Is This Guy For Real? by Box Brown

I enjoyed many things about Box Brown’s graphic-novel biography of the late comedian Andy Kaufman. Kaufman’s stand-up, his wrestling, and his death hoax are just some of the ways that he experimented with his audience. Brown chooses to focus on Kaufman’s love of professional wrestling, and his rivalries and bouts around the ring.
By focusing solely on Kaufman’s wrestling, we see the brash and angry personae he adopts, but we are also allowed to see the human behind the mask. It seems every one of Kaufman’s stunts were calculated and Brown poses deepening questions about his subject’s goals and motivation.
The artwork is fun and expressive. It goes far in helping the wrestling moves jump off the page.
This graphic novel follows Brown’s previous book about Andre the Giant. I look forward to the author’s next foray into the world of the professional wrestling. Some readers will find Brown’s work exhaustive and too long, but I choose to see it as a complete portrait.
I’ll always remember staying up all night at a friend’s house watching all the early Wrestlemanias on VHF. Hopefully, Brown will continue to delve deeper into these great entertaining personalities.

4 out of 5 stars

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