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The Human Marvels: A Celebration of the Sideshow

We’ve finally managed to tear ourselves away from the stories at The Human Marvels long enough to write a post about it.

J. Tithonus Pednaud, curator of the site, records in brief the life stories of “those born exceedingly different” who, rather than buckling under social exile, chose to display themselves in an effort to improve their lives.

In Pednaud’s own words:

Many of these human marvels found fortune, love, family and fame during their lives due to people like you – the inquisitive and curious. Together, you would gather into a great hall, royal court, tent or storefront to see these extraordinary men and women in all their splendor.

You would not gather just to stare with mouth agape as the common misconception denotes. These exhibitions were instead enlightening and educational experiences filled with questions, answers and personal interactions.

This all sounds a bit hyperbolic, but a quick jump into the individual stories of Dolly Dimples (born Celesta Herrmann), The Living Skeleton (Isaac W. Sprague), or The World’s Strangest Married Couple (Al and Jeanie Tomaini) show that he means every word.  The articles are fascinating, and addictive, divided into categories including Skin, Thin, Extrodactyly, and Bearded.

Our particular favorite was, of course, the Egress.  An excellent counter-culture diversion on a lazy Saturday.

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Susana Polo thought she'd get her Creative Writing degree from Oberlin, work a crap job, and fake it until she made it into comics. Instead she stumbled into a great job: founding and running this very website (she's Editor at Large now, very fancy). She's spoken at events like Geek Girl Con, New York Comic Con, and Comic Book City Con, wants to get a Batwoman tattoo and write a graphic novel, and one of her canine teeth is in backwards.