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The dark and witty, often macabre — but somehow whimsical — work of Edward Gorey first filtered into my consciousness as a child, when I viewed his animated introduction for the PBS show “Mystery!” I remember being so intrigued by the tragic black and white characters dancing across the screen, and so disappointed that they weren’t featured in the actual programming.
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The cartoons were a prime representation of Gorey’s art, embracing a Gothic feel with Edwardian fashion. An artist, playwright, author, and animal activist with a penchant for collecting cats, Gorey had an odd sense of humor, often shared in cross-hatched pen-and-ink drawings. He wrote and illustrated dozens of books, including the popular The Doubtful Guest, which is filled with Gorey’s staple nonsense verse.
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Gorey was also the theatrical costumer and set designer for a well-received Broadway rendition of Dracula, for which he won a Tony Award.
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What do you think of Gorey’s work? Do you have a favorite book of his?