Nobody’s Fool: The Life and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead

Bill Griffith

Nobody’s Fool follows the story of Schlitzie’s long career—from Coney Island and the Ringling Bros. Circus to small-town carnivals and big-city sideshows—which is one of legend. Today, Schlitzie is most well-known for his appearance in the cult classic Freaks. The making of Freaks and Schlitzie’s role in the film is a centerpiece of the book. In researching Schlitzie’s life (1901–1971), Griffith has tracked down primary sources and archives throughout the country, including conducting interviews with those who worked with him and had intimate knowledge of his personality, his likes and dislikes, how he responded to being a sideshow “freak,” and much more. This graphic novel biography provides never-before-revealed details of his life, offering a unique look into his world and restoring dignity to his life by recognizing his contributions to popular culture.

Creator Bio

Bill Griffith is the legendary, award-winning creator of the syndicated daily comic strip Zippy the Pinhead. Griffith’s prolific output has been included in such publications as the Village Voice, National Lampoon, and the New Yorker. Along with Robert Crumb and Art Spiegelman, Griffith is one of the pioneers of the underground comix movement that began in New York in the late 1960s and then moved to San Francisco in the early 1970s. According to Bartlett, Griffith is credited for coining the popular phrase, “Are we Having Fun Yet?” He lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut.


“Bill Griffith’s Nobody’s Fool: The Life and Times of Schlitzie the Pinhead looks unmissable: the biography of Schlitze Surtees, the real-life sideshow performer who appeared in Tod Browning’s legendary film Freaks.” The Guardian

Price £17.99
Format Hardback
Publication Date 19 March 2019
Pages 256
Height 241mm
Width 162mm
Illustrations Black and white illustrations throughout
ISBN-13 9781419735011