Charles Addams’ Creepy Children’s Book Illustrations

gl_addams If you haven’t heard of Charles Addams, or his famous  creation The Addams Family, that ran for decades in The New Yorker, and more recently, made into movies, then none of these images will mean anything to you… although they’re still masterpieces of a brilliant and twisted mind. At the height of his popularity with the TV show of his beloved creation, he was hired to illustrate a book of Mother Goose Rhymes. If you’ve never sen that book, chances are it’s because it was his usual frightening work, which included members of the Addams cast, giant rodents, and certain death for some characters. Here’s just a few of the delightful, terror-filled art for your Halloween pleasure! gl_graveyard gl_witch_alien gl_st_ives gl_sprat gl_skip_rope gl_sheep gl_pig gl_kids_witch gl_humpty gl_grundy1 gl_grundy gl_dr_fell gl_dickery_dock1 gl_dickory_dock gl_contrary gl_blackbirds gl_beach_house gl_bat_bat gl_3_blind_mice A former teacher of mine, who was a cartoonist for The New Yorker, told me a story once, which has been repeated by other people I’ve met who knew Mr. Addams. Whenever he would submit a certain cartoon, one of Uncle Fester standing by a nurse, who was holding a swaddled newborn, with the line, “don’t bother wrapping it, I’ll eat it here,” the cartoon editor would quietly and calmly make arrangements for Addams to take a little “vacation” at a very nice “spa.” Um, yeah! A “vacation” with a robe that had arms that tied in the back! Addams died on September 29, 1988 in New York City, after suffering a heart attack in his car just outside his apartment building. Rumor has it that while still sitting in his vehicle, it was ticketed several times. A fitting end that would have made him laugh at the ghoulishness of the situation. On a personal note, I got to meet Mr. Addams a few years before he passed away. He was a very nice and jovial man.  As a young art school graduate, I showed him some of my cartoons. He smiled and said I was a very sick young man.

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