Posted Sunday, August 2nd, 2020 by Barry

Man-Thing (1974) 5

Steve Gerber and Mike Ploog combine for the chilling And When I died…! for our macabre salute to International Clown Week.

Let’s face it, clowns are the yin and yang of our childhoods. They either tickle our funny bones or terrify our souls.

International Clown Week, the first week of August, is to remember them as the fall guys of the circus. Clown week began in the 1950s, courtesy of Walt “Wabo” Savage. At least he’s believed to be the originator.

Man-Thing (1974) 5

Man-Thing (1974) 5

Ray Bickford, then president of the Clown Club of America, appointed Frank Kelly as the first International Clown Week chairman in 1966. President Richard M. Nixon proclaimed the first National Clown Week in 1970.

The representative we recognize is a clown named Darrel. His laughter had faded long before the retort of the pistol that took his life. Over the love of a woman. The love of a woman and the mistaken belief she had taken that love back.

His ghost lingered long enough to exact revenge on those who tainted that love and turned the painted crimson grin upside down.

As with many of the Man-Thing tales, the title character is more host to the story than member of it. One swipe of his muck-encrusted arm is enough to bring justice to the villains.

Man-Thing began in Savage Tales (1971) issue one. The swamp creature sloughed his way to Adventure into Fear issue 10 for a solo story. There he remained until issue 19 when he shambled into his own book. The first book ran 22 issues with five giant-size comics from 1974 to 1975.

The second run, 1979 to 1981, ran 11 issues. Afterward, Man-Thing bounced from feature to feature as well as guest starring with the remainder of the Marvel Universe.

To celebrate the week, show the world the clown you are in private.

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