https://goreyana.blogspot.com/2019/11/where-is-dragon.html), I was curious to know what might exist in the Edward Gorey archive that could shed light onto the process of removing more than half of an image for publication. I contacted the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust, and after a little digging, archivist Will Baker was able to provide me with images of existing artwork that answer the question, "How did the dragon disappear?".
On to the artwork. It is of interest that the image appears to have hit two roadblocks on its journey to the back cover of the book.
The artwork with dragon is created by Edward Gorey and sent to the Publisher. Someone at the publisher, probably editor John Briggs, objects to the imagination bubble surrounding the dragon coming down on the lower left side and wants to extend the decorative wall border all the way across the image. Edward Gorey approves the change, and a xerox border extension is affixed to the original drawing to make the change. The drawing is then photographed, a stat is made and a color separation is generated which indicates that green will be filled in on the bubble and dragon's body. Everything is ready for printing. It should be noted that the modified image has now become confusing - the dragon now appears to be standing on the border and also flat on the wall. This kind of visual confusion can result when a non-artist begins to alter an artist's work.
Author Florence Parry Heide views a proof or stat of the back cover and strongly objects to the dragon and requests that Edward Gorey remove it entirely from the back cover. Edward Gorey agrees to the change, but the book is now ready for printing and there is no time to redraw the art.