Another in the Best of St Louis section pieces, SPORTS & RECREATION introduces Bad-Ass Burning Baby to the series. Burning Baby finds his origins in a poster I produced in collaboration with my friend Derek for a Halloween show being put on by a band called Dark Star Orchestra – a Grateful Dead cover band – in 2003. I thought that, for the Best of St Louis series, it would be interesting to pit the Burning Baby against a Kangaroo in some sort of boxing match – a sideshow event quite popular in the classic days of the traveling carnival. It seemed a great venue to show the full capacity of Burning baby’s menacing nature. To emphasize that point, I placed him in the famous pose first struck by Muhammad Ali over the body of a felled Sonny Liston in 1965. Below is the original Halloween poster in which Burning Baby made his debut:
I liked the menacing quality of the baby’s expression so much that I decided to include an echo of it in one of my absurdity posters (see the “absurdity projects” section of my website, jackienoname.com, for more details). See below:
Here’s a picture of some of the absurdity posters in their final state: Pasted to a wall somewhere, in multiples. I couldn’t find a photo of a grouping that included the PLEASE DON’T CRY baby. I remember pasting some down in New Orleans a few years ago, but I can’t find the pictures I took.
By the way, we have copies of this poster available. Let me know if you’re interested: They are $20 a piece.
Although Burning Baby has a traceable history, Kickapoo Kangaroo has not. Nor will he ever, most likely, be making another appearance anywhere else.