During Pitch Wars, my awesome mentor, Ben L.J Brooks told me that my manuscript, The Sad State of Emmaline Black, reminded him of the artwork of Edward Gorey. To which I said, “Wow, thanks. Um, who’s that?”
So I went searching, and I found something truly beautiful. It’s dark, creepy and gothic, with a whimsical bite and a sense of humor that makes you smile and shake your head. Edward Gorey was not only a talented artist, he was the author of over one hundred books, including The Gashlycrumb Tinies: A Very Gorey Alphabet Book, which is an A to Z picture book of ghastly fates befalling children.
Edward Gorey reportedly had a fascination with ballet, sneakers, fur coats and cats. I feel like he’s sort of a kindred spirit, I mean…aside from the ballet thing. Most of his drawings were in pen and ink, with a very dark Victorian feel, though Mr. Gorey was American.
Edward Gorey’s answer, upon being called “gothic” was, “If you’re doing nonsense it has to be rather awful, because there’d be no point. I’m trying to think if there’s sunny nonsense. Sunny, funny nonsense for children – oh, how boring, boring, boring”.
Like I said, I’m pretty sure this guy is my soul mate.
After he died, Edward left most of his estate to a charitable trust that benefited cats and dogs and other creatures, including bats and insects, both of which feature prominently in his artwork. Edward was also a fan of pop culture, including Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
There’s a book about Gorey’s life called, “The Strange Case of Edward Gorey” and it’s next on my reading list. If you’re not familiar with his work, you should look him up and check out his art online.