Literary news you can use from Evanston Public Library’s blog The Book Bird
Here’s my theory. With the release of a new version of Stephen King’s “It,” I half suspect that the reason we’ve been seeing a lot of scary clowns in the news lately is that someone started dressing up as a form of viral promotion and things got out of hand. That’s just my theory, though. Mr. King himself had a very nice public statement recently about how most clowns out there aren’t of the scary variety, and are stand up and decent people just trying to make a living. In that vein, here are clown books that aren’t scary in the least, and celebrate those good-natured souls that have willingly taken on one of the trickiest of jobs.
And for the record, finding material about non-creepy clowns is much, much harder than finding the scary stuff.
“Fred Clown” by Robert Langridge
A graphic novel indebted to such influences as Max Fleisher’s animated cartoons (e.g., Betty Boop), comic strips (Peanuts, Garfield, etc.), underground cartoonists (Crumb, Deitch), and picture-book artists (Seuss, Gorey), Mr. Langridge gives us a hero that’s as funny as he is touching.
“Cooks, Clowns, and Cowboys: 101 Skills and Experiences to Discover on Your Travels” by Andrew Bain
If you want a book that encourages hands-on, immersive experiences around the world, this is the one to try. Clowning is just a small part of all the wonderful things you can do. If nothing else, this can also be a book for someone searching for a new hobby.
“Funny: The Book: Everything You Wanted to Know About Comedy” by David Misch
This book has a far wider reach than mere clowning, but you’ll find that occupation covered alongside speculations about sitcoms, religion, silent films, and more.
Fellini’s, “The Clowns”
I’d no sooner put together a clown list and fail to mention Fellini than I would put on a clown costume and forget the red nose. Fellini’s fascination with clowning began in his youth. In this, one of his lesser known films, he gives it his full adult attention.
“Working IX to V: Orgy Planners, Funeral Clowns, and Other Prized Professions of the Ancient World” by Vicky Leon Yep.
Right there in the subtitle. “Funeral clown.” I’m out.