well written and drawn in Brown’s understated yet delightful illustration style, and by turns informative, entertaining, real and heartfelt. If you’re unfamiliar with the guy’s work, check out his comics on his website which are absolutely terrific. The book didn’t bring me back to wrestling but it did make me look up tons of wrestling matches from the ‘80s and ‘90s on Youtube which took me back to when I was a kid and in awe of wrestlers like Andre and Hogan. Andre the Giant: Life and Legend is a fantastic comic by an enormously talented cartoonist. Whether or not you enjoy wrestling, this is a thoroughly engrossing book that’s well worth reading.
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  • ❀Aimee❀ Just one more page...
    June 12, 2015
    This was recommended to me after reading and reviewing As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride .This graphic novel/biography examines Andre's life from about the age of 12 until his death. Andre, like everyone has many things that made him great as well as plenty of things that he could have done better. He was usually very endearing and tended to refer to everyone as, "Boss". When filming Princess Bride, he kept Robin Wright warm by gently placing his hand on h This was recommended to me after reading and reviewing As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride .This graphic novel/biography examines Andre's life from about the age of 12 until his death. Andre, like everyone has many things that made him great as well as plenty of things that he could have done better. He was usually very endearing and tended to refer to everyone as, "Boss". When filming Princess Bride, he kept Robin Wright warm by gently placing his hand on her head (he generated a LOT of heat). Since the drawing doesn't really do justice to how this might have looked, remember Andre's hand on Cary Elwes' during the movie? His acromegaly and the damage from wrestling put quite the stress on his body. He had surgery on his back at one time, and they had to think outside the box for everything - from the stretcher, to the surgical instruments/hardware, to how much anesthesia he needed (the massive amounts of alcohol he could drink was legendary, so I can only imagine the amount of anesthesia that was needed).He spent other times in the hospital for various other joint/bone issues and heart issues related to his condition. He did plenty of flying for all of his wrestling. I don't know how he "held it" on those long flights... I didn't know that Andre had a daughter named Robin. It seems as though he would have liked more time with her, but between his career and the strained relationship with her mother, and likely other factors, it just didn't happen. I wonder whether working with Robin Wright made him think of his own daughter since they shared the same name.Andre remains in so many people's hearts for the Princess Bride. In a few years, when my boys are old enough, they will watch Princess Bride, and he will be remembered by a whole new generation.Rest peacefully big guy.
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  • Richard
    May 14, 2014
    I have a soft spot for Andre the Giant (who doesn't?) so when I read about this in the NY Times I made a beeline for the library and eventually found it, banished in the Young Adult Room ghetto. For some reason, my library has half of its graphic novels in the regular popular library and half in the Young Adult Room and what goes where seems sort of arbitrary. So, as the kids of DC will soon find out, Andre the Giant was a hard living womanizer, a deadbeat dad, and a carouser who could put away I have a soft spot for Andre the Giant (who doesn't?) so when I read about this in the NY Times I made a beeline for the library and eventually found it, banished in the Young Adult Room ghetto. For some reason, my library has half of its graphic novels in the regular popular library and half in the Young Adult Room and what goes where seems sort of arbitrary. So, as the kids of DC will soon find out, Andre the Giant was a hard living womanizer, a deadbeat dad, and a carouser who could put away prodigious amounts of alcohol and eggs. He was also living with the pain of knowing he had a terminal disease and constant reminders that he (literally) didn't fit into this world. You get the feeling that for the most part, he felt comfortable with his choices - maybe a few regrets, but ultimately that he felt he'd found a niche that allowed him to make the most of what he'd been given. Brown gives the impression that Andre didn't have a lot (or possibly any) close friends, and that his personality and maybe his circumstances caused him to keep his feelings mostly to himself - but that may have been partly a research and sources issue. We mostly learn about Andre through road-life anecdotes given by professional wrestlers who worked and went on tour with him and who may, or may not, have known him best.The art and the dialogue are pretty simple, but effectively tell the story. And though it doesn't look like the author did much original research, he did do some digging and includes a helpful list of his sources in the back (mostly old interviews and bios of pro-wrestlers). The book felt really light to me and I breezed through it. I was interested, but wasn't lingering on pages like I do with art I really connect with. Minimalist art can be deceptively powerful and affecting - and, while the art was good, I didn't really get that feeling here. Still, the story of Andre's life and the illness that drove him was enough to keep me engaged and eagerly turning pages. In that sense, the book is a success - it tells an interesting story in an effective way that leaves you thinking more about the subject than about the artist.
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  • Dov Zeller
    April 4, 2015
    This book starts off with a lot of promise. In the first pages, Hulk Hogan speaks poetically about Andre the Giant, and tells us (it is drawn in the style of a documentary interview, camera on Hulk) that though Andre could be gruff and short-tempered, he was, underneath it all, a solidly good human being who has suffered immensely. The Hulk Hogan interveiw and the scene with Samuel Becket and the pickup truck (also in the early pages of the book) were the most compelling parts of the story for m This book starts off with a lot of promise. In the first pages, Hulk Hogan speaks poetically about Andre the Giant, and tells us (it is drawn in the style of a documentary interview, camera on Hulk) that though Andre could be gruff and short-tempered, he was, underneath it all, a solidly good human being who has suffered immensely. The Hulk Hogan interveiw and the scene with Samuel Becket and the pickup truck (also in the early pages of the book) were the most compelling parts of the story for me. In the end, the book is repetitive. It's a bit of a dog chasing its tail of a book and there's no arc to it. It doesn't seem to have much more to say than: Andre drinks absurd amounts of alcohol all the time. When he drinks he gets belligerent and out of control and alienates people. When he's relatively sober he tries to make friends with them again. He travels a lot. He is in pain a lot. According to the text, Andre gives next to nothing toward the financial support of the daughter he's met once or twice, and sometimes spends upwards of $40,000 bucks a night drinking. He is verbally abusive at some point to just about everyone he comes into contact with. Yes, it's hard being a giant, but that's not enough to carry a book, and it doesn't explain away his profoundly destructive behavior. Maybe there's just not enough information out there to write a more soulful book. I can't say I recommend this one.
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  • Peter Derk
    December 3, 2013
    Hulk Hogan on Andre the Giant:...people don't get it. There was never a fork or a knife, even a bed! There was never a situation where he could be comfortable. He was a seven-foot-four giant. With all the injuries and everything he shrank down to under seven feet.I watched him when he'd walk ahead of me at the airport. I heard people say horrible things and make fun of him. He lived in a cruel world.If you really understood what he went through and what he was all about, he was a gracious person Hulk Hogan on Andre the Giant:...people don't get it. There was never a fork or a knife, even a bed! There was never a situation where he could be comfortable. He was a seven-foot-four giant. With all the injuries and everything he shrank down to under seven feet.I watched him when he'd walk ahead of me at the airport. I heard people say horrible things and make fun of him. He lived in a cruel world.If you really understood what he went through and what he was all about, he was a gracious person with a kind heart. But he didn't put up with any games or chicanery.Most people don't understand the big picture.It turns out that being a giant kind of sucks. For the giant. For everyone else, it's sort of awesome. Rob Reiner has to explain Andre's $40k bar tab from a month of shooting in London, sure, but it's a great story. Samuel Beckett drove a young Andre to school after he grew too much and wouldn't fit in the school bus. Luckily, Beckett owned a truck and Andre could sit in the bed. Again, a pretty great story.On the giant's side, there's a lot of pain, a lot of problems, and you're just about guaranteed to die young. What I liked about this book was that it was an unvarnished look at a man's life. If you google around for Andre the Giant stories, lots of stuff about what a great dude he was, so kind and generous and all this. But the truth is that he pissed some people off. He was an ass more than a few times.Andre's memory might be a case of widespread AJ Syndrome.AJ syndrome is a term I coined based on this kid who died at my junior high school. I certainly wouldn't ever ever ever wish death on someone that young. Even then I didn't. But when I heard the kid died...well, I could only conjure memories of the kid being a complete jerk. Because that's the way he acted.It's unfair to respond to the death of a teenager by saying he was a jerk. Because so was I, and I was lucky enough to have time to build new opinions of me. Now people can hate me in a much more informed way, and I'm able to be a more adult, more mature type of jerk to them. However, what's also a bit unfair is to remember the dead as something they weren't. To manufacture niceness from someone because they are now dead. Especially when we're talking about an adult, even if that adult had a difficult life in a lot of ways.This book, more than most of the other things I've read about Andre, seems to present the truth. Andre the Giant was a guy. A giant guy, a guy who drank over a hundred beers in a sitting, after which he passed out and was tucked under a piano cover, the only thing big enough to accommodate him. And he was also a guy who could be kind of a dick sometimes.Yes, he's dead, and there's not a lot of point in saying bad things about the dead. EXCEPT that it makes me wonder...well, if a dead person is unassailable merely because he or she is dead, then what point is there in leaving a lasting legacy of goodness? We'll all die eventually, and by dying we ascend to a certain level of sainthood? No thanks.So I appreciate this book for what it is. Painting the sometimes ugly portrait, but not without empathy for the giant's plight.
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  • Dan
    November 9, 2014
    The storytelling was chronological but felt really disjointed. Sometimes not enough context/description given and other times way too much and not enough reliance on the reader or faith in the illustrations to communicate. For example: "Hogan, looking weirded out, acted as if his hand was crushed." Yeah. I got that from the drawing. The author is a wrestling fanatic and the vast majority of the bibliography is wrestling specific. There is a really slim section (six pages) on Andre's time filming The storytelling was chronological but felt really disjointed. Sometimes not enough context/description given and other times way too much and not enough reliance on the reader or faith in the illustrations to communicate. For example: "Hogan, looking weirded out, acted as if his hand was crushed." Yeah. I got that from the drawing. The author is a wrestling fanatic and the vast majority of the bibliography is wrestling specific. There is a really slim section (six pages) on Andre's time filming the princess bride that is based entirely off of the DVD extras/special features. A quick read but wouldn't revisit or recommend because ultimately I didn't think most of the stories were very interesting. Big takeaways: Andre the Giant liked to drink and play cards. Life could be difficult for him in predictably obvious ways because he was enormous.
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  • Seth T.
    November 20, 2015
    I was in seventh grade in 1987. I was perhaps the perfect age for becoming desperately fanatical over the events leading up to Wrestlemania III. It was the perfect combination of soap opera and athleticism. My brother and I would watch WWF matches every Saturday morning. I would come to school the next week and exuberate over what happened, what would happen next, who were good guys, who were bad guys, and who would win the championships. Hulk Hogan, Nikolai Volkoff, George the Animal Steele, Ad I was in seventh grade in 1987. I was perhaps the perfect age for becoming desperately fanatical over the events leading up to Wrestlemania III. It was the perfect combination of soap opera and athleticism. My brother and I would watch WWF matches every Saturday morning. I would come to school the next week and exuberate over what happened, what would happen next, who were good guys, who were bad guys, and who would win the championships. Hulk Hogan, Nikolai Volkoff, George the Animal Steele, Adrian Adonis, the Honky Tonk Man, Billy Jack Haynes, the Junkyard Dog, the Iron Sheik, Hillbilly Jim, Captain Lou Albano, the British Bulldogs, Ricky the Dragon Steamboat, Kamala the Ugandan Headhunter, the Rougeau Brothers, Jake the Snake Roberts, Macho Man Randy Savage. And Andre the Giant. These men were the lords on the earth. They were tremendous figures—though their feuds often seemed concocted even to a seventh-grade me.In March of 1987, Wrestlemania III took place in the Pontiac Silverdome to, apparently, record attendance. For whatever reason, my dad took the cue that we loved wrestling and got us tickets to watch on closed-circuit television along with a packed-out crowd at the Anaheim Convention Center.[1] It was easily the most exciting thing I had experienced up to that point. We roared, we booed, we screamed. The hall was electric with fans who were deeply invested in the stuff. I, personally, was there for the Ricky the Dragon Steamboat vs Macho Man Randy Savage grudge match. I was furious with Savage and needed to see vindication for the injustices[2] he’d earlier perpetrated against Steamboat. And honestly, it was the best wrestling I’d ever seen.The headlining match in which Hulk Hogan was challenged by Andre the Giant was definitely a draw, but it was secondhand snuff by comparison. The problem was that I just didn’t like the Hulkster. He always felt a bit too big for his britches—he and his 24-inch pythons. So when Andre the Giant began feuding with him, I was like, “Good. Take his stupid belt. Devour him.” Really, I probably just wanted Ricky the Dragon Steamboat to take the belt. In any case, I was expecting a good match, just not a fantastic match. But man, we got a fantastic match. And Box Brown’s biography of the Giant spends a fair amount of time on Wrestlemania III and everything Andre did for Hogan in that contest.Here’s the real deal, if you care to see it.http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6k4...I was worried that Brown’s work would have arrived too late for me. After all, my interest in the WWF and wrestling waned sharply after Wrestlemania III. My fandom wouldn’t even survive to Wrestlemania IV. I entirely lost track of all those characters and what they were doing or even whether wrestling still existed.[3] I couldn’t be bothered. It all seemed a bit too infantile to eighth-grade me—an eighth-grade me who was still desperately longing for news of a potential X-Men cartoon that never materialized. Then a couple years later, I saw The Princess Bride for the first time. The movie was released years earlier, but still a kid, I was rather limited in which movies I had access to. And besides, what seventh grade boy really wanted to go see a movie with this for a poster:But at last I saw The Princess Bride, and like everyone else in the world I came to adore Andre the Giant and his rhyming. And yet again, out of sight out of mind. I didn’t hear the news of Andre’s death in 1993 and wouldn’t discover it for another decade. The next time I encountered the man was in Shepard Fairey’s Andre- and They Live-inspired OBEY GIANT campaign. Fairey created the piece in 1994,[4] but I didn’t take notice until 2000. By this point, I still didn’t know of the Giant’s death. All this is to sell you on the fact that I honestly couldn’t be bothered to care about wrestling or wrestlers or the welfare of those persons. It was like how I have no idea what’s up with Richard Adams, author of Watership Down. I just had other things going on. And I didn’t really ever see myself reading a biography of Andre the Giant (or for that matter, a Richard Adams biography either).So when I tell you that I found Brown’s telling of the Giant’s life engaging and enjoyable and illuminating, you can be pretty sure I’m not writing from within the golden glow of nostalgia. Box Brown has composed a portrait of the imposing man’s life that draws together a number of fascinating pieces, illustrating the terror and wonder of Andre’s too-short life (he was six years older than me when he died of his giganticism. If I have one complaint, it’s that I wanted more. Another hundred-and-fifty pages of vignettes of this man’s life. Even though there’s a lot here, the Giant remains an enigma, as much a mystery as you or I.[5]What Brown does well is balance a variety of portraits of the wrestler in such a way that these contrary reports of the man’s actions and demeanor seem less a conflict and more a variegation of a life lived in the depths of unreal struggle. No matter how good and pure Andre may have been (and we want him to be good and pure), no one can stand up under the degree of fear he generated in those around him combined with wealth and power and popularity and come out shiny and clean. That he does so well as he does, remaining loved and remembered by a good number among his friends, is a reminder that despite the faults, he was generally a good-hearted man.Still, those who wish to recall him wholly as the good-natured Fezzig from The Princess Bride may be disappointed with the scuffing to his reputation here. Heavy drinking, womanizing, disinterested and deadbeat fatherhood, and the occasional drunken racial slur (a la Mel Gibson). These are among the nicks on his armour. But interestingly, Andre is such an unreal figure that these very human flaws serve to humanize him.And that’s probably the biggest power of Brown’s toolbox. He visually brings home just how ridiculously large Andre is in comparison to those around him. My wife is miniature set next to me. She is a foot shorter than me and I double her weight. The difference is striking when we stand closely together. I am not a small man. And yet, Andre had nearly a foot-and-a-half on me and was nearly three of me in weight. That would be daunting for anyone to confront. Brown’s work often invokes the term monster—and that’s exactly the sense that his drawings, for all their almost Ware-like simplicity, describe. Andre is monstrous. Yet for all that, Brown remembers to display how human he really is. Was. However we refer to the deceased who are also fictionalized[6] characters in a book.If visually Andre is a monster, Brown is careful to keep his fragility of spirit on display as well. Even in some of the exuberances of his personality (the drinking, the fights, the belligerence), it’s easy to interpret them as reactions from within the social prison his form created for him. Hulk Hogan himself even offers this perspective within the book. We see happy moments, sad moments. Moments from Andre’s perspective, moments from the vantage of his co-workers in the ring. It’s a solid mix and gives meat to the bones of his spirit.Brown plays his storytelling rather straightforward. He jumps from location to location, skipping time liberally to cover forty-six years in a pretty brisk hop. He doesn’t seem to be playing any narrative tricks prompting nuanced or complex readings of the material, which is probably fitting. Andre, for all his mystery, is still a simple and straightforward picture, and anything that would distract from that would likely be a disservice.Probably whatever you remember Andre for, that episode from his life will be represented. The pivotal pericope, however, intersects perfectly with my own experience of the Giant. While we get scenes from Andre’s rise in the wrestling world, his match with boxer Chuck Wepner, and the filming of The Princess Bride, it’s Andre’s title match against Hulk Hogan at Wrestlemania III that occupies the most space and is perhaps most lovingly recounted. And Brown does a great job recreating the details and a kind of play-by-play of the contest while simultaneously providing background and insight into what was going on within the scene. He brought to life something I had once witnessed but didn’t quite apprehend—and that was a lovely thing to come across so many years later.I mentioned earlier that I wished there had been more pages in Brown’s work here. That’s not to suggest that Andre the Giant: Life and Legend is poorly conceived or that it leaves too many strings untangled. Merely, I hoped to describe that my enjoyment of the book was such that I wouldn’t have minded more of the same. I often feel this way about graphic novel biographies. It’s such an easy, fluid means to access the lives of others that these lives can often feel as though they are flitting by too quickly—as if they are underliving their value. I felt this way with Ottaviani and Wicks’ Primates as well. (Though not, curiously, with Ottaviani’s Feynman , which was thick for its short page count and perfectly essayed.) All this is to say that if Box Brown decides to biographize the life of Richard Adams, I would not turn down the opportunity to happily read that one too._______[Review courtesy of Good Ok Bad.]_______Footnotes1) Where they’ve held Wonder-Con the past couple years.2) Fabricated, sure, but I was only tangentially aware of that back then.3) Pro tip: it did still exist.4) It was repurposed from an earlier campaign, “Andre the Giant Has a Posse,” after Fairey received cease-and-desist notice from Andre the Giant’s trademark owners.5) Though if you’re a regular reader of my reviews, you may actually know more about me than I now know about Andre the Giant.6) To clarify the point, this is non-fiction. But as in all biography, license is taken for the sake of story. Things are depicted in particular ways. The world bends to the storyteller’s pen so that this version of things might be the truest version of things. Truer than life is the goal of every thorough biographer.I mean, I made that up just now, but I’m pretty sure it’s true.
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  • David Schaafsma
    July 7, 2014
    So you don't care about "professional" wrestling or the WWF or have never heard of Andre the Giant? Well, be prepared to get interested. Andre was 7'4", and was in excess of 500 pounds when he died. He worked as a pro wrestler, became internationally famous for it, and that very size (and a disease he was said to have that kept him growing and prematurely aging) killed him at 46. If you liked Princess Bride, as millions do, Andre was in that film and best known for that outside of wrestling. He So you don't care about "professional" wrestling or the WWF or have never heard of Andre the Giant? Well, be prepared to get interested. Andre was 7'4", and was in excess of 500 pounds when he died. He worked as a pro wrestler, became internationally famous for it, and that very size (and a disease he was said to have that kept him growing and prematurely aging) killed him at 46. If you liked Princess Bride, as millions do, Andre was in that film and best known for that outside of wrestling. He was also famous for feats of eating (he would eat two 2 dozen egg omelets at a sitting) and drinking (sometimes consuming 100 beers at a time). Brown does a very nice job pacing the life story of the Giant, and he is a lifelong fan of the "sport". He also balances Andre's story, letting us know his good points (he was generous, often friendly, a huge supporter of pro wrestling and fellow wrestlers), but not ignoring his faults (he had a daughter he only saw four times, he was often an ugly drunk, he wasn't always very nice to lots of people, womanizer). And others were mean to and about him, at his size, all his life. A sad story, overall, but still, entertaining. When he was a kid and too big to ride the bus to school, Samuel Beckett (yes, that Samuel Beckett!) (who had a truck) would drive him to school. Cool factoid, eh? I find out there are many books written about him, one of the historic stars of pro wrestling and Princess Bride and other films and tv appearances. This has gaps, is not perfect, but it is good and balanced and the art is very good, elegant and spare, black and white and gray. I liked it quite a bit. It may be more for YA than other audiences, not sure. But I liked it.
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  • Cheese
    May 7, 2015
    I was never a huge fan of wrestling but I was a fan of Andre the giant and the princes bride. Great book even if it was a short read.
  • Raina
    December 17, 2013
    People are just people, folks. We all have our own stresses, perspectives, lenses, experiences, biases, talents, desires, skills, challenges, weaknesses, and strengths. But we're all just people.Andre the Giant was no exception.Prior to reading this book, my primary reference point for him (like many people), was The Princess Bride. After reading this book, and googling a bunch of photos of the guy, I feel a bit more expert on the man.Andre Roussimoff's story makes me contemplate:Using potential People are just people, folks. We all have our own stresses, perspectives, lenses, experiences, biases, talents, desires, skills, challenges, weaknesses, and strengths. But we're all just people.Andre the Giant was no exception.Prior to reading this book, my primary reference point for him (like many people), was The Princess Bride. After reading this book, and googling a bunch of photos of the guy, I feel a bit more expert on the man.Andre Roussimoff's story makes me contemplate:Using potential challenges to your advantageBeing in the public eyeWhere the line is between capitalizing on yourself and being a victimStardomSadnessAlcoholismProfessional wrestlingHe comes off as a well-meaning sweetheart, a tragic figure, affable, and practical. I enjoyed Brown's approach and attention to the scholarship of his story - he includes a Foreword about Professional Wrestling, and Source Notes at the end. I really wish I could take it to middle schools, but decided that for me, it's more of a high-school book.
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  • First Second Books
    June 10, 2014
    What is not to love about a book that contains both Samuel Beckett and Mandy Patinkin?This book is also full of all sorts of things about wrestling that I did not know previously, which was helpful, since I knew absolutely zero about wrestling. Yay being entertainingly informed about new things!Above all, it's a fascinating look inside the life of a man who spent much of his time in the public spotlight . . . but had many facets that were not immediately visible to the world at large. I keep rea What is not to love about a book that contains both Samuel Beckett and Mandy Patinkin?This book is also full of all sorts of things about wrestling that I did not know previously, which was helpful, since I knew absolutely zero about wrestling. Yay being entertainingly informed about new things!Above all, it's a fascinating look inside the life of a man who spent much of his time in the public spotlight . . . but had many facets that were not immediately visible to the world at large. I keep reading things about the transparency of the internet in today's life, and wondering what we would have thought of Andre had he been keeping a public blog throughout his life.
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  • Jessica
    April 1, 2014
    I have been really looking forward to this book, and I've heard so much buzz about it, that I was a bit disappointed, to be honest. I love Andre the Giant. I used to watch the Hulk Hogan Saturday Morning cartoon, and I am a huge Princess Bride fan. I remember reading an article about him shortly after he died, talking about how he was in so much pain his last few years, had had so many surgeries, yet was still such an amazing guy that everybody loved. So, clearly, a biography about him in graphi I have been really looking forward to this book, and I've heard so much buzz about it, that I was a bit disappointed, to be honest. I love Andre the Giant. I used to watch the Hulk Hogan Saturday Morning cartoon, and I am a huge Princess Bride fan. I remember reading an article about him shortly after he died, talking about how he was in so much pain his last few years, had had so many surgeries, yet was still such an amazing guy that everybody loved. So, clearly, a biography about him in graphic novel form sounded like just my sort of book.But this isn't really a biography of him. It's sort of a series of vignettes, illustrated.I would say that forty percent of the stories are about wrestling, forty percent about him drinking and hanging out in bars, and the other twenty percent is his life. It's only mentioned briefly that he loved The Princess Bride, yet in two or three articles I've read (the one about him, a couple about the movie itself) they talked about how he would watch it every day, and everyone traveling with him had to watch it, too. He had several surgeries and they removed huge chunks of bone from his knees so that they wouldn't grow together and make him unable to bend, but only one knee surgery and one back surgery are mentioned. And honestly, he comes off as kind of a jerk, but Brown keeps assuring us that everyone in wrestling respected him. But he doesn't show us why. There's not enough here for us to understand him. Why did he keep wrestling despite the pain? Why did they respect him long before that? Why is nearly ever other page him sitting and drinking? We get it: the guy could put away a lot of shots, but why do we care? And I think that's what really bothered me. If I didn't already care about Andre, I wouldn't care about him now. People picking this up who don't already admire him aren't going to admire him more, or be more curious about him. They might even be turned off. PS- Although I know this is marketed for adults, I had wondered about giving it to my 10yo, who just recently saw The Princess Bride for the first time and loved it. But it's very much NOT for kids. Aside from the drinking, there's also sex and quite a bit of profanity, including the F-word. Just FYI.
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  • Adam
    August 9, 2015
    Andre the Giant: Life and Legend is a graphic novel biography of Andre Roussimoff, better known as Andre the Giant. Life and Legend follows Andre's life from the age of 12 until his death at the age of 46. Life and Legend works as a compilation of the plethora of Andre stories floating around and tries to sort myth from legend. There is no new information that is given in Life and Legend, so everything in the book is information that I already knew. I still enjoyed reading Life and Legend though Andre the Giant: Life and Legend is a graphic novel biography of Andre Roussimoff, better known as Andre the Giant. Life and Legend follows Andre's life from the age of 12 until his death at the age of 46. Life and Legend works as a compilation of the plethora of Andre stories floating around and tries to sort myth from legend. There is no new information that is given in Life and Legend, so everything in the book is information that I already knew. I still enjoyed reading Life and Legend though. It was nice to see the wealth of Andre stories, everyone who knew him seems to have a million, all collected in one semi-definitive edition. The thing that appealed to me most about Life and Legend is the story didn't try to make Andre someone he wasn't. When people write biographies about their heroes, they tend to gloss over any negative personality traits that the person may have had. Box Brown doesn't do this. He shows Andre as Andre was, imperfections and all. Andre only saw his daughter four times in his life, Life and Legend reflects this. Andre was known to be rude to his fans, especially autograph seekers. This is shown through Brown's recounting of a story from Ted DiBiase's autobiography. Andre was known to be a complete asshole at times. Life and Legend acknowledges this. I liked some aspects of Box Brown's artwork in Life and Legend, while some aspects fell flat. I think the simplicity of Brown's art fits the story that he tells. I think Brown's simple style of cartooning meshes with Andre's story more than a graphic, gritty action style that is incorporated in most popular superhero comics of today's age. That style is typically over the top. Brown's style humanizes Andre. One thing about the art that I didn't like, however, is most people are drawn very similarly. At times it is hard to tell who Andre is with. It's hard to tell certain people apart. The confusion of who Box Brown is drawing at certain times is exacerbated by the limited storytelling he uses. Because Life and Legend encompasses Andre's entire life, people are not so much introduced as they just randomly appear with no introduction. If the reader is not a wrestling fan, it seems to me that they could easily get lost in the narrative. "Who the hell is that," would probably be a common thought. Not only does Brown skimp on introductions, but he also fails to provide many pivotal back stories. Back stories are almost completely skipped except during events where a wealth of information of the event is already available like Andre's Wrestlemania III match with Hulk Hogan. If you are a wrestling fan, or an Andre fan, I think you should take the time to check out Life and Legend. There is nothing new, but it is fun to read stories that you have already heard placed together. If you're not a wrestling fan, then you may have to do some research to figure out what the hell is going on. Brown could have been more considerate for a wider audience, but it is what it is.
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  • Alenka
    November 23, 2015
    This is a complex but loving look at Andre's life. The introduction from Box Brown and the brief comic introduction from Hulk Hogan serve as reminders that Andre, in his crueler moments, was reflecting back the cruelty the world fed him for his size and his difference. It was satisfying to see him so happy with his performances, and devastating to watch him accept his body's deterioration. I ultimately felt like there was a bit of a wall between Andre's feelings about his situation and Brown's u This is a complex but loving look at Andre's life. The introduction from Box Brown and the brief comic introduction from Hulk Hogan serve as reminders that Andre, in his crueler moments, was reflecting back the cruelty the world fed him for his size and his difference. It was satisfying to see him so happy with his performances, and devastating to watch him accept his body's deterioration. I ultimately felt like there was a bit of a wall between Andre's feelings about his situation and Brown's understanding of Andre's feelings. It seems like he wasn't a particularly forthright person when it came to emotions, and - just as is sometimes true with wrestling - the line between fiction and truth is quite blurry. Brown also speaks very quickly and bluntly about Andre ignoring his daughter, perhaps because it's hard to see one's hero in their darkest moments.
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  • Marcele
    June 7, 2015
    I'm not a fan of wrestling, but I love biographic comics, and this is one of the best I ever read. The writing and the art make possible to understand everything that involves the "sport", and the way of telling the story - with the good stuff in Andre's life, but also his deep problems - made the story relatable and touching. An excellent comic, and even people that don't read them would enjoy.
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  • Donna
    January 3, 2014
    I'm not a connoisseur of graphic novels. I enjoyed this one. I feel like I learned a lot, but not quite enough.
  • Matt
    March 8, 2017
    Initially I was very excited to dive into Andre's story, but then it got to the racist part and I really didn't want to read another page.
  • Kelly
    February 12, 2016
    I can honestly say that I have never watched a Professional Wrestling match in my entire life. Simply not a fan, whether it's all a show or otherwise. My interest in Andre the Giant comes from a great love of the movie The Princess Bride, as I am sure it is for many other readers out there. I was able to learn some interesting life tid-bits about Andre through Cary Elwes memoir on the making of The Princess Bride; the two seemed genuinely close and spent a lot of time together. But I knew littl I can honestly say that I have never watched a Professional Wrestling match in my entire life. Simply not a fan, whether it's all a show or otherwise. My interest in Andre the Giant comes from a great love of the movie The Princess Bride, as I am sure it is for many other readers out there. I was able to learn some interesting life tid-bits about Andre through Cary Elwes memoir on the making of The Princess Bride; the two seemed genuinely close and spent a lot of time together. But I knew little else of his career, and this graphic novel was brought to my attention recently through a friend (and fellow fan). Thought it would definitely be worth the read.And it was, for the most part. I learned quite a bit about the behind-the-scenes of Pro Wrestling. Brown did a great job making the stage of everything very understandable to even the non-fans like myself. I never felt lost in the minutiae of a sport to which I pay little to no attention. That greatly helped in the overall enjoyment and reception of this book, because normally anything with wrestling turns me off. Thanks, Brown, for making it approachable.You are presented with a hodgepodge of life events for Andre. There is very little to no flow in this memoir. Its graphic format does help it along, because I do not think Brown's information would work it were simply written out. I was hoping for a smoother story and a more pronounced narration. Many times, our only cue of a scene change is small print in the upper corner, and many of those changes do not seem to have an important order. It's a scrap book of Andre's career, with a tiny bit of insight towards his condition and feelings. I realize we cannot get any information from the source, unfortunately. Andre was a quiet man. He was also a hard drinker, a bit of a brute, an absent friend and father, and a dedicated sportsman. Due to his condition, he was often surrounded by cruelty and insensitivity. In many ways, he did the best with what he had. Brown chooses to highlight his wrestling career, and that may be why my enjoyment of the overall product was not through the roof. However, it provided another interesting glimpse at a very rare man.Still, he will always be Fezik, the kind giant, to me.
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  • Breanne
    October 7, 2014
    I think most of us have a soft spot for Andre the Giant, so when I heard that there was a graphic novel depiction of his life I had to check it out. I was a little disappointed. I think I was hoping for a little more conclusion or resolution or something. One thing that really shines in the book is the depiction of the world of pro-wrestling, and I think we can all tell that the author's real love are the fights he remembers seeing growing up and the excitement and drama of those moments. Those I think most of us have a soft spot for Andre the Giant, so when I heard that there was a graphic novel depiction of his life I had to check it out. I was a little disappointed. I think I was hoping for a little more conclusion or resolution or something. One thing that really shines in the book is the depiction of the world of pro-wrestling, and I think we can all tell that the author's real love are the fights he remembers seeing growing up and the excitement and drama of those moments. Those fights are lovingly, dramatically, almost adoringly re-told for us to enjoy and I think we can share in the author's wonder. But where the book falls short is telling Andre's story with any real insight. Moments from his life are almost consequentially depicted, stories gleaned from other wrestlers are re-told in a blow-by-blow but without a point. Sometimes I found myself wondering if the story was supposed to be funny or meaningful or if it had any relevance to Andre's life or if it was just an episode that the author happened to encounter and included in this book. I think there were some real missed opportunities for exploring the psychology of Andre. There are a couple of moments where interviews on TV are depicted and the author does explore what he thinks is going on for Andre psychologically. But there are huge parts of his life are left untouched. Andre's refusal to participate in parenting his daughter - a huge decision, I think - is given one page and not explored in terms of psychological or dramatic impact at all. After that page we go back to anecdotes from his wrestling life. Andre's final pages end pointlessly and had me turning pages back and forth wondering where the concluding thoughts were. If you are interested in Andre for his contribution to the wrestling world that is what this book truly focuses on so this will be perfect for you, but if you were hoping for a little bit of insight into who he was I don't think you'll find it here.
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  • Joolissa
    January 10, 2015
    I saw this on a list of 2014's best graphic novels and my library happened to have a copy, hurrah! I love Andre, solely due to The Princess Bride, and thought this would be a nice way to learn more about him. I'm not a fan of pro wrestling and never have been, so it was quite interesting to learn about that world while also learning some about Andre. Overall, I felt this was pretty well done and I enjoyed the art. It captured the people very well and was quite expressive while still being simple I saw this on a list of 2014's best graphic novels and my library happened to have a copy, hurrah! I love Andre, solely due to The Princess Bride, and thought this would be a nice way to learn more about him. I'm not a fan of pro wrestling and never have been, so it was quite interesting to learn about that world while also learning some about Andre. Overall, I felt this was pretty well done and I enjoyed the art. It captured the people very well and was quite expressive while still being simple and clean. I liked the fact that the wrestling world was explained in a way that someone who has no knowledge of it could easily follow along. However, I feel like there wasn't enough information in there. It seemed more of an overview of a biography rather thank a fully fledged and researched one. The chapter on The Princess Bride was especially disappointing. (The only information in it was taken directly from the extras on the DVD.) I also feel like the book didn't show too many of the things that made Andre, as they kept calling him, such a hard guy not to like. I like that they didn't shy away from showing some of his less than stellar characteristics, such as being a dead-beat dad, copious consumption of alcohol, and rudeness, but they didn't give me memorable instances of him being "hard not to like". The book did do a decent job of portraying the hardships and pain that his condition caused, but I think it could have gone into more detail overall and been a much more in-depth look. I came away feeling as if I learned more about wrestling than I did Andre.I would recommend it as an enjoyable read, but not as something that goes into a lot of biographical detail.
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  • Amanda Foust
    February 28, 2014
    My VOYA review: Andre Roussimoff, better known professionally as Andre the Giant, grew up in the French countryside before becoming an international professional wrestler and going on to star as Fezzik in the modern film classic The Princess Bride. Weighing in at over five hundred pounds and seven feet four inches tall at his peak, Roussimoff suffered from acromegaly, a syndrome that causes extreme growth. His condition caused him great discomfort and constant pain, yet he was a dedicated profes My VOYA review: Andre Roussimoff, better known professionally as Andre the Giant, grew up in the French countryside before becoming an international professional wrestler and going on to star as Fezzik in the modern film classic The Princess Bride. Weighing in at over five hundred pounds and seven feet four inches tall at his peak, Roussimoff suffered from acromegaly, a syndrome that causes extreme growth. His condition caused him great discomfort and constant pain, yet he was a dedicated professional who worked nonstop�at the expense of familial relationships�until his death at forty-six. Brown does an outstanding job conveying the excitement and drama of professional wrestling, and it is clear that he has exhaustively researched Roussimoff's life. His affection for Roussimoff specifically and wrestling in general is evident, yet he does not sentimentalize his life. Roussimoff drank constantly, mistreated his friends and fans, only saw his daughter four times, and long denied her mother child support, despite his wealth. Brown's artwork is spare and clean yet conveys the energy and drama of the wrestling ring This comic biography will not be suitable for most teen collections due to the constant drinking and frank (but not explicit) sexual situations, particularly when combined with expected low interest from teens due to the subject's somewhat outdated fame (from the 1980s). Let hardcore wrestling and The Princess Bride fans seek out this title in the adult collection.
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  • Jean-Luc
    December 20, 2014
    This is not a puff piece, it is a very real, very raw look at Andre's life. Dude had a genetic disorder that made him grow and grow, until his body couldn't support its weight and collapsed in on itself. He was in constant pain, and only copious gallons of hard liquor kept him functional. He was an absentee father. If he didn't know you, he could seem like a bully. Given most people had no way of asserting themselves in his presence, he technically was a bully!But if this book were to convey one This is not a puff piece, it is a very real, very raw look at Andre's life. Dude had a genetic disorder that made him grow and grow, until his body couldn't support its weight and collapsed in on itself. He was in constant pain, and only copious gallons of hard liquor kept him functional. He was an absentee father. If he didn't know you, he could seem like a bully. Given most people had no way of asserting themselves in his presence, he technically was a bully!But if this book were to convey one thing, and one thing only, it's that Andre loved wrestling, the sport and the [email protected] Wrestlemania 3, Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant fought a title championship match. But both Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant were faces. In order for this fight to make sense, Andre would have to turn heel. The whole point of comics is to show, not tell, but as you can see in the linked video, seeing what happens is very easy. Box Brown's great achievement here is that he explains exactly what is happening as it happens; it's poetry in motion and it is gorgeous.If you're one of those weirdos who thinks wrestling is fake, or that it doesn't require tremendous effort, pick this up and let Brown change your mind.
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  • S. K. Pentecost
    October 10, 2016
    Brown's depiction of Andre the Giant was both revealing and surprising to me. But I am only an Andre fan because of his work on The Princess Bride, and then later on the internet meme about his posse, so any look into his wrestling career would have been eye opening.Brown's account feels honest, but it also feels like he honestly didn't know the guy. And maybe the people he interviewed honestly didn't know him either. What we end up with is a passing acquaintance with a flawed man afflicted with Brown's depiction of Andre the Giant was both revealing and surprising to me. But I am only an Andre fan because of his work on The Princess Bride, and then later on the internet meme about his posse, so any look into his wrestling career would have been eye opening.Brown's account feels honest, but it also feels like he honestly didn't know the guy. And maybe the people he interviewed honestly didn't know him either. What we end up with is a passing acquaintance with a flawed man afflicted with gigantism and exploited in the modern day freak show that is professional wrestling. There was some insight into "the business" of pro wrestling that made me realize that the trumped up "reality TV" of today owes more to the WWF than it does to MTV's Real World. There was disappointment that his movie star co-workers' glowing praise stemmed more from the unstoppable ass kiss fest that is any DVD behind the scenes extra than from friendship. And there is a very realistic look at the life of a unique man, even if that look is from across the street.I'm left feeling like I lived in the same small town as Andre, but we never got invited to the same parties. In the end though, Brown's story was entertaining and even made me laugh in spite of myself.
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  • Dawn Livingston
    July 24, 2015
    I was a big fan of wrestling at one time. I think I started being a fan around the 2nd Wrestlemania (early 80's I think) and stopped around the time that Bret Hart left the WWF, probably a little before then (1990?). I went to see Princess Bride only because I knew of Andre and wanted to see him in the movie. Considering other wrestlers roles in movies I wasn't expecting much of the role or the movie and was delighted with the results. I dragged my friends to see the movie too and we spent our c I was a big fan of wrestling at one time. I think I started being a fan around the 2nd Wrestlemania (early 80's I think) and stopped around the time that Bret Hart left the WWF, probably a little before then (1990?). I went to see Princess Bride only because I knew of Andre and wanted to see him in the movie. Considering other wrestlers roles in movies I wasn't expecting much of the role or the movie and was delighted with the results. I dragged my friends to see the movie too and we spent our college years quoting from it.There isn't anything in the book that surprises me but then I've been an Andre fans for many years, probably since I saw him at my first live wrestling event fighting Big John Studd in the 80's. It was the only time I've seen him and the truth is he was so far away I didn't really get an idea of his size.The artwork was a little strange, simplistic, but it works. The book is a very condensed story of Andre's life. I think it's probably the best there is. I would recommend this book to anyone with any interest in wrestling, Andre in particular or The Princess Bride. If you're a fan of any of those or know someone that is then I recommend you add this book to your collection.
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  • Andrew
    January 29, 2016
    I love Andre the Giant. My love for him started through my favorite movie, The Princess Bride. Because of that, I already knew many of the stories about him from that era. (If you’re interested in that, As You Wish by Cary Elwes is a wonderful source for that.) In the past, I’ve also had a passing interest in wrestling history, particularly in the era before I was born, when many people really didn’t know that the stories in wrestling were fake.After hearing Alyssa’s recommendation, I was intere I love Andre the Giant. My love for him started through my favorite movie, The Princess Bride. Because of that, I already knew many of the stories about him from that era. (If you’re interested in that, As You Wish by Cary Elwes is a wonderful source for that.) In the past, I’ve also had a passing interest in wrestling history, particularly in the era before I was born, when many people really didn’t know that the stories in wrestling were fake.After hearing Alyssa’s recommendation, I was interested to see Andre’s story told in this format. I think it’s really fitting, since he’s seen as a superhero-esque character in the wrestling world. I really enjoyed the novel overall. The narrative could have been more cohesive, and I had heard a lot of the stories before, but I think that it lends itself quite well to the format and it was really cool to see the stories told this way.Also posted on Purple People Readers.
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  • Nicola Mansfield
    May 11, 2014
    I was a big wrestling fan in the early to mid eighties and just thrilled to bits when I heard this biography of Andre Roussimoff was coming out. I'm so pleased that it met up with my high expectations. Andre the Giant is pretty much of a legend in the secretive wrestling world of the '80s making it very hard to know where the truth ends and fabrication begins. Using artistic license to bring us a story in visual form Box Brown has done a fantastic job of putting all the most reasonable anecdotes I was a big wrestling fan in the early to mid eighties and just thrilled to bits when I heard this biography of Andre Roussimoff was coming out. I'm so pleased that it met up with my high expectations. Andre the Giant is pretty much of a legend in the secretive wrestling world of the '80s making it very hard to know where the truth ends and fabrication begins. Using artistic license to bring us a story in visual form Box Brown has done a fantastic job of putting all the most reasonable anecdotes together with the verifiable facts bringing us an inside look at this tortured man's life. He was an enigma who brought wrestling to the mainstream audience, a man with a death sentence of a disease and one who lived with perpetual pain. Hard-drinking, rude and racist he was also a kind, gentle giant faced with discrimination and this graphic biography is a wonderful portrait of the man from all angles. At the end of the book the author has compiled a Notes section which details where his information came from and how he interpreted it, which also made for interesting reading.
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  • Alyssa Nelson
    January 27, 2016
    I was interested in this book for two reasons. The first is that Andrew loves Andre the Giant, and I wanted to see if he'd like this book as well. The second is that I was intrigued about using a comic format for a biography, so I wanted to see how it would work.Overall, I think that it's a success. This isn't an incredibly detailed account of Andre the Giant's life, but it covers the main information and gives enough facts and tidbits to make it an interesting read. Also, with the comic format, I was interested in this book for two reasons. The first is that Andrew loves Andre the Giant, and I wanted to see if he'd like this book as well. The second is that I was intrigued about using a comic format for a biography, so I wanted to see how it would work.Overall, I think that it's a success. This isn't an incredibly detailed account of Andre the Giant's life, but it covers the main information and gives enough facts and tidbits to make it an interesting read. Also, with the comic format, the story moves very quickly -- I think I finished this in a few hours. The illustration style lends itself well to how the author portrays Andre's life -- very simple and straightforward. I learned a few things I didn't know about Andre and I truly enjoyed getting to know about his life as a wrestler, since the only thing I actually had any previous information on was his work on The Princess Bride.Also posted on Purple People Readers.
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  • Andréa
    March 26, 2014
    Box Brown's graphic novel of Andre the Giant's life is an interesting look into the world of professional wrestling and what it's like to be too large for the world around you. Brown doesn't put Andre through a rosy filter; he equally presents Andre's friendships, his vulnerabilities, his drinking, and both his kind and unkind actions.I learned a wealth of information about Andre and wrestling from Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, but I also found myself wishing for slightly more information on Box Brown's graphic novel of Andre the Giant's life is an interesting look into the world of professional wrestling and what it's like to be too large for the world around you. Brown doesn't put Andre through a rosy filter; he equally presents Andre's friendships, his vulnerabilities, his drinking, and both his kind and unkind actions.I learned a wealth of information about Andre and wrestling from Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, but I also found myself wishing for slightly more information on certain aspects of Andre's life, including his childhood and his daughter.Brown's simple, black-and-white illustration style works well for the most part; however, I didn't feel the facial expressions were as expressive for the emotions they were depicting as they could have been.One nice addition is the inclusion of a detailing of Brown's sources for each story in the book, as well as a more standard bibliography.Note: I received a digital galley of this book through NetGalley.
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  • Andy Goldman
    February 18, 2015
    I know Andre the Giant from The Princess Bride and vague memories of Wrestlemania. For a time in my childhood I was way into wrestling, because the characters were everywhere, from cartoons, to music videos, to rubbery action figures. That being said, I haven’t thought much about these guys since then, but when I came across an Andre the Giant biographical graphic novel, my interest was piqued.It’s done in a pleasantly cartoony style, taking us from when Andre was a 12-year old in 1958 France (h I know Andre the Giant from The Princess Bride and vague memories of Wrestlemania. For a time in my childhood I was way into wrestling, because the characters were everywhere, from cartoons, to music videos, to rubbery action figures. That being said, I haven’t thought much about these guys since then, but when I came across an Andre the Giant biographical graphic novel, my interest was piqued.It’s done in a pleasantly cartoony style, taking us from when Andre was a 12-year old in 1958 France (he couldn’t fit in the bus, so he got a ride to school from Samuel Beckett), through to his death in 1993. It is not comprehensive, but rather a series of vignettes, more than a few of which made me chuckle. It also shows, however, the pain and inconvenience of his acromegaly, such as how he was too big to fit in an airplane restroom, so he had to, um, completely empty his system before a long flight.It’s a quick read (hence the light review), and if you’re at all interested in seeing inside the world of wrestling or finding out more about Andre the Giant, I recommend it.
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