Is This Guy for Real? The Unbelievable Andy Kaufman

Box Brown. First Second, $19.99 trade paper (272p) ISBN 978-1-62672-316-0
Brown (Andre the Giant: Life and Legend) once again explores the world of professional wrestling, this time through the biographical lens of that larger-than-life comedian, Andy Kaufman. From his childhood—raised on a diet of cartoons, Elvis Presley, and professional wrestling—Kaufman is shown developing an approach to comedy that represents a yearning to be the kind of showman he grew up watching. Brown draws a connection between Kaufman’s fascination with heel characters and the heel personas he adopted in his comedy routines, like his abrasive Tony Clifton alterego. Brown’s approach to illustration, with his penchant for dot-eyed, curvy-limbed characters, is well-suited for the graphic biographies of celebrities, because there is something eminently humanizing in his linework. Readers will appreciate what Brown does with this story, as well, paralleling Kaufman’s rise with that of his future “nemesis” (but secretly good pal), wrestler Jerry “The King” Lawler. It is a well-researched, enjoyable yarn written by the one author working in the comics medium who fans would want to tell Kaufman’s story. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/29/2018
Release date: 00/00/0000
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