The Big Book of Freaks

 BBOF   (Paradox, 1996)

©1996 Paradox Press. Art ©1996 the respective creators.

There is nothing to match the weird allure of the bizarre. Other Big Books concentrate mostly on people who either became weird, or had weirdness thrust upon them. The Big Book of Freaks, however, focuses on the people who were born weird.

It begins by exploring freaks of legend, such as the giant Goliath, pygmies, and cyclopes. It quickly segues into such famous medical freaks as the Siamese twins Chang and Eng and the horribly deformed “Elephant Man.” Circus freaks like Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy and bearded lady Madame Clofullia were stars in their day, and were “collected” by the great showman P.T. Barnum for his traveling menagerie. In addition to these real oddities of nature, the Big Book of Freaks covers any number of “humbugs,” and fake freaks such as “Wu Fu” the singing Witch Doctor, or William Durks, born with a cleft palate, and who painted on a third eye to look even more bizarre.

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Introduction by Ricky Jay; B&W; ca. 1996Gahan Wilson, Ricky JayRoger Langridge, Gahan Wilson, Mick McMahon, Eric Shanower, D’Israeli, Rafael Kayanan, Graham Higgins, Donald David, Lennie Mace, Frank Quitely, Russ Heath, Randy DuBurke, Art Wetherell, Tom Sutton, Mary Wilshire, Richard Piers Rayner, Jim Fern, Bob Fingerman, Bryan Talbot, Joe Rubenstein, Steve Smith, Hunt Emerson, Renée French, Jeff Wong, Joe Phillips, Shawn McManus, Dave Johnson, Paul Guinan, Graham Manley, Alan Weiss, Bill Alger, Ned Sonntag, Alex Wald, Rick Geary, Hilary Barta, Rick Parker, S.M. Taggart, Tayyar Ozkan, Jason Temujin Minor, John Garcia, Dan Burr, Ralph Reese, Lauchland Pelle, Joe Staton, Glenn Barr, Ivan Brunetti, Mitch O’Connell