Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Bird Girl

Also known as Koo Koo, the Bird Girl suffered from a form of dwarfism called Virchow-Seckel syndrome, or “bird-headed dwarfism”.

She first performed as the Blind Girl From Mars, but was much more successful as the Bird Girl, even featuring in Tod Browning´s “Freaks”.

Her show was one of the most entertaining at Coney Island for many years.

Thanks for reading!

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Living Half-Boy

When we talk about Freaks it is worth highlighting Johnny Eck, one of the most famous and admired ones: this is my personal tribute to him.

One of two twins born in Baltimore in 1911, his brother Robert was born normal and healthy. He always loved stage and by age fourteen he was performing regularly, often with his twin: an illusionist would call a volunteer from the audience to be cut in half, and you can imagine the rest of the story. People screamed, fainted and even walked out.

He also featured on the big screen in Tod Browning´s “Freaks” (1932) and in the first Tarzan movie ever made.

He passed away on 1991 at the age of 79.

The most remarkable thing about him was that he never felt sorry for himself and he lived his life intensely, from starring in Freaks to being a train conductor and a racecar driver, or even a saxophone player (as you see in my illustration).

As he once said: “To ask me if I´m sorry I have no legs is like asking an Eskimo if he´s sorry he never tasted an artichoke”.

He has a museum dedicated to him in Baltimore, MD (www.johnnyeckmuseum.com).

Thanks for reading!

Mighty Mite

Mighty Mite may be tiny but just in size: he is a gentleman who wears immaculate suits and always has a nice word for every woman.

It´s a new illustration for the Sideshow series inspired by Major Mite (1913-1975) and General Mite (1864-?), both famous midgets in the Sideshow History. Major Mite even featured in the movie Wizard Of Oz.

They used to marry other midgets and like in this illustration, little people were often posed next to furniture to emphasize their small size.

All the original drawing was made with nib and colored digitally.

Thanks for reading!

Another page from Happyville

The beach… snow… another page from Happyville.

More to come.

Thanks for reading!

Happyville, new page

January it´s being the Happyville month: I am working full time on it, so I hope you can read it soon.

Here you have one of the finished pages, where you can see the main character and the priest, both shown in previous posts.

What happened?? Why is everyone scared?? You will know soon…

The first version is going to be in English, but there will be a Spanish version, too.

“At the end of a glacier and by the sea there´s a village called Happyville, where everyone enjoys hunting caribous and eating deer ham… well, almost everyone”.

Thanks for reading!

The Dog-Faced Boy

Here you have a new illustration for the Sideshow series: the Dog-Faced Boy.

There have been many cases of hairy people in the Sideshow: from Jo-Jo the Dog-Faced Boy or Lionel The Lion-Faced Man, to the Sacred Hairy Family of Burma, sacred and hairy for generations. I´ve taken some details of each to create my own Dog-Faced Boy.

All of them suffered from hypertrichosis, an hereditary disease and the scientific reason for the myth of the werewolf.

This is the line drawing, made with a nib for the body and a brush for the hair.

Thanks for reading!

Chinese Siamese Twins

Hi all! First I´m sorry for not updating the blog lately: I´ve been travelling, but I´m back again with some new illustrations to show you.

These are the Smoking Chinese Siamese Twins, the second of a series about Freaks and life in the Sideshow after the Fat Accordion Player, based on real character Baby Ruth Potinco (1904-1941).

Always interested on these performers, I´ve lived one of my dreams last week visiting the amazing Venice Beach Freak Show in Los Angeles.

It´s a small show but full of curiosities: from a sword swallower to a fakir, the two headed snake or the cute Rocky, the five legged dog.

I had the chance to talk with the family who manage it and they are people who really love this type of life and know a lot about this part of American History. It was a big pleasure to meet them.

This is the line drawing: all drawn with nib and a 0,35 Multiliner.

Thanks for reading!