Thursday, October 25, 2018

Nathaniel Benchley's Copy of Charles Addams' Nightcrawlers

When Charles Addams was to delight his friends with drawings in copies of his 1957 cartoon collection Nightcrawlers, he often used a blue ballpoint pen and created bold full-page images. A copy inscribed "For Nat" was given in the year of publication to author Nathaniel Benchley (1915-1981), who in 1955 had published a biography of his father, the Algonquin Round Table's Robert Benchley, and prior to that in 1954 had collected his father's pieces in The Benchley Roundup. The drawing shows the mischievous Pugsley Addams with a pet lizard, thankfully on a leash. The boy had appeared in cartoons for decades but was not to receive his name until the development of "The Addams Family" television series in 1964. Addams initially had wanted to call him Pubert.

Nathaniel Benchley's children are the late Peter Benchley (Jaws, 1974) and writer and actor Nat Benchley. Apparently no one in the family wished to hold on to this cartoon book.

Charles Addams
AbeBooks Listing Retrieved November 21, 2018

Charles Addams was later to illustrate the cover for Nathaniel Benchley's The Visitors (1965).
Nathaniel Benchley, The Visitors, 1965
Cover illustration by Charles Addams

Note:  Readers lucky enough to own books like this one (Nightcrawlers) with original Charles Addams drawings like this one (Pugsley) are encouraged to share them with a blog like this one (Attempted Bloggery).

Quick Links to the Attempted Bloggery Archives:

Charles Addams

Pugsley Addams

The Addams Family

Signed Books with Original Drawings

Attempted Bloggery's Bad Boy Index


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