Illustrator Edward Gorey at his finest with this cover for an out-of-print paperback from 1959, Nineteenth Century German Tales.
Hurts Like a Mother: A Cautionary Alphabet
by Jennifer Weiss (author), Lauren Franklin (author) and Ken Lamug (illustrator)
2016, 64 pages, 5.5 x 6 x 0.5 inches
An abecedarian picture book for grown-ups, Hurts Like A Mother is a black-and-white illustrated parody of Edward Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies. Mirroring the dark humor of Gorey's book, the hazards of parenting is explored alphabetically, each letter attributed to a different mom in peril. From the ludicrous, where moms asphyxiate from being strangled by inflatable pool toys, pass out from the price of American Girl dolls, meet their maker from flammable breast pumps, and expire from ennui over reading parenting books in the library, to the real-life issues facing moms, such as the problems with extended snow days, difficulties with carpools, and the myriad troubles with time management, Hurts Like A Mother is a brief but humorously morbid book.
Harkening to the gothic Victorian mood from Gorey's original illustrations and poems, the stark black-and-white drawings comically depict modern parenting crises, particularly when portraying the faces of the harried mothers which range from fatigued to intoxicated to homicidal. Not completely filled with doom-and-gloom, Hurts Like A Mother ends as the final mom relaxes beach-side while being fanned with a palm-frond and casually sipping a tropical adult beverage.
– S. Deathrage Read the rest
A cute cat wearing a scarf on the front cover, ABAB rhyming schemes, an amusing title that rolls off the tongue ... yes, to the naked eye Amphigorey: Fifteen Books seems like the perfect book of books to calm a troubled mind before sleeping. But do not – I repeat, do not – make this mistake. Within its pages you’ll read of tortured authors, bedevilled nuns and regretful suicides. Better to take your chances with the nightmares.
A key inspiration for John Kenn Mortensen’s Sticky Monsters and Tim Burton’s entire catalogue, Edward Gorey blends the childish and macabre to create tales that are by turns moody and hilarious, unnerving one moment, delightful the next. In The Gashlycrumb Tinies (a tale of “moral instruction”) we read of doomed children, with one for every letter of the alphabet: W is for Winnie embedded in ice, X is for Xerces devoured by mice. Things only get darker in The Fatal Lozenge: "The Journalist surveys the slaughter, the best in years without a doubt." Gorey is a coy storyteller. With ambiguous black and white sketches and suggestive prose, he makes sure that the real horror isn’t taking place on the page but in our mind’s eye.
There are a handful of stories in this volume suitable for younger readers (The Bug Book and The Doubtful Guest are morose yet essentially harmless) but much of Amphigorey is aimed at an older audience, with rhyming couplets about Fetishists, Xenophobes and child-luring Proctors. Read the rest
Kudos to the Kennedy Library at California Polytechnic Unversity for their sweet Vine, showing off the rare book The Tunnel Calamity, by Edward Gorey.
What a rad way to show off the benefit and joy of a paper book while existing on the internet! High fives all around. Read the rest
BB contributor Mark Dery, who is busy penning a biography of Edward Gorey to be published by Little, Brown, points us to Christopher Seufert's Kickstarter for The Edward Gorey Documentary Project, a feature-length film containing unseen interviews and fantastic cinema-verite footage of Gorey in his native habitat! Read the rest
DeviantART users Curtana and Kaleadora have both collaborated on an adorably violent mashup of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire series (which inspired HBO's Game of Thrones) and Edward Gorey, depicting some of the author's most gruesome events in the style of the darkly funny illustrator. Borrowing from the abecedarian format of Gorey's The Gashlycrumb Tinies, the artists have depicted exactly 26 of the most well-known and, ahem, gory scenes from the series of books. (Let that be a spoiler warning for events that have not yet taken place on Game of Thrones.) See the full set, entitled "A Very Gorey ASOIAFabet," on DeviantART. (via A.V. Club) Read the rest