Illustration by Max Currie

Someone switched the television back to the celebrity gossip program, which now flashed images of Ozman: popular grinning mug shot, publicity stills from Airship Japan, manga and other comic likenesses of the shock comic in full howl. Ozman had been sentenced to fifteen years in a Japanese prison. Fans, however, had decided that what happened with Kent and Kumi was another of Ozman’s shockwaves, as they had taken to calling his outrageous stunts. Instead of a needle through his cheeks, he’d put a bullet through his wife’s face.

“Shockalicious!” hailed the Tokyo Journal.

“Mohawk with a Bullet,” wrote The Japan Times.

“Cock of the Shock,” proclaimed Robot Monkey.

Reports of Ozman sightings popped up on internet fan sites following his arrest, and blogs scrolled with theories of the Australian’s imminent return. T-shirts with Ozman’s face in an open-mouth assault were sold in the Koenji Flea Market. One read “Brain Salad Surgery, another “Use the Illusion,” yet another “Like a Hole in My Head.” New legions of shock comics turned up on variety shows. One ambitious young Japanese tried to run a coat hanger in and back out both sides of his nose on live television but put himself in a wheelchair, his basic motor skills gone. When the thin wire hit his brain, the amateur comic fell to the stage floor, flopping around like a fish. The audience went wild with laughter.


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