Sunday, December 15, 2019

Middy and Whitney Darrow's Copy of Chas Addams' Nightcrawlers

Cartoonists fortunate enough to publish collections of their work have been known on occasion to create especially nice presentation copies of such books for their fellow cartoonists. Such is certainly the case with the copy of Nightcrawlers (1957) personalized by Charles Addams to fellow New Yorker cartoonist Whitney Darrow, Jr., and his wife Mildred, who was known as Middy. The book includes a full-page original drawing of the Addams Family's Uncle Fester shaded with a monochromatic green wash. He is shown raising above his head a sign on which we read the inscription "For Middy + Whitney/with love/Charlie." 
Chas Addams' Nightcrawlers (1957)

"For Middy + Whitney
with love

The color cartoon on the front free endpaper originally appeared on the New Yorker's cover of February 2, 1957:

Title Page
The so-called Publishers' Foreword merely enumerates Addams' other collections in print.
The Publishers' Foreword

"Well, Kendrick, still think I'm just an alarmist?"

The rear free endpaper reproduces the New Yorker's cover of June 22, 1957, then quite recently published. The cover apparently depicts Pech, the Scottish term for gnomes, engaging in some contemporary gaming.

For purposes of orientation, that's New York City's Automat, now defunct, depicted in the cartoon on the back cover and the roof of the Addams Family mansion, never defunct, on the front cover.

Charles Addams
eBay Listing Retrieved December 13, 2019

Charles Addams
eBay Item Description

Charles Addams
The New Yorker, February 2, 1957
Charles Addams
The New Yorker, June 22, 1957


Note:  The blog archives also contain cartoonist Roy Doty's copy of "Stop, Miss!" (1957) by Whitney Darrow, Jr., and cartoonist David Pascal's copy of The Art of The New Yorker 1925-1995 by Lee Lorenz. There are also numerous books by Art Spiegelman from the library of collagist and illustrator Stephen Kroninger. Mr. Kroninger has also shared with us books from his library personalized by Terry Gilliam, a cartoonist even before he became an animator and a director, and by Mark Alan Stamaty. Possibly there could be other books archived herein which I don't recall. It's not a topic I've thought about all that much, to be truthful.

Still, there must be quite a bit of this sort of stuff out there and it would be nice to get a bit more of it in here, if you catch my drift. So readers with access to books by cartoonists, particularly New Yorker cartoonists (and Terry Gilliam since he's here anyway) which are dedicated, inscribed, or otherwise embellished to other cartoonists, collagists, illustrators—that sort—please scan or photograph the relevant images and send them along to me here at the blog via my easy-to remember email address. I'm sure it's on the blog somewhere.

At press time, the book remains available on eBay for $5,500. It could make a very nice gift for, say, a friend or a blogger you know.

December 26, 2019 Update:  The asking price has risen considerably.

January 13, 2020 Update:  Discounted by 30%, it's now more or less back to the original asking price.


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