If you’ve ever watched an episode of Mystery! on PBS, you’re familiar with the work of my favorite illustrator: Edward Gorey.
Whether you consider his illustrations Victorian, Edwardian, or Gothic, all remind us that life is far from a bowl of cherries, that life is filled as much with pits and pitfalls as it is with joy and happiness. You need only look at his illustrated alphabet to understand that:
A is for Amy who fell down the stairs
B is for Basal assaulted by bears
C is for Clara who wasted away
D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh
He wrote more than a hundred books before his death in 2000, at age 75, and illustrated the works of more than fifty other authors, including Charles Dickens, T. S. Eliot, John Updike, and many more. Most of his little books can be found in four collections: Amphigorey, Amphigorey Too, Amphigorey Also, and Amphigorey Again. If you haven’t experienced these, you’re in for a treat. And once you peruse them, you’ll understand Tim Burton and Johnny Depp a little better.