Deck the halls with mouldering corpses/ Tra la la la la, la la ...
Here's something Christmassy, only two days late for its 64th birthday! Get rid of those bastard carol singers with a little help from -
Charles Addams: “Boiling Oil” The New Yorker December 21, 1946
Cover and one of the more fiendish cartoons from a 1985 Methuen reprint of Charles Addams' Addams And Evil, originally published in the US in 1947.
"Ghoulish, macabre, demonic, depraved, bizarre, eerie and weird have all been used to describe his work and the characters therein ..."
Visit the stylish Charles Addams Foundation for more info. The Gift Shop is where you'll find stacks of illustrations similar to the above.
From the first, I set myself against "literature"; the story was the thing, and no amount of style could persuade me to select a story that lacked genuine, unadulterated horror. For those who wanted something high-brow there was plenty.
Corking link there, added to my favourites. Love Charles Addams, but just try getting any of his collections in a city with more mountaineering shops than second hand bookshops. Seriously. The last I got my hooks on was The Charles Addams Mother Goose, when the spawn were younger. They still won't part with it and I don't blame them. And our 'library' got rid of all its stock years ago.
Cthulhu loves me this I know, the Necronomicon told me so
One of my oddest moments of the year came when on a day trip to Cawdor Castle (which is a great place and worth a visit) and I found myself staring at an original Addams hanging on a wall. It was just next to a small Salvidor Dali. It was very odd, looking at 16C furniture one minute then at works by two of the 20C's most iconic artists the next.
I made Christmas cards with the 'Boiling Oil' picture, and there's another great picture in the book, of Morticia dressing an obviously dead Christmas tree, with Wednesday passing the 'decorations' which, if memory serves, are bats, tiny coffins, and gallows. Of course I used this as well. The recipients were delighted [apart from one, who suggested I go to a specialist]. I no longer have the book, which I gave to a friend of mine [now sadly deceased], who had a son with Downs Syndrome, and who adored The Addams Family.
''...You'll like Mr Barlow... And he'll like you...''