PBS Mystery! and the art of Edward Gorey
Throwback Edward Gorey Blog.jpg

Just in time for Halloween, we present the American artist and author of 116 books, Edward Gorey (1925-2000). Gorey was an illustrator known for his macabre and playful drawings. His art was featured in the PBS Masterpiece Mystery! Title sequence. He also designed the set for Dracula on Broadway.

I first heard about him from the book The Gashlycrumb Tinies. I recently listened to a podcast on Gorey about things you missed in history class. It certainly piqued my interest in Gorey. It's a particularly great hearing just before Halloween.

PBS Masterpiece Mystery! Title sequences

The PBS secret! Series that aired in 1980. The opening sequence was based on Gorey's ink drawings and was animated by British animator and filmmaker Derek Lamb.

AWN, Animation World Network, wrote an article on Gorey and the style of the mystery series that was published shortly after his death. Read it here.

By the way, if you want to learn how to animate your ink drawings, there is a tutorial at the bottom of this page.

Edward Gorey's Mysterious Animations – The Rewind

Lead researcher Lynn Mason speaks to WGBH Rewind about Edward Gorey. You're talking about the secret! set for animation. By comparison, there are hundreds of pieces that the animators used. In other words, they swapped the set pieces depending on what the episode was about.

As mentioned above, there were tons of animations for Mystery! Title sequences. You can see several below.

Gorey also designed the set for the Dracula play on Broadway. This is a stop motion of the Toy Theater.

Learn more about Edward Gorey

The adorable and diabolical world of Edward Gorey

Animate your drawings

After Effects and Photoshop Tutorial: Animate Your Drawings into Beautiful Cartoon – Vida Vega shows you how to animate traditional matte painting techniques using blend modes in Photoshop and After Effects.

Hand-drawn style in After Effects | Animation tutorial

Ben Marriott explains how to use After Effects to create a hand-drawn look with vector elements. He gives you the process and talks about "cooking" where lines bend and wiggle in animation.

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