Over the weekend, I wanted to read a book in Cal Anderson Park, so I was browsing for something fun at Elliott Bay Book Company. A bookseller handed me a copy of Box Brown's new Andre the Giant comic book biography and assured me I'd like it. I was never much of a wrestling fan, though. Did that matter? I was assured that I'd love it. And so I bought it, and then I read it in one sun-soaked sitting, and the bookseller was absolutely right: Andre the Giant: Life and Legend is a fun, fascinating comic.
Occasionally, Brown ends or begins a vignette a little too abruptly; on several instances, I had to go back and make sure I hadn't skipped over a few pages. But it's amazing what he manages to work into less than 250 pages: We see interviews with old colleagues (the book opens with Hulk Hogan looking fondly back on his deceased friend) and explanations of how to make a fake wrestling match look convincing. When he can, Brown allows Andre to tell his own story in his own words. And the spare artwork—like a less rigorous Chris Ware, if you need a rough approximation—strips away the complexity from the visuals, making way for narrative nuance. It's a friendly, even loving, study of a man who was larger than life in every sense of the phrase. If you're looking to kill a few hours sitting in the sun, I recommend it highly.