Wrestlers in Comics: Leaping Lanny, the Genius

lpaThe story of Lanny Poffo, as told in the recent biography by Squared Circle Press, is a story of family.

Poffo’s first wrestling opponent, in this biography, was his father.  But the story starts earlier, with his father’s record for situps, recorded in a single-panel newspaper cartoon.  Poffo also wrestled with his brother, Randy Savage.

The Poffos created International Championship Wrestling, an independent professional wrestling promotion that, according to Wikipedia, operated from 1978 until 1984.  A portion of the comic biography covers that period, Poffo’s first period as a superstar.

When the ICW closed and Savage went to WWF/WWE, Savage became a superstar;  Poffo languished on the second tier until his “Genius” character took off.

It’s unusual to read one of these comics and see the wrestler depicted with so much humility — but Poffo exudes this humility.  At FortuneBaynia, a regional wrestling event where Poffo both signed autographs and wrestled, he read a poem before the match in honor of his brother, now deceased.

The comic suffers, as many of these Squared Circle Comics suffer, from being more a text-with-illustrations than a comic book.  In Scott McCloud’s terms, these comics are “text-specific.” The pictures could dissolve and the content of the comic would remain largely legible, unchanged.  But as a first draft of history digestible in one sitting, they are fun.




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