Frumpy the Clown is a comic strip written and illustrated by Judd Winick. It was released in July 1996 in fifteen newspapers and went on until June 1998 when Winick decided to retire him. Winick was a struggling cartoonist/comic writer at this time. When he was being taped for Real World, he was able to get his comic strip Nuts and Bolts published. It was dropped a year later. Then Real World started showing on MTV. He got a call from the Universal Press Syndicate and they asked for some examples of his work. That's when his family strip, Frumpy the Clown, got published. Unfortunatly, Winick found out that comic strips were not what he wanted to do. He realized that he wanted to write longer stories, and he couldn't pull it off in the same way Doonesbury or Bloom County did. So, in June 1998, he retired Frumpy and moved on to doing comics full-time. The first product that he produced was the wonderful independent comic, The Adventures of Barry Ween, Boy Genius.
Frumpy the Clown follows a family and their clown. One day the kids bring home a clown and ask to keep him. Well, the parents find it difficult to refuse them and Frumpy stays paying board. Now Frumpy isn't a normal clown. In fact, clown isn't his profession, it's just what he is. He's also quite an influence on the kids, being quite a liberal clown. He talks about the forbidden knowledge that the kids want so much, he talks about the government, and is just all around interesting to be with. He also becomes a teacher when the kids' school goes on strike.
Frumpy the Clown is a rather enjoyable comic strip, with very liberal tendencies. It tries to appeal to the family audience, but many times it seems to be going higher than that. Even though Winick started to not enjoy it, it's still a worth a read.
Oni Press has republished all the strips in two volumes retailing around 15.95 USD each.
- Freaking Out the Neighbors
- The Fat Lady Sings
Frumpy the Clown Vol. 1 Freaking Out the Neighbors
- Judd Winick
The Official Judd Winick Website