Peculiar People Day January 10th
Today is Peculiar People Day! Peculiar People Day is in honor of uniquely different people. Un-ordinary, extraordinary, unusual, strange, odd, uncommon, intriguing, different, abnormal, and quirky.... These are all things that we think of to describe the word "peculiar". Most of these characteristics can be viewed as good, or not so good. Today is a day to look for the good in your peculiar acquaintances.
One of my favorite Peculiar People is Edward Gorey. Born February 22, 1925, died April 15, 2000, Gorey was an American writer and artist noted for his illustrated books. His characteristic pen-and-ink drawings often depict vaguely unsettling narrative scenes in Edwardian settings. He often dressed his characters the way he dressed, in a long fur coat or tennis shoes.
"He was a cartoonist in the widest definition and a major illustrator in the smallest," Theroux says. "But I think his particular style grew out of the fascination with pen and ink drawings. He once told me it was so hard to get a book published in color in the early 1950s that all his books were in black and white. And his drawings got more and more oblique — his subject matter was the 1920s, and he always fit his drawings to that particular world, the Edwardian period."
"If you asked him what was behind , which was a mysterious pop-up book," Theroux says, "he would say, 'I'll leave you to tell me — I don't even know.' He loved that phrase, 'I don't even know.' "
"Edward was one of the few people I ever knew who did exactly what he wanted," he says. "He went his own way."
(The Strange Case of Edward Gorey, Alexander Theroux)
Gorey wrtoe more than 90 books, illustrated 60 others, and designed sets (he won a Tony award for the set of Dracula). He created the animated opening for PBS's Mystery!
My favorite book by Gorey is The Doubtful Guest which is the story of a solemn, mysterious, outdoor creature, dressed in sneakers and a scarf that appears one winter night at a family's Victorian home and never leaves again.
I learn something about drawing with pen and ink each time I look at his drawings.
Posted by Melissa B. Tubbs