If you are an Edward Gorey fan (and if you are into Halloween it’s hard for me to think you aren’t) then you probably know about his long habit of illustrating novels and doing book cover art for his own published works as well as for various and sundry in what was an amazing career (alas, gone too soon!). This year I was fortunate enough to come across a copy of The Dwindling Party (Random House, September 1982), about the visit of the MacFizzets to Hickyacket Hall – and was quick to purchase as it seemed in good condition (a birthday present to myself). Did I mention it was a pop-up book? It is a beautiful example of his stylings and wit and is fun to read aloud as one flips through curious and clever pages of the artist’s hand. If you haven’t come across one yourself, do check out online, it’s not to be missed. If you are fortunate enough to come across a good copy, don’t hesitate to pick one up if pocketbook allows. I won’t tell more and spoil the sneaky surprises it offers and I beg your indulgence for not giving up spoilers, I will simply post a couple pics (cover and one of the fold-outs) to tempt you…
Something to think about…first, apologies for lack of posts recently, I am in Southern California and when the blowing winds aren’t causing power shut-downs which means no computer, and often when power is up, no internet, there are evacuations caused by fires. It’s been difficult to get to posting and now we are at the end, though, thankfully, even with the fire line in sight, there are still trick or treaters up and down our streets, a calming vision of contentment amidst chaos. When you all close your doors this evening and reflect on the nights frivolities, follies and frights, keep in mind the resplendence of such simple pleasures as to be found on the other side of a door knock, the catharsis of carving a jack o’ lantern, the pleasurable problem of wondering if you’ve bought enough candy. Tomorrow will bring a new set of challenges and I for one will be grounded by tonights event. For those of you wishing to extend the season that bit longer, may I recommend for your perusal the book Monster, She Wrote: The Women Who Pioneered Horror and Speculative Fiction by Lisa Kroger and Melanie Anderson, a 2019 Quirk Books publication. Pick it up anywhere online or brick and mortar, downloadable or hardcover, but be sure to treat yourself to its spirited illustrations, lively writing, and deadly wit. To Countdown to Halloween and its fearless leader J.R., please accept my sincere gratitude for all you have done these many years past for your wonderful site which helps to connect Halloween bloggers. For all of you out there in the dark, please accept my great hope that your Halloween is both mirth and monsterful!
If you find yourself with nothing better to do this weekend than staring longingly at that bowl of candy you’ve purchased (so as to beat the crowds, wink wink) or you’ve done your pumpkin shopping early and while the lure of freshly roasted pumpkin seeds is calling, you know you must stay your knife-hand another 13 days and you find the hours in between now and then taxing your patience to its limits, stress no more! Take up your writing/drawing implement of choice, scour your abode for an envelope of any size, fix yourself in a comfortable chair at your favorite kneehole desk, play some apropos music and muster imaginings of “uncomfortable creatures” and draw! Why? Well, why not? If you require further prompting, consider this:
2019 Halloween Envelope Art Contest
Deadline: Postmark by Monday, October 21st, 2019
For an entry form, click any pic for link to contest page.
The Edward Gorey House is now accepting original artwork from artists of all ages for their 2019 Halloween Envelope Art Contest. An Edward Gorey-inspired decorated envelope decorated with the theme of Uncomfortable Creatures is what they are looking for this year. There is no entry fee and not a particularly big prize but winning entries, runners up, and very-close-to- being -runners up will all be displayed in the Edward Gorey House, on their website, and on their Facebook page. Winners will be notified and results will be announced on Wednesday, 10/31/19.
Mail entries to:
Edward Gorey House
8 Strawberry Lane
Yarmouth Port, MA 02675
Tell your friends!
…..and perhaps these images of past submissions will help you along, mind that deadline 😉
Thought I would put together a playlist – be warned – this may seem quirky, odd, even, well, you tell me what you think, hope you recognize at least a few and perhaps there are some surprises sifted in.
Bandages, Hot Hot Heat
In The Room Where You Sleep, Dead Man’s Bones
Once Upon A Dream, Lana Del Rey
Uninvited, Alanis Morissette
Lullaby, Nox Arcana
Lydia, The Tattoed Lady, The Marx Brothers
A Kind of Magic, Queen
Dancing in the Dark, Bruce Springsteen
Devil Inside, INXS
Pour Some Sugar On Me, Def Leppard
Shadowplay, The Killers
Moonage Daydream, David Bowie
Magic Carpet Ride, Steppenwolf
Great Pumpkin Waltz, Vince Guaraldi
Golf Claps (From “Hush”), Christophe Beck
Octopus’s Garden, The Beatles
Candy, Iggy Pop
The Killing Moon, Echo & The Bunnymen
Clair de Lune, Claude Debussy (The APM Orchestra version)
This is Halloween, Danny Elfman
What’s This?, Danny Elfman
Violet Hour, Sea Wolf
Strange Magic, Electric Light Orchestra
Eclipse (All Yours), Metric
Just Another Day, Oingo Boingo
Time of the Season, The Zombies
Dragula, Rob Zombie
These selections are all available on itunes, though perhaps you already have lots of these in your playlists, and like I mentioned, obscure at times, but fun and interesting, anyhow if you braver souls try it out, chime in 😉
Sometimes it can feel like Halloween is just around the corner, sometimes it can feel like a long walk just begun. I feel that now as the warm weather beats down and the feeling of a cool breeze is just a memory from a long-ago winter. Wait. What is that I see in the distance? It beckons and guides me. It flits about in the wilderness. A lightning bug? Some phosphorescent lichen? The glowing form of some ancient wood dweller? Hmm. I don’t know what it is but I will keep heading towards it. The light is a wonder, a bedevilment, an enchantment of the senses. I yearn to be surrounded by such a light and I will gladly endure a hundred eves to get to where it awaits me. I will wait for you there.
Image – Artist unknown.
Rogers Gardens, located in Corona Del Mar, California has never failed to captivate and enthrall with their stunning displays of thematic design. This year will prove that if this pic is anything to go by, with the tagline noted I am sure we all know what to expect, but will certainly be surprised by what we find nevertheless.“We’re All Mad Here!”
This will be my seventh year visiting the Gardens for their annual Halloween Boutique opening and I look forward to what I am certain will be a not-to-be-forgotten step through the looking glass.
Will I see you there? 9:00 am on Friday, August 30th, 2019
Click pic for site and event information.
Some wonderful examples of how a design aesthetic can add fun to the fantastic – click on pics or links to follow back and check out other offerings of sweet and sublime mod monster examples of Halloween, and get your swing on in style!
These resplendent works of artist Debbie Criswell are not only charming and whimsical depictions of what we are all looking forward to at the end of this month, but also delightful reminders of the nostalgia we seek to hold onto and create ourselves. I bid you all a long, slow month of days and eves towards our collective fete.