Traumafesions :: Reader Hillary B. on Image Union


Love your site! I don’t have a site to promote, but I do have a traumafession. I live in Chicago and I grew up watching WTTW 11, our main PBS station. There is a program called IMAGE UNION and back in the ’80s the “mascot” (or whatever) promoting it was this animated figure.
I attached a photo of the figure I found by Googling it, which just reignited my fear of this thing, so yay. YouTube clip of the figure at the 0:45 mark:

Whenever I was watching the station with my parents and a commercial with that figure came on, I would quickly leave the room. I don’t think I ever told my parents that the image freaked me out but it became my own personal boogeyman. If I had a dream of something scary chasing me, it was THAT THING! Usually accompanied by a sidekick in the form of a tarantula, my other kindertrauma.

I’ve never ever watched IMAGE UNION, which still comes on WTTW 11 and I still watch that station, for the simple fact that it is connected to that horrible image. The movement of the animation was weird and the face really didn’t move at all. It just wasn’t right. Not at all.



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11 years ago

I remember Image Union well, although I only vaguely recall the animated guy. Well, “animated” might be stretching it a bit. The show was very typical of Chicago programming at the time – it was doing its own thing with no regard to the rest of the broadcasting universe. I basically did not know the major networks existed – I was always tuned into WTTW (11), WGN (9) and WFLD (32 – UHF).

It’s strange how we imbue the most inane characters with so much drama when we’re kids. For whatever reason – and I’m not kidding here – I thought that the “Mr. Clean” strongman/genie cleaning products mascot was what God looked like. I was surprised when the kids in Sunday school described God as an old man with a long beard – MY God could snap their “god” in half like a toothpick!

Jami JoAnne Russell
11 years ago

I remember seeing that a few times. Probably while visiting relatives in mom’s home town of Streetor, Ill. And yes, he’s freaky.

@Chuckles – Funny, I had my own image of God. Since God can take on any form and is actually described as a being of purse masculine AND feminine energy – and Christians describe God as love, I’d draw God as a woman with a giant Valentine heart for a body.

11 years ago

I posted about Image Union here before! That is the show where I saw that crazy music video with Darth Vader on a New York Subway Train. Still have not found it.

And by the way, that animated character’s name is Bob. WTTW was very close to where I lived and I once went there to pickup a subscription drive premium – a Doctor Who picture disc!