Friday, December 02, 2005


(click on image to enlarge)

I have been fascinated with doing a drawing of a Pinhead for quite a while now. Pinheads are people who suffer from microcephaly or some other mental retardation. They were often favorite and staple performers on the sideshow circuit for their diminutive size, strange appearance, and child-like manner. They were usually promoted as "Darwin's missing link" or the surviving children of a lost civilization (i.e. The Ancient Aztec Children, the Wild Men of Borneo). The tiny cranium was accentuated by shaving the head and leaving a small tuft of hair at the top — a look that was later adopted by the character Bert on Sesame Street. Several pinheads were featured as characters in director Tod Browning's infamous film Freaks (1932). The most famous of these performers was Schlitzie (Simon Metts), who worked on the sideshow platform well into his seventies.

The sketches above were done for a poem that I wrote about a Pinhead. I will post the final inked drawing when I get it finished.


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