Friday, January 6, 2012

The Gorey Details

A friend recently asked me to draw a picture to be included in her book.  The original drawing was a bit light, so I added some crosshatching to make it a bit more detailed and darker.

Happily she liked the results, and so did I.

The drawing reminded me of something, but I could not put my finger on it.  I walked away to get the phone and when I came back it hit reminded me of Edward Gorey.

Please do not think I am comparing my skills to the incredible skills of Mr. Gorey, but it was neat to see a bit of similarity in style.  His work fascinated me since I was a kid when my Aunt Annie got his book AMPHIGOREY for Christmas one year.  I was especially intrigued by the cartoons that were captioned in French thinking they must be especially terrible.  I read that he has been compared to Poe and Tim Burton, or a combination of the two. 

His work is dark, beautiful, and disturbing, and my parents worried that I liked him and the group KISS.  The Bug Book was written just for kids, but lacked his dark edge, so it was not my favorite. 

A favorite of mine was his alphabet book.  These books were traditionally a happy and cheerful way for children to learn their A,B,C's.  Gorey's version was dark and macabre and so far away from child-appropriate that it was glorious.  Here is a sample:

A is for Amy who fell down the stairs--
B is for Basil assaulted by bears--
C is for Clara who wasted away--
D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh...

Bloody and dismal pictures graced every page.

You get the idea.

The aforementioned Amphigorey contains fifteen of his works, and is worthy of any library.

So if you like dark, dismal, creepy, disturbing and wonderful--look for Edward Gorey.  I am so glad I thought of him today.    :)

A very nice blog that features Gorey's pictures up-close and creepy:



  1. I thnk I've seen his work somewhere... and because it would appeal to me, it would put me in the weird-o category by others. Which bothers me NOT.

  2. I am not familiar with Gorey, but it sounds like my children will *adore* the ABC book.

    The drawing you added to your sidebar for poor Amy is terrific.

    Is it OK to say that out loud? I sent my son to school today with "How They Croaked: The awful ends of the awfully famous" LOL... he loves it!

  3. He has always been one of my favorites too!
    How they Croaked sounds hysterical! I have to look that up. And yes--surely say it out's just to deliciously good to hold it in. Your kids sound funny and great Corinne.
    Penelope :)

  4. Love, love, LOVE Gorey! Excellent post. :)

  5. Not sure how this post slipped past me. Better make sure I'm subscribed. Will do that shortly.

    Is it wrong that we have the full Gorey alphabet framed in our toddler's room? They are great little artistic drawings (with only one perhaps questionable).

    Now, c'mon. We also have pretty butterflies hanging from the ceiling. I'm not that dark.

    Paul D. Dail A horror writer's not necessarily horrific blog

  6. No--not wrong--AWESOME!!
    I love it!! Hahahah!! I had that alphabet memorized by the time I was eight or so :)

    Don't know if you are interested,
    but I just purchased an etching of his from his estate on Cape Cod. I think they have some more left...I got a BAT. :)


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