Sunday, September 30, 2012

Away On A Visit

This past weekend, Bill and I took a quick trip to Los Angeles, California for our stained glass business and had a free day on Saturday. We decided to take a day trip to the Huntington Library and Gardens in Pasadena to see the artwork on display in the several museum buildings and stroll the grounds. The grounds are extensive, and visitors need a good pair of comfortable walking shoes, sunscreen and a sense of adventure! The variety of the themed gardens include Rose, Australian, Japanese, Sub-Tropical, Lily Pond, Children's, and Cactus gardens.

So what does this have to do with Edward Gorey, apart from the impressive Gorey display in the gift shop? Whenever I visit a new place I bring along my influences and inspirations with me. For our trip to the Huntington, I was forcibly reminded of many books and drawings by Edward Gorey! In the photo at the top of the post, if you remove the palms, you have a Gorey vista complete with manicured lawn and statues - a perfect setting for a mischief to occur.

Anyone who wonders what it would be like to visit The Evil Garden, Edward Gorey's fantastically deadly park where the foliage is forbidding and getting out alive is practically impossible, should visit the Huntington's Cactus Garden! This is one garden where you definitely do not want to stray from the paths. Located to the left of the entrance, one of the first things we ran across on our way into the garden was a lush plant with bright red, juicy berries...and a sign saying NOT to eat them as they would certainly disagree with you!

The further we went into the Cactus Garden, the more we felt like the plants were allowing us to pass, only to lure us into a false sense of security while they picked the right time to pounce! This is not a small cluster of interesting cactus, this garden is a maze of walkways with rare and beautiful plants of jaw-dropping proportions and quantities. We were happy we picked up a map when we entered the grounds, because we found ourselves wandering the paths of this garden without knowing where we were exactly.

The Lily Ponds were beautifully choked with water plants, fish and even turtles. I kept an eye out for Little Zooks to go flying past on his trajectory.

When next in Pasadena, visit the spectacular Huntington Library and Gardens and look at things with a Gorey perspective! Who knows what you may see...

Thursday, September 27, 2012

I'll Be Back!

I will be back to blogging soon! It has been a hectic month...Hope you will tune back in!

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Halloween Treat & Edward Gorey's Ghosts

A Halloween Treat/Edward Gorey's Ghosts is the first "new" book by Edward Gorey to be published since 1999's The Headless Bust. The book is published by Bloomsbury USA, and is now available.

A Halloween Treat is a short piece, obviously created by Mr. Gorey for a periodical or similar publication. The ten delightful illustrations - each accompanies one letter for the word Halloween plus one additional picture - feature children and Mr. Gorey's signature cats in various disguises out Trick or Treating. The "cat bat" for the second "e" is particularly memorable. The participants occasionally comment on their adventures.

When the book is flipped over, Edward Gorey's Ghosts can be read from the other side.  This "book" features 24 illustrations, each of which includes a ghost. Culled from Mr. Gorey's vast illustration career, the images come from the Bellairs book series (which is full of ghosts!), pictures made for posters and pamphlets, obscure drawings, and Mr. Gorey's own books. While many of the images may be familiar to his fans, there are several wonderful surprises in this book.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Pomegranate Books

Can you still get a new first edition book by Edward Gorey at a bookstore? The answer is YES! If you know what you are looking for!

Over the past couple years, the Edward Gorey Charitable Trust has been working with Pomegranate Books to publish a number of Edward Gorey's books. While many of these books are reprints of titles previously offered, a handful of the titles are actually the first hardcover trade editions - not reprints or second printings.

Edward Gorey privately printed many of his stories as small, limited edition volumes under his Fantod Press imprint. These books were offered for sale through Gotham Book Mart and select book dealers. Many of the limited edition books were never printed in regular, or "trade" hardcover editions...until now.

First edition Edward Gorey books published by Pomegranate include: The Black Doll, The Evil Garden, The Lost Lions, Thoughtful Alphabets (The Just Dessert & The Deadly Blotter), The Sopping Thursday and The Osbick Bird. These titles represent the first trade hardcover printings of the books, and thus are not reprints, but first editions!