Gargantua: Circus Star of the Century by Gene Plowden
The name Gargantua was a household word throughout this country, and his picture was spread around the world. Millions stood in line through rain, wind, cold, and heat to pay admission to see this ugliest (if not largest or fiercest) member of the ape family ever seen outside the jungles of Africa. And after twelve years of stardom, major wire services flashed the news of his death around the world. Veteran newsman Gene Plowden, who covered the Gargantua story personally and who is a circus authority of renown, relates not only the surface success story but goes behind the scenes to reveal the stories of the many persons involved in the gorilla’s life – owners, keepers and many others. Gene Plowden tells how the young, terribly mutilated gorilla was nursed to health and domesticated by a remarkable woman; how the maturing animal helped the Ringling North brothers revive their troubled enterprise; how the carefully contrived stories of the beast’s strength and ferocity created a living legend, making news copy wherever the show went.
The typeface was probably chosen for its coarse, “primal” shapes, alluding to Gargantua’s perceived untamableness. While the name in all caps makes for a strong wordmark, the subtitle suffers from the (too) tight letterspacing of the 1970s – Charleston looks better when set with a tad more tracking.
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