RoosterVision: THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES by Edward Gorey (1963)

An ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media.

…an ongoing series of articles spotlighting movies, music, art, comics, and other assorted media that we at Rooster Republic Press find ourselves enjoying. Once a week, on Thursdays, we will showcase new and old works and, hopefully, help spread the word on great stuff you might otherwise miss out on.

RoosterVision was previously the name of our non-fiction imprint, and since those titles and that line of books are no longer, we have decided to resurrect RoosterVision for the purpose of this showcase. Enjoy!

This week, for RoosterVision, we’re giving a quick spotlight to Edward Gorey’s best-known work, THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES. Or, if you aren’t into the whole brevity thing:

The book is a delightfully morbid ABCs primer. Twenty-six (mostly) moribund children, each depicted in Gorey’s unmistakable pen & ink, guide the reader through the alphabet. Simultaneously, these twenty-six are, themselves, guided by Gorey’s rhyming couplets to their various ends. Darkly humorous, and only occasionally explicit, the short work obviously stands in sharp contrast to the typical primer material.

We aren’t keen on copying the works of others, so to give you a taste, we offer only letters “A” (for Amy):

And, towards the end, we have letter “V” (for Victor):

Rare is the novelty book which stands the test of passing time, but Edward Gorey’s THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES has done exactly that. Originally published in 1963, the book has seen reprint since, and remains quite popular to this day. Not least of which because Gorey’s art is very good and very distinct. That he inspired other influential artists goes without saying.

I would offer up Tim Burton’s THE MELANCHOLY DEATH OF OYSTER BOY & OTHER STORIES as exhibit A (and I would suggest seeking out OYSTER BOY if you like Gorey’s work). Inspiration as flattery, and all that.

As an aside, there has been a new edition of DRACULA released, which includes Gorey’s work. It is an impressive volume and worth picking up, even if you already have a copy of DRACULA sitting around. We have at least 5 or 6 in our library, no lie, and we will be adding this Gorey-illustrated deluxe edition. You can grab it HERE.

And you can pick up THE GASHLYCRUMB TINIES at this LINK.


That’s it for for now! Thanks, as aways, for reading.


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