Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Missing pieces

Funfact: If you ask me to buy you a comic book for Christmas I will read it before I give it to you. I don't make the rules, that's just how these things work, and I am aware that this is kind of a dick move.

I also sort of don't care that it's kind of a dick move because it gets me to read comics that I otherwise wouldn't and that can be tremendously edifying.

I don't know why my sister decided she wanted Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven, but I must say it's a good choice. The Princess Bride - that's probably why she wants it: she's super into the book and the movie and recently read Cary Elwe's memoir so I'm sure that's a contributing factor.

As a comic it's a pretty decent offering. The art is compelling and dream-like, presenting you with images that communicate their subjects well but are always a bit off - whether it's glowing eyes or exaggerated features the characters don't fit into the real world, just the larger-than-life story of Andre the Giant's life. As a story it's a bit simple. The character of Andre narrates the man's life and does so in clear language that is touching and a bit predictable. There's real human tragedy and a great deal of success but I feel like it's lacking something important. There's a depth and emotion missing from the whole thing that I felt throughout.

Robin Rou____'s letter at the beginning of the graphic novel has this quintessence that's missing elsewhere. Her pain is real and her love and distance from her father is well communicated. I can't tell what she's got that the rest of the book doesn't - if it's honesty or bitterness or mourning - but I do feel like something's missing.

I probably never would have read this book on my own, and I'll probably never read it again, but it's a great offering for artists looking for inspiration and a decent choice as a book to read through at the library or comic shop.

     - Alli

Easton, Brandon and Denis Medri. Andre the Giant: Closer to Heaven. Lion Forge Comics.
     San Diego: California. 2015

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