Monday, January 6, 2014

Marvin Kaye Anthologies

Marvin Kaye is an author and editor of mystery, science fiction and horror stories. Edward Gorey created wraparound dust jacket cover designs for eight of the numerous anthologies Kaye produced. These wonderful Gorey-adorned volumes can often be found quite reasonably.

Ghosts 1981 - Ghost stories, many never before published. This is the simplest of the Kaye jacket designs created by Edward Gorey. It would be interesting to see the original artwork to see if the images were drawn onto the watercolor or superimposed in the printing process.

Masterpieces of Terror and the Supernatural 1985 - Classic & modern tales. Wonderfully spooky vignettes on the front and back of the dust jacket. The spine has a great image of a skeleton dancing with a woman who has fainted.

Devils & Demons 1987 - Horror and suspense stories. One of Edward Gorey's most imaginative dust jacket designs ever! The original artwork for this cover must be truly fantastic. The typography is integrated into the image and would not have been superimposed on top of the painting. The color is somewhat unusual for Mr. Gorey and conveys the fire and heat of the location.

Witches and Warlocks 1989 - Tales of black magic. The artwork created for this dust jacket is an undersea fantasy featuring sea monsters being ridden (presumably) by Witches and Warlocks. The original art from this title was reproduced as a limited edition print by The Edward Gorey House - I am showing print #T/26 lettered copies. The typography was obviously created as a separate piece and reversed on the final dust jacket. These two scans are good example of how much the same piece of artwork can change in color when they are reproduced in different printing techniques.

13 Plays of Ghosts and the Supernatural 1990 - This dust jacket design mimics a two act play, with a ghostly tango as a scene change act in front of the curtain. In the printing, you can see the slight unevenness of the black watercolor in-painting of the background area around the "lit" stage scenes. The typography was created as a separate piece of art and superimposed on the final printed dust jacket.

Haunted America 1990 -American ghost stories.  The final dust jacket shows a severely cropped image from the original artwork (see below). The image was originally intended to be a full wraparound landscape which featured a large statue of a pointing hand on the cover. It was determined that the hand appeared to be giving a rude gesture and the art was cropped for the final printing. The red, white and blue coloration reflects the American theme of the stories within.

The preliminary artwork for Haunted America is almost as highly finished as the final artwork. Rendered in tones of grey and black, the feel is substantially different from the final art. The typography, which was created as a separate piece of art, is indicated on the sketch. The size of the finished lettering dictated the cropping on the final dust jacket design.

Masterpieces of Terror and the Unknown 1992 - Bizarre tales old and new, a companion to the 1985 Kaye anthology. The art for this jacket is elaborate and quite spectacular. A surreal vista featuring two fantasy islands and flying creatures can be seen through the mouth of a cave which has bats and skeletons. The type was once again created as a separate piece of art and reversed on the final dust jacket.

Sweet Revenge 10 Plays of Bloody Murder 1992 - A companion to the 1990 book of ghost plays. This is a colorful wraparound image with costumed characters that resemble Edward Gorey's drawings for the Metropolitan Opera.


kathryn black said...

I have just discovered 13 Plays of Ghosts and the Supernatural in the same series with a Gorey dust jacket.

ampootozote said...

Thanks for the heads up! I have updated the list above.