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"What Would Joker Wear?"

Perhaps the creepiest sort of apparel, designed for our safety, but in actual truth making perfectly normal human beings look like totalitarian monsters from "Another Brick in the Wall" nightmare - gas masks are going to be around as long as WMD exist, and beyond.

I have a sneaking suspicion that some third-world dictator is hatching plans to dress his whole subordinate populace in gas masks - in the name of some mad civil defense, of course. No wonder Stalin instituted gas mask training for everybody in Russia (drills performed almost every day) in the 30s.

The recent "Joker" character took another approach to masks ("Why so serious?"), but in my humble opinion, gas-masked children are creepier than anything Joker can come up with.

(image credit: kansashumanities)

(image credit: Thomas Scott)

On this page we continue to collect the weirdest shots of human beings (and a few animals) in gas masks. Also read Part 1 and Part 2.

(image credit: gasmasks.net)

Some of the strangest gas mask variations appeared on posters in recent history:

Check out the women's expressions on the left: they range from disgust, disbelief, to some kind of a strained smile:

(image credit: gasmasks.net)

Industrial applications of gas masks are only appropriate, so their "freak factor" is significantly reduced:

(image credit: gasmasks.net)


...or maybe a way to freak out your dog, when he sees the whole household going out on a walk in this way -

(image credit: modernmechanix and Garcia Lovrine)

Even little babies had the privilege of extra-protection back then. A Special Device for toddlers (which during peace time you could use as sound insulation against baby cries... just joking, of course) -

(image credit: modernmechanix)

No Fear.... Only Loathing.

The other way of dealing with the unthinkable - is to disappear, or to totally blend with the surroundings. Desiree Palman offers just such solutions. Click on the image to see the full gallery:

(image credit: Desiree Palman)

However, if you really need protection against gases and such - then you have to ask, could they not make the masks less ugly, and even cute in some way?

Of course, they can! Witness a A Mickey Mouse Gas Mask designed for children of all ages (more info). Conceived in 1944, it was a way to cope with constant fear of attack on US from enemy submarines.

(image credit: gasmasklexikon)

Knitted gas masks are infinitely more friendly-looking, aren't they? Creation of Teryakimoto. Cuddle up to them and die, for they don't provide any protection, of course.

This is also pretty weird. I'd say these are monkey gas masks hanging from his suit... walk into a bank in one of these, and dare the consequences:

Gas-Masked Art is Hugely Popular

It's only appropriate that gas masks appear as accessories in various modern art installations. The best of the bunch, probably, is the spectacularly designed Canadian site UberBrain by Francis Koch:

(image credit: UberBrain)

Steampunk workshop writes about a leather mask by bob_busset:

(image credit: bob_basset)

Some other steampunk masks on his sites are even more mind-boggling and onerous to wear. Can you imagine the thrill of meeting such a thing in the dusk of an abandoned factory?... -

(image credit: bob_basset)

All these, and more, are for sale from the artist... Meet your personal Apocalypse in style.

Samuel Stimpert is another artist who takes gas mask fashion to extreme.

Some kind of love story, or remains of it (and a very dubious "zen" on the right) -

(image credit: Samuel Stimpert)

Check out his site for more.

And of course, a more classic art approach, which makes the whole miserable affair even more surreal and psychotic.
"Lady in Gas Mask" by Banksy:

Victorian dresses with gas masks and Kalashnikovs (dynamite-rigged rats would be nice too, but it's been done already) - how's that for the next Batman /Joker confrontation?


Also read Part 1 and Part 2.

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Category: Weird,Vintage

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OpenID shadowsong said...

Don't forget another recent incarnation of creepy children in gas masks: Are you my mummy?

Blogger samuel said...

A friend of mine just pointed this out to me...cool article!
Thanks for including me.


Blogger Insomniac Studios said...

Some of my gas mask images - Not Work Safe!!!


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