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Amphigorey back

Edward Gorey


Page 45 Review by Stephen

Marvellously macabre nonsense compositions illustrated with a suitably dense and scratchy penline. Originally published mid-century, they're all unrelentingly morbid and often so lacking in any discernible punchline that the omission itself provokes a smile. A cross, perhaps, between the rhymes of Lewis Carroll and the cartoons of Chas Addams - with a bit of Edward Lear thrown in for good measure.

AMPHIGOREY includes 'The Fatal Lozenge', 'The Curious Sofa' (panel after panel of outrageous naughtiness and sexual innuendo complete with a very worrying finale), 'The Hapless Child' and 'The West Wing' (a silent tour through a labyrinth of stairways and corridors, each portrait so thoroughly unnerving as to render even Amityville's estate agents relatively optimistic).

AMPHIGOREY TOO contains titles like 'The Beastly Baby', 'The Evil Garden', 'The Eleventh Episode' and 'The Inanimate Tragedy', and by now I imagine you're beginning to get a fair picture of what's in store.

Although they both appear in the first volume we also have small, hardcover editions (£5-99 each) of 'The Gashlycrumb Tinies' (an A to Z of infant fatalities, the perfect vehicle to express your strong distaste for small children) and 'The Doubtful Guest' (quite my favourite, and by far the classiest way to inform your tedious live-in girlfriend/boyfriend that it really is all over and you'd rather wish they'd leave).

Not strictly comics of course, but all four volumes are wonderfully gift-worthy, and admirers of Tim Burton's MELANCHOLY DEATH OF OYSTER BOY and Dame Darcy's MEATCAKE in particular should find Gorey right up their darkened alley.