If you have ever tuned into to watch the “Mystery!” series on PBS, you are likely familiar with the art work of Edward Gorey. The distinctive pen and ink drawings in the introduction set the tone for the mystery to come. As well as being a prolific, award-winning artist, Gorey also published numerous illustrated (often wordless) books, generally with Victorian or Edwardian settings. He also won an award for best costume design at the 1977 Tony’s for his work on the Broadway production of Dracula.
One of my personal Gorey favorites is “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” – essentially a very dark alphabet book. Published in 1963, it is the story of 26 children (each representing a letter of the alphabet), and their manner of death in rhyming couplets. There is something about the educational nature of an alphabet book, combined with a macabre subject, which appeals to my (admittedly) warped sense of humor. You can read “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” by clicking the image below:
For further information about Gorey’s life and work, check out these sites: