GLORIOUS WRESTLING ALLIANCE
By Josh Hicks
The relationship between professional wrestling sports entertainment and comic books is a natural one. Both rely on thickly overly-emotive melodrama between individuals clad in tights punching each other in the throats. From Box Brown’s amazing biography of Andre the Giant to Lukasz Kowalczuk’s totally bonkers Vreckless Vrestlers to whatever the hell it was that Mick Foley was attempting to do with WWE: Superstars there have been comics about wrestling and wrestlers in abundance. Enter into the mix British cartoonist Josh Hicks and his book Glorious Wrestling Alliance.
Hicks describes Glorious Wrestling Alliance as “Dramas, neuroses, and existential crises play out among a cast of literally tens of wrestlers, and at least one has a fish for a head! Dumb, dumb comix and not much actual wrestling! But enough!”
Focused on the existential crisis of seven-time champion and fish-headed wrestler Great Carp (spokes-wrestler for “new, premium distilled Carp Vodka”) during the build up to Ultra Brawl. Suplexing people can no longer fill the empty void inside him. He’s lost his verve and his raison d’etre leading managers and promoters to panic.
Veering off into wrestling inspired imagery of the poetry of Death Machine, the limitations of the women’s league, and new personas for Gravy Train (“I don’t want to be remembered as a Giant Sauce Receptacle forever!”) Hicks circles around questions of identity in this bonkers tale of kayfabe and marketing. If your persona is at odds with your individuality, who are you really?
How strong must your ego be to survive?
But Hicks isn’t really interested in answering these larger questions. This is, after all, a dumb wrestling comic created by a smart guy who’s out there just to celebrate the essential nature of sports entertainment. Namely, the entertainment part.
And Glorious Wrestling Alliance is entertaining as all get out. Quick and to the point, it’s fun and funny, bonkers and clever, well worth your time and attention.