Thursday, February 22, 2007

To Read: Charles Addams: A Cartoonist's Life

Linda H. Davis has written the first biography of the Addams Family's creator Charles Addams. It's called Charles Addams: A Cartoonist's Life and according to Publishers Weekly, it "dispels the myths surrounding the cartoonist and challenges facile assumptions that Addams was the archetype of his own creepy creations."

Addams was apparently more James Bond than Gomez. He got a kick out of perpetuating a spooky persona by furnishing his home with macabre items like crossbows and torture devices, but his real passions were for things like Aston Martins, cigars, liquor, and dating beautiful women like Greta Garbo and Jackie Kennedy.

PW criticizes the book for not including critical analysis of Addams' work, but I don't see that it claims to be anything but biography. It's not really fair to judge it for not being something it doesn't intend to be in the first place. A critical look at Addams' stuff would be awesome, but we'll have to wait for that.

In the meantime, this volume does contain previously unpublished artwork, photos, and sketches, so for Addams fans, it's a must-read.


West said...

Looks like Ian McKellan.

West said...

Ohhh. There was an NPR segment about this.

I'm too lazy to look it up, right now, but it might be worth the streamin', if you're interested.

Michael May said...

Ha! He does look like McKellan in the eyes.

Thanks for the NPR tip. I'll see if I can find it on their site.


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