Originally published at BOOK REVIEW: "Glorious Wrestling Alliance: Ultimate Championship Edition"
BOOK REVIEW: “Glorious Wrestling Alliance: Ultimate Championship Edition”
By: Brandon Sears
The Glorious Wrestling Alliance has hit a crisis point. Their champion, The Great Carp, is struggling with depression when outside of the squared circle. Gravy Train, a wrestler shaped like a bowl of gravy, is tired of his gimmick and wants a radical change. Death Machine, GWA’s most aggressive grappler, wants time to focus on his deeply personal poetry and Miranda Fury, their underutilized female performer, is tired of being overlooked by management. Speaking of management, company matchmaker Ricky Lovett Jr. has the weight of his father’s success on his shoulders as he struggles to keep GWA afloat.
Josh Hicks’ completely original take on the wrestling industry is filled with all too familiar problems that have plagued performers and promoters alike for generations. With the GWA battling to maintain relevancy, and most importantly cash flow, the roster is constantly clashing with one another – as well as their own insecurities – when fighting for spots on the card as well as character growth. With Glorious Wrestling Alliance, Hicks is able to weave deeply personal issues with over-the-top comedic characters in an effort to create something truly unique.
As with most graphic novels and comic books, a lot hinges on the quality of the artwork. Josh’s style pops off the page with color and flash as well as a quirky style that feels reminiscent of Adventure Time or even Canadian cartoonist Kate Beaton. I appreciated his approach to drawing some of the bigger and bulkier athletes showcasing physiques, not unlike 1980s big-man The Warlord. There were definitely many Scott Putski award winners among the bunch if Post Wrestling had nominations to hand out.
Anxiety, dread, and the impossible are all things that you could easily find in any wrestling promotion or memoir, but Glorious Wrestling Alliance is one that seamlessly blends them all into an effortlessly digestible journey through the absurd.
Glorious Wrestling Alliance: Ultimate Championship Edition by Josh Hicks is available on Amazon.