Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Another Edward Gorey Review

After my last post, I have heard about a couple of reviews and written pieces by Edward Gorey that appeared in newspapers. These are very difficult to come across, and I must thank a reader of this blog for the scan below. In this book review dated November 5, 1967, Edward Gorey writes for the Chicago Tribune about a book titled Animal Gardens by Emily Hahn.

The book discusses the subject of keeping animals in a zoo environment and presents the pros and cons of this practice, along with interesting animal facts. Animal welfare is a concern that Edward Gorey was passionate about, and his estate is dedicated to promoting the welfare of all creatures, great and small.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Edward Gorey - Book Reviewer

While studying some Edward Gorey - related scans of magazine articles, I ran across this piece which was published in the May 1986 issue of Vogue.

This is interesting not only for the illustration created for the article, but even more so because Mr. Gorey has been persuaded to write the book review himself. The book series he reviews is the Lucia series by E. F. Benton which are a particular favorite of his. This series gets mentioned numerous times in interviews with Mr. Gorey as a favorite of his, even though he describes the books as being, "Written with great good nature and the lowest possible view of human nature".

Saturday, October 19, 2013

On This Day In History...

Here is an odd coincidence...

On Friday October 20, 1882 Bela Lugosi is born. The famed Hungarian actor is best remembered for his starring role in Dracula, both on Broadway in 1927 and the classic 1931 film. Edward Van Sloan also appears in both the stage and screen versions portraying Dr. Abraham Van Helsing. The 1927 Broadway version opened on Wednesday October 2, 1927 and ran for 261 performances, closing on Saturday May 19, 1928.

Fast forward to Thursday October 20, 1977 for the Broadway opening of Edward Gorey's Dracula starring Frank Langella. This production will play 925 performances before closing on Sunday January 6, 1980.

Friday, October 18, 2013

That Time of Year...

Would you like to have your fortune told? Edward Gorey Fantod Pack readings now through Halloween!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

A Trip To NYC

A recent trip to New York City had us running from one end of Manhattan to the other in pursuit of art, books, exhibitions, friends and theater. One highlight of the trip was a visit to the New York Public Library where there is a special exhibition on the history of children's books entitled The ABC of It: Why Children's Books Matter. The exhibit showcases many examples of famous and lesser known authors and illustrators and will be on display until March 23, 2014.

Unfortunately, Edward Gorey was not included in the line-up, but the display gives visitors a chance to see many of his influences and inspirations. Of particular interest to Goreyphiles is an example of an early moral primer which inspired The Eclectic Abecedarium.

Also on display is a book of original drawings and limericks by Edward Lear (see photo at the top of the post) and four original John Tenniel pencil drawings from Alice in Wonderland, which are so finely drawn as to be almost non-existent on the paper - the precision and line control really reminded me of original artwork by Edward Gorey.

There are too many other books and pieces of artwork to list. The exhibition is free and is well worth a visit.

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Goreyana Turns Five!

"Welcome to my Edward Gorey blog." This was the first sentence of my first post on October 5, 2008. I began Goreyana ~ my collecting blog devoted to the works of Edward Gorey five years ago today and as of this morning, my blog has just topped 200,000 visits.

I could not be more thrilled and I would like to thank everyone who has visited this blog and has enjoyed my posts. I have especially enjoyed hearing from others with an interest the work of Edward Gorey. Your comments and questions keep me writing and researching topics of interest. I look forward to the next five years.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Bell, The Book and The Spellbinder Original Artwork

The Bell, The Book, and the Spellbinder by Brad Strickland (continuing the stories by John Bellairs) was published in 1997 and features a wrap around dust jacket design by Edward Gorey.

It is always exciting to see Edward Gorey's original paintings from the Bellairs series. As with most of Mr. Gorey's original artwork, in person the images appear to be larger than the printed versions, when in fact they are executed 100% to the final printings. As can be seen in the image above, the painted background on this piece extends well beyond the crop marks which indicate the dimensions of the jacket and where the spine will be positioned.

Mr. Gorey usually stays close to the crop marks when painting the outside edges of the art, and the crosshatched parts of this image do just that. The watercolor background swirls and fairly bursts at the edges giving the painting a wild, stormy look. Because of this, the original artwork has much more movement than the cropped image on the printed dust jacket.

Mr. Gorey always hand drew the typography for the Bellairs covers as a separate piece of art. This way he was able to work with India Ink and have the type reversed to appear white on the final printing. Working this way allowed him more freedom to paint, while keeping the type crisp on the final dust jacket. When designing the artwork, Mr. Gorey also had to consider the practical needs of the publisher. The lower left corner of the back was left free for the UPC code, and while he hand wrote "Dial" on the spine, he had to leave room for the official publisher's logo.