Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Remembering... Charles Addams

Somehow it just seems more apt to celebrate the life and hilariously macabre work of cartoonist Charles Addams on the day he died - on this day in 1988 - rather on the day he was born; maybe it's because of the nature of his work, or it could just be its proximity to Hallowe'en. Though the Addams Family cartoons were just a small percentage of the more than 1300 drawings he created in his life, they have proven suitably (indeed, admirably, and even appropriately) undead...

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at PhotobucketThe family of ghouls Addams concocted while working for The New Yorker continue to delight and amuse us today, nearly two decades after his death, and show no signs of stopping; after multiple incarnation on television and in the movies it was announced in May 2007 that the Addams Family would be coming to Broadway in a musical written by Broadway veterans Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Following tryouts in Chicago, the show is slated to hit the Great White Way in April 2010.

Although Addams started drawing them in 1932, his most famous characters weren't even named until the early 1960s, when their first television series went on the air; by then they were already so popular (and he for creating them) there was no debate over what their last name should be. The Addams Family ran on ABC-TV for two seasons, from 1964-6.

However ghoulish his persona, though, it was entirely put on for the benefit of the press, expected of him even; despite a collection of medieval weaponry, and the tombstone he used as a coffee table, Charles Addams was a gentle kindly man who was merely blessed (or, if you prefer, possessed) with a sense of humour that was slightly askew.
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