A Fisherman’s Tale: Ohh the Horror!
Sometimes I get in a mood and just start collecting random books because of my mood. A book might catch my attention and then I wonder if there are any other books out there with similar themes. One such book sent me down a rabbit hole of happiness and utter terror a few years back. I thought what better time than now to talk about the “Big Red Balloon in the room”. Clowns have always created visceral reactions out of people. I have come across many people who would place clowns right up there with snakes and spiders as top three scariest things. What book sent me down this spiral of horror, was it a House of Mystery or a Tales of Suspense, maybe a classic pre-Code horror book. No, the book that struck fear and excitement into my heart was a copy of Metal Men. Metal Men 36 is not a key or in anyway significant. Odds are you might not ever pick up an issue of Metal Men. It is the first appearance of the Cruel Clowns, but when I researched the issue and most sites only had a sentence as the synopsis. The cover artist is Mike Sekowsky. Who is famous for the non costume/bondage Wonder Woman covers of the early seventies. So see the cover artist sent me down a rabbit hole, but this issue of A Fisherman’s tale is about clowns.
Sometimes clowns are meant to be sweet and inviting, but still send shivers down your spine. Why else would John Wayne Gacy been so effective if not for the attraction of clowns. Here are a few early Dell Comics and pulp magazine covers that are creepier today than they were intended.
Not all clowns end up being creepy, some are just irreverent and mean more to a generation for the ability to say and do the thing we want to do.
Slapstick got a new life a few years ago because Deadpool revived him for his Mercs for the Money books. This short mini-series from the 90s climbed out of dollar bins and then fell back into them after a few months. I revived a few sets, but now they are on life support waiting for some juice.
Obnoxio the Clown vs The X-Men is a regular dollar bin book that I have never picked up. I like the X-men, but I just don’t understand.
The Simpsons and Married with Children reruns were my first rebellions against my mother when I was a middle schooler. So Krusty and Itchy and Scratchy have a special place in my heart. I have picked up a few of these issues thinking they would be something, but they are not. Krusty Comics #1.
Here is one of the creepier books I’ve picked up. It came out as a variant for Avengers Initiative #18 during the Secret Invasion / Dark Reign era. Marvel released a zombie variant for most of their series. I was surprised to learn Slapstick was part of the Avengers Initiative.
There are lots of Independent Books out there that go for a Horror feel. You can even get a set of comics dedicated to Insane Clown Posse that bring a little money. But Indy comics most famous clown was from the longest running independent comic. He even has a dirty name, Violator. And was probably the most over the top creepy part of the Spawn movie. Here is a low print run copy I picked up the other day for cover. Spawn #202.
For me the creepiest Clown cover this past year belongs to the Ice Cream Man #8 and Vanessa Del Rey.
Finally ending with a brag. I have had the luxury of finding three Detective Comic 880s for $3 or less. I even pulled a newsstand edition for a quarter. It was and still is my all time favorite Jock cover.
Oh wait, did I not show you the comic that started the trip down the rabbit hole.
Are you sure you want to see it?
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