Comics - A 52 Second Silence for Topsy (3 stars)


A 52 Second Silence for Topsy (Missing Twin)


On the 4 January, 1903, 27-year-old Topsy, a domesticated elephant with the Forepaugh Circus at Coney Island’s Luna Park zoo was electrocuted to death. She had allegedly killed three men (including a trainer who attempted to feed her a lit cigarette). Inventor Thomas Edison, who had managed to convince the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to use his new DC electricity for the execution, captured the event on film. He would release it later that year under the title, Electrocuting an Elephant.

The prolific Duff’s latest work is another sly investigation in to bizarre media spectacles and the nostalgic ephemera that surrounds them. By detailing in one page frames the last 52 seconds of Topsy’s life this is more flick book than anything else, and less intricate and thus more accessible than this demented artist’s most recent work. Visit or email if you wish to purchase a copy.

(Paul Dale)

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