Amphigorey Too is the second collection of Edward Gorey graphic novel shorts. It includes 20 stories. While I didn’t enjoy Amphigorey Too as much as Amphigorey (the first collection), it did have some memorable stories in it. I’m going to focus my review on those four that I liked best.
The Evil Garden
How elegant! how choice! how gay!
To think one doesn’t have to pay.
In The Evil Garden, a family visits a free garden where each of them slowly meet a horrific fate, be that getting sucked feet first into a man-eating plant or strangled by snakes. There is evidence all around that others have also met their doom in this garden, like a stockinged foot sticking out from behind a rock. The whole story is told in simple, upbeat rhymes like the ones above, giving it a slightly malicious air as it contrasts with the context and pictures. This is Gorey at his best.
The Chinese Obelisks
A was an Author who went for a walk.
This is an alphabet story similar to the Gashlycrumb Tinies, except that it concentrates on one specific character (the Author) as he goes out on his walk and, um, meets a very peculiar fate. What really fascinated me about this story was the fact that it was included twice in the collection. The first rendition was not at all in Gorey’s normal style, but more in hasty sketches. When I got the second rendition (which was in Gorey’s style), I realized that the sketching wasn’t a stylistic thing – these actually were his sketches! It was really interesting to see what changed between the original and final product.
Leaves from a Mislaid Album
I can’t give you a quote from this one, because this story exists entirely in pictures. They are gorgeous, Goreyesque drawings made to mimic old fashioned photographs, except with the author’s usual trademark gothness to them. I love them!
The Inanimate Tragedy
“Death and Destruction!” said the Pins and Needles. “Destruction and Debauchery!”
This is by far my favorite story in the collection. It just appealed to my sense of humor. It involves two buttons, marbles, a knotted string, a thumbtack, and a fountain pen tip. Between these characters, there is intrigue, secrets, fighting, destruction, murder (both purposely-done and accidental), mistaken identity, and suicide. Oh yes. And the Pins and Needles are there to cheer the fellows on. I laughed the whole time. Brilliant.
So there. It’s Gorey. If you like his weird sense of humor, you’ll probably like this book. If not…sad!! 😀 I’m just kidding. I do love Gorey, and am slowly working my way through all the Amphigorey books (there are four as far as I know, and I own all four of them).