Thursday, August 2, 2012

Edward Gorey in TV Guide

During his long career, Edward Gorey created covers and spot illustrations for many periodicals, some popular and some obscure. Mr. Gorey was often hired by TV Guide to provide spot illustrations for the weekly magazine, which was appropriate since he was an inveterate television viewer. I do find it odd that a magazine such a this would commission work by Mr. Gorey, but that is why he had an agent!

Between 1974 and 1993, Mr. Gorey's work appeared in TV Guide over 20 times.  Due to the small format of the magazine, Edward Gorey's TV Guide pieces were drawn larger than the finished printed size, and were almost always created in color. I have two TV Guide spot illustrations in my collection, both of which appeared in the March 19 - 25, 1988 issue.

The first pen, ink & watercolor image is a delightful, tiny drawing of a detective making notes for the Insider section. This small drawing is only 1.5" x 1" and is flawlessly executed.

The second piece is 3" x 5" and was used on the last page of the magazine for the Review section. It is a self portrait of Mr. Gorey sitting in front of an abnormally large television set, dressed in the style of comfortable clothing he often wore around the Cape - shorts, baggy knit sweater, hat and scarf. Notepad in hand, and with provisions nearby for a long viewing session, the most entertaining and inexplicable part of the drawing is the large green alligator who is present.

 In the magazine, the illustration was used for a review of Dolly, a musical variety show featuring Dolly Parton which lasted 22 installments. This was Ms. Parton's second attempt at a weekly TV show. A photographic image of Dolly along side Kermit the Frog appears on the television screen. The drawing is positioned at the top of the page, is poorly printed and cut off (at least in my copy).

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