Publisher(s): DC Comics
Date (if known):
File Type: .cbr/.cbz
Written by Gahan Wilson
Photo (if available):
Description (if Known):
Written by respected cartoonist, Gahan Wilson (appropriately so since he is a direct
descendant of P.T. Barnum), this is a fascinating look at the history of freaks in
real life and in the media and treats the subject with a great deal of reverence and
respect. Wilson goes beyond merely presenting the histories of various famous freaks,
but also examines why we are so fascinated by them and laments the fact that with
advances in genetics they may be a dying breed (with the exception of self-made freaks
like those in the Jim Rose Circus).
The book begins with the historical roots of the sideshow, with the wild speculations
about possible creatures that might exist in the days when much of the world was unexplored,
to the fake freaks created for medieval carnivals and self-mutilated beggars, to the
modern circus and portrayals in movies such as Tod Browning's "Freaks". In addition to
such articles on specific themes are the histories of particular individuals ranging
from the famous (the Elephant Man) to the not-so-famous (a "Lobster Man" who committed
a murder in a Florida town composed almost entirely of retired circus freaks).
The stories range from the heartwarming to the heartbreaking, the humourous to the serious,
and include romance and adventure, but all of them treat the unusual individuals who are
their subjects as human beings, with all the same potentials as well as the character
flaws of any person, and avoids being exploitative.
My personal favourite is the article drawn by Ivan Brunetti illustrating how ALL human
beings are freakish and are constantly undergoing strange transformations.The accompanying
illustrations are also superb.
This is definitely one of the best in the Big Books series.
Paradox Press | 192pg. | B&W |
Contains content suggested for Mature Readers (yes/no):
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