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Synthesis - Columns

From 2008 to 2015 I wrote a weekly column for Synthesis Weekly under the name Zooey Mae. What started as an outlet to review graphic novels and comic books evolved over the years to cover everything from pop culture to whatever menial event was happening in my life. Looking back, I think I spent much too much time regaling Chico with tales of my allergies. 

We All Float Down Here

Originally published in Synthesis Weekly: September 2013

When I was about eight, I watched the Stephen King classic film, IT with my best friend. It was one of those really fantastic nights when autumn starts to seep into summer, and there’s just a little bite to the air. After the movie was over, because her dad was hilarious (and probably a little sadistic), he thought it would be funny to make us come with him to wash his car. I can say with confidence that him forcing us to stand huddled by the giant drain while he giggled and sprayed soap on his car is probably the worst memory I have attached to a car wash. Or a drain, come to think of it.

Anyway, I was reminded of that terrifying memory when I came across a story that’s been circulating the Internet for the last week or so. Apparently there’s someone who’s been dressing up in a Pennywise costume and scaring the shit out of the residents of Northampton, England. And the man is a social media wizard, because he runs his own Facebook page which is somehow equally as terrifying as the pictures of him that have been circulating. His posts usually read something like this one, from Sept. 16th: “So glad there’s a picture from last night. I didn’t wear my clown shoes as they’ve got holes in them from all the drains I’ve been climbing into… I was in Abingdon yesterday before it rained but there seems to be no pictures… If what I am doing does get too much for people, I will have to stop.”

Dear. God. There’s something about the jovial tone he adopts in his posts that really just pushes the whole thing over the edge from creepy to frightening. He keeps hinting that he’s planning something big that’s just around the bend. I’m pretty sure he plans on brainwashing all the residents of Northampton, and one day we’ll wake up to find that he now controls his very own clown army. If you feel like putting some images into your brain box that will never ever go away and will most likely slowly destroy your mind meats, then hop on over to facebook.com/spotnorthamptonsclown.com and let the screaming commence.

On a less terrifying, but infinitely more infuriating topic, classic publisher DC Comics has landed itself in hot water lately when it suffered two rapid-fire PR nightmares. Mistake #1 came when they launched a contest wherein fans could draw Harley Quinn, and one of the suggested panels was of her naked in the bathtub on the verge of suicide. In the same week, J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman (the creative team behind DC’s popular series Batwoman) quit over frustrations with the publisher. Apparently, despite Batwoman (Karen Kane) and her significant other (Maggie Sawyer) being engaged, DC refused to actually allow them to marry. Jury’s still out on whether the real reason was that they believe a married superhero is a boring superhero (DC’s claim), or because DC is an antiquated publisher that has refused to evolve with the changing times and to let their titles reflect those changes.

Arielle Mullen