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Is this guy for real? : the unbelievable Andy Kaufman
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  Library Journal Review

Brown (Tetris: The Games People Play) presents an examination of the life and times of actor and comedian Andy Kaufman (1949-84), known for his regular appearances on Saturday Night Live and starring role in the TV sitcom Taxi. Brown dives especially deeply into Kaufman's obsession with professional wrestling, providing a detailed history of how Kaufman and wrestling star Jerry Lawler worked together to promote a mutually beneficial public feud. Much attention is also paid to the comedian's controversial turn toward challenging women to wrestling matches live on stage. Brown doesn't quite delve into how troubling this behavior reads by today's standards but does make it clear that Kaufman, who seemed to revel in playing a villain in order to grant his audience a joyful catharsis at his downfall, was a very complicated and contradictory figure. VERDICT While Brown's focus on wrestling comes too much at the expense of other aspects of his subject's life for this to be considered a definitive account, it's a fun and informative read that fans of Kaufman, wrestling, and showbiz lore are sure to adore.-TB © Copyright 2018. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

  Publishers Weekly Review

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.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
<p> 2019 Eisner Award Winner for Best Reality-Based Work <br> <br> Comedian and performer Andy Kaufman's resume was impressive--a popular role on the beloved sitcom Taxi , a high-profile stand-up career, and a surprisingly successful stint in professional wrestling. Although he was by all accounts a sensitive and thoughtful person, he's ironically best remembered for his various contemptible personas, which were so committed and so convincing that all but his closest family and friends were completely taken in.</p> <p>Why would someone so gentle-natured and sensitive build an entire career seeking the hatred of his audience? What drives a performer to solicit that reaction? With the same nuance and sympathy with which he approached Andre the Giant in his 2014 biography, graphic novelist Box Brown's Is This Guy For Real? takes on the complex and often hilarious life of Andy Kaufman.</p>
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