Sunday, April 17, 2011

Day 33: Pens

Pens as inspiration got me back to thinking of drawing, and works I like that are done in pen. If you're not familiar with the works of Edward Gorey... well, you should be. His stuff is weird and twisted in such a quiet way. He writes and draws, sometimes stories that are unexpected or even unfathomable nonsense, other times delightfully dark poems and rhymes, and usually the illustrations and words rely on each other to the point where it's only half a step away from a graphic novel.
I have three Amphigorey books, which are big collections of his stuff. In their original form his little stories are sometimes hard to come by, so this is a good way to get your hands on as much of his work as possible.
Not actually the work of Edward Gorey...
The collection pictured here includes my girlfriend's favorite 'The Wugglyump', the very popular 'Gashlycrumb Tinies' (an alphabet of children deaths), the bizarrely kinky 'The Curious Sofa', and another popular tale, 'The Doubtful Guest'.
This last one is a rhyming story about a strange creature that shows up at a family home one day, wreaks minor destruction and confusion on a daily basis, and never leaves. It's a weirdly cute little beast, though, and the illustrations imply the family is resigned to living with it.
The couplet I've illustrated here is my own creation, but just the kind of thing it would do, and illustrated in the style of the original pictures. I used Prismacolor fine line markers, not a traditional dip pen, but in the vaguely Edwardian setting of the stories those seemed more appropriate.
My illustration beside Edward Gorey's original title page.


  1. Ooh, now I want to see you do a picture book like this!

  2. But wouldn't that be sort of stealing his style?