If we're going to be honest with each other, I'm going to go ahead and admit that I am a fundamentally lazy person. Sure, I'll leave the house for the essentials, like food or comic books, but in a perfect world, those things would just show up at my front door, as though magic was involved.
Fortunately, we are inching ever closer to that beautiful world, thanks to an interesting new service from Retrofit that allows readers to subscribe to year's worth of the publisher's comics, including full-length graphic novels and an art book, for $75, including new work from Box Brown, Maré Odomo and more.
Earlier this year, First Second released Box Brown's Andre The Giant: Life And Legend – a graphic novel biography of the wrestling legend that immediately jumped onto the New York Times bestseller list, and has been met with great acclaim from wrestling fans and comics critics alike. Our own Chris Sims described the book thusly:
"It shows Andre as a person. Not the giant with a dubious fifteen-year undefeated streak, not as the monster who was bodyslammed by Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III, not as the absent father that was put on blast by A Current Affair shortly before his death, and not even as the drinker and prankster behind the scenes in the world of wrestling. It shows him as all of those, as a person whose life was larger than everyone’s, but whose flaws were no bigger or smaller than anyone else’s. It makes the Giant relatable without ever undermining him. There’s a love in this book, but there’s an honesty, too, and it comes through in every scene..."
Recently, we got the chance to sit down and speak with Brown about the culture of professional wrestling, his artistic approach to comics, and how he went about adapting Andre's outsized life for a graphic novel.
SPX, the Small Press Expo, is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, and to celebrate, it's centering its entire 2014 convention on a much-read -- but not-often-discussed -- type of independent comic: strips from alt-weekly newspapers.
Late last week, organizers announced the first three major guests: Lynda Barry, the cartoonist behind Ernie Pook’s Comeek from The Chicago Reader; Jules Feiffer, the so-called godfather of the alt-weekly newspaper comic, and James Sturm, who co-founded The Onion and Seattle's The Stranger in addition to being an accomplished cartoonist and graphic novelist.
Box Brown's Andre the Giant: Life and Legendis already one of my favorite graphic novels of the year. In an exhaustively researched, incredibly compelling biography, Brown goes through the major events of Andre's life, both in the ring and outside of it, and he pulls off the pretty amazing trick of making him seem like a flawed and relatable human being while simultaneously painting him as the larger-than-life giant that he was.
Today, with the book finally being released next week, I've spoken to Brown about the research that he did, his experience watching Andre's match against Hulk Hogan at WrestleMania III over and over, and why he's not Facebook friends with pro wrestler Blackjack Mulligan anymore.
If you'd asked me three months ago what my most anticipated graphic novel of 2014 was, I could've given you the answer without even having to think about it: Box Brown's Andre the Giant: Life and Legend, a comic book biography of one of the most famous professional wrestlers of all time. Admittedly, I'm right smack in the center of the target audience for that book, but there's so much about the man that's fascinating, and Brown's work as a Xeric Grant and Ignatz Award-winning cartoonist is top notch -- it's something I feel like I would've been interested in even if I was going into it cold, with no knowledge whatsoever of the world of professional wrestling.
The book isn't out until May, but the book's publisher, First Second, sent over a review copy and I couldn't wait to read it. It's the sort of book that I knocked out in one sitting, and it lived up to every hope I had for it. It's not just one of my favorite graphic novels of the year, but it's also one of my favorite comic biographies of all time.
I like Kickstarter a lot. It's an efficient way to directly connect with artists while also making sure that a project that interests you gets funded. There are still a few hitches that need to be worked out, but my experience with Kickstarter has been largely positive...
I've never thought the eyes were the window to the soul so much as the desk is. After all, the way a person treats their workspace says a lot about them. Do they work in a cheerful, brightly lit space filled with plants and knick-knacks...
What does it take to get your cartoon published in the New Yorker? Box Brown, creator of the webcomics Bellen! and Everything Dies, has been trying to crack the code. Last summer, after Hark! A Vagrant cartoonist Kate Beaton became the first webcomics creator to have a cartoon published in the New Yorker, webcartoonistBrown posted a Bellen...
Because we're feeling the pull of the yuletide (whatever the heck that is), we decided to start a countdown to Christmas in the tradition of that old holiday standard, The 12 Days of Christmas. Except we shook it up, tossed it over to some of the craziest and most talented comics creators we know, and made our own version: The Twelve Days of Comic Book Christmas...
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