Monday, July 29, 2013
Edward Gorey's The Happy Ending
The Happy Ending by Edward Gorey is a fanciful collection of captioned images which was published in the March 1973 issue of National Lampoon Magazine. The cover of the magazine (not by Mr. Gorey) shows the path to Good Taste (clowns and a barrel of monkeys) and to Bad Taste (cutting remarks and uncalled-for smut), so the pieces fit right in with the rest of the magazine!
The Happy Ending appears near the back of the magazine and has a wonderful "cover" image done in full color and twelve individual spot illustrations collected onto four pages. Often, Mr. Gorey would create more images than appear in magazine spots and it would be fun to know if there are more images associated with this title. Two of the pieces included in this work stand out for having a distinctly gay theme. Many of Mr. Gorey's magazine pieces would later be turned into books and it is a shame that this one never was.
The twelve spots are executed in two distinct styles - six are drawn in pen & ink and feature crosshatching while the remaining half dozen are painted using watercolors. I am also curious as to whether the watercolor pieces are executed in color or are in grey tones. My guess would be that, like the images created for The Broken Spoke in 1976, at least some of the paintings are probably done in color but the magazine printed them in black & white.