Monday, November 9, 2009

Don't Fear the Squeaker

Bizarro is brought to you today by Sexy Eternal Bozo.

Over the course of my career, I've done a lot of clown gags. I also fear and loathe clowns. Since my cartoons don't criticize clowns this may seem like a contradiction, but I see it more as a subconscious way of conquering my fears. Perhaps if I draw clowns often enough I will no longer fear them.

Nah. I'll always loathe clowns.

If you are a clown, please do not be offended. This is my problem, not yours. As I explained to my therapist a few years ago, it started when I was a child of perhaps three or four years. One of my earliest memories is of a visit to the circus, where I saw a clown that I particularly liked. My parents bought me a doll that looked like the clown, I suppose from a souvenir vendor at the circus, and I took it home. It was a constant companion until a few weeks later when it came to life and murdered my entire family. I escaped by hiding in a potted plant where I was discovered by authorities days later, paralyzed with fear.

I spent the rest of my childhood in a Catholic orphanage where I also learned to hate nuns.

So here's a clown cartoon. I love Smart Cars and enjoy drawing them. And although I hate clowns, I really enjoy drawing them, too.


Incorporeal Bob said...

The solution I used for my children when they were young and frightened of clowns was to gently explain to them, "it's not a REAL clown, it's just a man dressed up to LOOK like a clown."

The only problem with this solution is that it had no effect whatsoever.

David said...

I also feel a bit queasy around clowns.

Mike said...


ojeano said...

There's a book, The Mind and the Brain: Neuroplascicity and the Power of Mental Force
which argues that confrontational therapy (as seen in the video about the cluorophobic woman) amounts to abuse. I don't know; I don't really comprehend OCD. BUT, what really piques my interest here is the fact that the book cover is reminiscent of your sketchbook a go-go images.

Prospero said...

My sweetie is terrified of clowns and has actually hidden behind me, clutching on for dear life when one walked by us at a carnival, so I completely sympathize... (though I still make fun of him for it, sometimes).

Victor 'Love Monkey' Rivera said...


...this is just plain creepy.
Today around 2.45, I read today's blog with references on clown stuff and that video regarding the woman freaked out of her mind by clowns.

And tonight, I began to take notes on Psychology, and the powerpoint had...



Jezzka said...

this post reminds me of the time meng and i were on the g train and this really tall and lanky clown dressed in goth hipster clown wear boarded our train car. at first, it was startling because his face makeup was a little off putting especially with the long diamonds around his eyes.

he had a comedy shtick. he started telling these subtle jokes, but most people were too afraid to laugh at first. this one older chinese lady sitting across from us kept starring at him angrily, her face was incredibly anxious and fearful at the same time. she was definitely on edge. if the clown had made any sudden movements toward her, one could have easily imagined her jumping up and screaming with arms flaying in hysteria.

we kept laughing as he juggled and made naughty balloon animals. the old chinese woman was really confused when she saw meng and i laughing uncontrollably along with the other patrons in the train car. i could see from her face, she thought she had entered the twilight zone. i believe the clown may have been too modern and the subtly of his charms was lost on this poor woman.

he did eventually come to our end of the car and the woman dashed across to sit beside us, as if we would protect her because we were fellow asian women bonded by our ethnicity and gender (why, but of course!). we both felt her uneasiness and tried to assure her the clown wasn't there to hurt her or harm us.

he asked us if we wanted a balloon animal and i said sure pointing to meng, 'she wants one'. i also added, 'but make it anatomically correct'. he twisted out a lovely blue bear with a huge disproportionate twig and anatomically correct matching pair of berries beneath it.

we wildly applauded at his fantastic balloon twisting skills. finally, even the old chinese lady managed to let down her suspicions and crack a shy laugh along with us.

i guess the moral of the story is balloon bears with giant pene pastas are funny; clowns not so much.

Unknown said...

Humm. Interesting. If I was Mr giggles doesnt look to happy

Dave said...

I don't really hate and fear clowns, but I like to think I do.

Sam said...

Considering that most "rational" people with phobias know they're being irrational (as opposed to say those with delusions that their phobias are real), I would say confrontational therapy isn't abusive. It would be abusive to make someone who actually thought clowns were going to hurt her somehow face a room of clowns. But this woman is aware of her disorder, knows it's irrational, and is seeking contructive ways to get over it. I've read that the whole theory of "confrontatioal therapy is abuse" is a bit of Scientology propaganda.

I find the whole fear of clowns concept so weird and not because I love clowns or am one or anything. I mean, you don't hear about a fear of cute dolls or fuzzy teady bears. Just clowns. And how weird is it that the only person I know in my life with clownophobia is a woman who is the SPITTING IMAGE of the woman in this video. Except for the accent, and age difference, they could be sisters. I wonder if it's genetic? (And I'm sure my friend was putting it on for the attention, whereas this woman seems disturbed. Note that at the end, the narrator says that as soon as she started watching Mr. Giggles, her anxiety lessened. There's a teachable moment - that which we don't confront is worse than that which we do. We make our own fears for the most part.)

I blame Stephen King and John Wayne Gacy for clownophobia.

Oh, and did you notice the image of the clown tattoo - that crazy clown is flipping everyone "the shocker" for all eternity. Now THAT'S scary...

Annette Levy said...

I blame coulrophobia on "the Joker" from Batman. He's a clown plus a criminal! What sufferer of a fear of clowns wouldn't be freaked out with the implications of that? Not that I have anything against Cesar Romero, Jack Nicholson, or Heath Ledger, but I'll bet their roles in the Batman franchise have certainly fueled the flames of coulrophobe's fears higher than otherwise had the "Joker" never existed. But hey, that's just my two cents.

Why so serious?