Used to be, it was all about goth and dark glamor, but now emo is all the rage (still glamorous, still somewhat dark)--when I was in college, I remember being all angsty and morose and painting my nails black on occasion, wearing my black top-hat, and indulging in small books filled with wonderfully drawn works of gothic whimsy and despair by EdwardGorey (American, 1925-2000)--Thing is, I still love his books to this day--Gorey was an amazingly gifted illustrator who used pen and ink to illustrate his works, elevating that medium to a new level of sophistication--his books were small in size and often no more than 40 or 50 pages, each filled with meticulous line drawings of characters and creatures caught up in either droll, macabre, or inexplicable events while living in a strange Edwardian world of gloom and whimsy--I was taken with the sense of dark inevitability in each book, and Gorey's wicked (and I mean wicked) sense of humor--he illustrated books by other authors as well, and did the opening animation for Mystery! on PBS--Gorey loved the ballet (as do I), and attended many performances of the New York City Ballet--He was eccentric in his dress, often seen wearing a long fur coat and tennis shoes (this mode of dress appears on male characters in many of his books)--he published quite a few illustrated works, and first editions are now highly sought-after and expensive--luckily, Harcourt Brace and Pomegranate Books have been reprinting some of them in hardcover, and the more recent ones are available at cover or less--I would encourage anyone who likes the eccentric, macabre, or deliberately obscure to check him out--his works are small gems, and he was a master at his craft--Unfortunately he has no equal writing at this time, but he has influenced a host of other writers and illustrators--
Here are three Gorey titles I recommend for the uninitiated:
The Gashlycrum Tinies (very dark, very funny)
The Curious Sofa Author listed as Ogdred Weary, get it?--(wonderfully naughty, and macabre)
Ribbon: The Art of Adornment event January 11th This upcoming weekend on Sunday afternoon, I will be signing my book,Ribbon: The Art ofAdornmentalong with my co-author, Nicholas Kniel, at the Merchandise Mart here in Atlanta. The signing will take place between11:00 and 2:00 at theDaniel Richardsshowroom. The showroom is located at the Merchandise Mart in building 2, on the 16th floor, in suite 1634. Those of you attending the show, please come by to see us.