Thursday, October 6, 2011
LAUGHING IN THE FACE OF DEATH: COUNTDOWN TO HALLOWEEN (Day 6)
I always get a kick out of library book sales as one can find the neatest things there for quite a bargain. This year I found a book that seems to be trying very hard to follow the stylings of the great Edward Gorey. That macabre master of rhyme and ruin, humor and horror, fear and funny. All for a mere fifty cents...
COMIC EPITAPHS FROM THE VERY BEST OLD GRAVEYARDS Gathered and Published by the Peter Pauper Press and illustrated by Henry R. Martin copyright 1957 is, basically, what it says--a series of epitaphs that are at once morbid and humorous. Some are real and many are contrived--and so, perfect for the Halloween season.
TEARS CANNOT RESTORE HER: THEREFORE I WEEP --Keene
Legend on Hypochondriac’s Tombstone:
I TOLD YOU I WAS SICK
On a Hanged Sheep-stealer:
HERE LIES THE BODY OF THOMAS KEMP WHO LIVED BY WOOL AND DIED BY HEMP --Bletchley
IN MEMORY OF ELLEN SHANNON WHO WAS FATALLY BURNED BY THE EXPLOSION OF A LAMP FILLED WITH DANFORTH’S NON-EXPLOSIVE BURNING FLUID --Girard, PA
THIS EMPTY URN IS SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF JOHN REVERE WHO DIED ABROAD IN FINISTERE: IF HE HAD LIVED HE WOULD HAVE BEEN BURRIED HERE --Connemora
On Emma and Maria Littleboy:
TWO LITTLEBOYS LIE HERE. YET STRANGE TO SAY THE LITTLEBOYS ARE GIRLS --Hornsey
SACRED TO THE MEMORY OF JARED BATES… HIS WIDOW, AGED 24 LIVES AT 7 ELM STREET HAS EVERY QUALIFICATION FOR A GOOD WIFE AND YEARNS TO BE COMFORTED --Aurora Falls
THE LITTLE HERO THAT LIES HERE WAS CONQUERED BY THE DIARRHOEA --Portland, VT
The back cover of the book above.
And upon looking up the cartoonist--
Henry R. Martin