Greater Power: A Vince McMahon Zine
Fanzine, Edited by Abraham Josephine Riesman, 52 pgs, thesecretheadquarters.bigcartel.com, $20
Zine as a pre-order bonus isn’t necessarily a new concept — at least for a graphic novel or comic — but as an incentive for a nonfiction prose work, it is certainly a bit more unique.
Greater Power: A Vince McMahon Zine is made up of “arts and words from the world of Abraham Josephine Riesman’s Ringmaster,” a just-released book about WWE’s executive chairman and (arguably) evil mastermind. Said art is a number of illustrations and comics depicting McMahon or various figures from his orbit. Cartoonist Box Brown has two pages about the death of Andre The Giant. Ramon Villalobos draws Triple H and The Rock yoked to a skull throne upon which McMahon sits. The writing throughout are excerpts from interviews conducted by Riesman or sections of Ringmaster that were cut during editing, along with a few essays by other contributors.
As a promotional tool to the larger book, Greater Power succeeds. As I have not yet read Ringmaster itself, I can’t really speak to how it is as a companion piece. The standouts here are the interviews and essays, which is to Riesman’s credit. They cover a wide ground and left me interested enough to want to read the book proper. Over the years, McMahon has been painted as everything from merely greedy to Lucifer himself; so Lanny Poffo’s strangely positive reminiscence about McMahonin the opening interview certainly reels you in.
Strangely enough, I found that the art and comics in Greater Power, though good, ignorable, or alternatively, better collected in a separate zine entirely. Box Brown’s Andre comic is nice to have, but isn’t there already an entire graphic novel by Box Brown on the subject? Regardless, as something of a lapsed wrestling fan, Greater Power certainly makes a compelling case for once again investing oneself in the strange, strange world of sports entertainment