Andre the Giant
After finding out about Box Brown‘s comics here at Robot 6 last year, I’ve been following his work intently. And now I get the opportunity to show off a little gem of a story Brown just posted online for free. It’s a short Brown wrote and illustrated called “Sock” about a teenage boy getting drunk and trying to hit on a girl, and being sucked into a sidebar conversation with his nerdish friend. In true Brown style he finds a way to work talk about pro wrestling, but I’m not complaining … brother.
Brown is offering “Sock” as a print minicomic for sale online and from his convention appearances, so I was shocked to see him put it online for free — but hey, it’s great comics so I can’t turn it down.
It seems like Box Brown has been making comics for a long time, so it’s a bit of a shock to realize that when First Second Books publishes his Andre the Giant next year, it will be his first full-length graphic novel. Brown is the creator of the webcomic Bellen and Everything Dies (which doesn’t seem to be available online, except for this). An episode from that comic, “Ben Died of a Train,” won the Ignatz Award for Best Comic. Most recently, his The Survivalist was published by U.K. publisher Blank Slate.
Brown is also the moving force behind Retrofit Comics, which published a number of indy one-shot comics in print format, as well as several Kickstarters; the latest is an anthology in the spirit of the alt-manga magazine Garo.
Andre the Giant is a big step for Brown, who is going from self-published and small-press indy comics to a graphic novel from a big publisher. So naturally, I had some questions, which he was kind enough to answer.
Robot 6: What interested you about Andre the Giant, and why do you think his story is a good fit for the comics medium?
I grew up a big wrestling fan. And, at some point last year found myself looking up Andre on the Internet. I read that Andre got a ride to school from Samuel Beckett when he was a kid. I had two free weeks before SPX and thought that would make a good zine. Then I just kept diving back in for more. And eventually I’d assembled 100 pages worth of Andre stories.