Fuzzy memories of John Bellairs and Edward Gorey
Posted by Kiley Meehan on
Full disclosure: I read a lot as a kid. By twelve years of age I was devouring heaps of Stephen King, John Saul and Dean Koontz – the formula for heightened adolescent anxiety. But well before my unhealthy addiction to contemporary horror I was drawn to the quaint, spooky and very british mysteries of John Bellairs. His stories were kind of a gothic variation of Hardy Boys and featured cryptic, odd illustrations that have only recently resurfaced in my memories, prompting the realisation that they were the creations of famed illustrator Edward Gorey. They had a profound effect on me as a kid and I remember sitting in bed, analysing the cover of The Mummy, The Will and the Crypt, burning the image into my mind, searching for clues. In fact, I doubt I would have had as much interest in Bellair’s books if it weren’t for the inimitable style of Gorey’s drawings, and I doubt Gorey’s work would have resonated with me in quite the same way since. It’s funny, then, that it took me about twenty years to connect the dots.