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on August 27, 1999
Having spent a lifetime collecting all of the older rare cartoon books by Charles Addams, this book makes a wonderful addition to my collection. It includes several hard to find (if not down right impossible to find) prints, including over a dozen in full color. The text is a well written bonus, with the history behind the man written in an easy to read and uncomplicated style, so often missing in books of this sort. The information given, matches quite closely with the interveiws given by Charles Addams during his life and is a good reference book for dedicated "Addams Family" fans both old and new. It is nice to know that the older cartoons are not lost but live again in this excellent book. Available in both hard-bound and paper-back format.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 1, 2014
As usual for comics, I resort to simple bullet points

* This title includes 300 comics and 24 New Yorker covers in very large format.

* Print quality and reproduction is good; the 24 covers are color and sprinkled periodically through the book

* All these comics demonstrate Addams' grim and delightful wit

* It is important to note, however, that while the Addams family is pictured on the cover, they only comprise about 10% of the total comics. So do not be fooled into thinking this is at all focused on this one particular family unit. This is a broad survey of Addams' work not one centered on that family we all know so well.
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on May 3, 2000
Close your eyes and try to imagine what the person who came up with the Addams Family looks like. Then look at the back cover of this book and see the kindly, twinkly-eyed person who's looking back at you and wonder which part of his brain went a little bit (but wonderfully) haywire to come up with such delights as the Addams Family standing on the roof to pour hot oil over Christmas carollers below (one of the most famous Charles Addams cartoons, and with good reason). Each and every one of the several hundred cartoons in this collection is a gem, even if you have to look hard for the punch line in some of them (and if some of them are there just for the beauty of the thing), and anyone who has kept up with cartoons in the New Yorker or anywhere else will find lots of panels that will bring back a memory or two. This collection is a priceless tribute to one of the true greats of the cartooning world.
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on July 25, 1999
This collection of cartoons-which includes several of the original Addams family, in all its ghoulish glory-is perfect reading for the evening, or just before going to sleep. I'll never forget the one in which Gomez's predecessor (unnamed in the cartoons) gazes out the window at a violent storm and exclaims, "Just the kind of day that makes you feel good to be alive!"
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on March 5, 2011
I'd long wondered if there was a career-spanning retrospective of Charles Addams' work. I had been a fan since I was a young boy purchasing a copy of Black Maria in paperback at the age of eleven in the 1960s. When I found The World of Charles Addams here at Amazon, even though it was a used copy, I knew I had to have it. What a treat it has been to see Addams' early work again! The only thing better would be for his publisher to compile a complete collection of everything Addams ever put on paper, much like the complete collection of Gary Larson's Far Side cartoons a number of years back. As it is, this is a wonderful collection of Addams' work and now a treasured part of my library.
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on March 2, 2009
Whenever I waited in a doctor's office during the span of Charles Addams' career, I hoped one of his cartoons would be in the New Yorker magazine I would pick up. They incorporated humor into the creepy, the spooky, the macabre, and the just plain evil in the wittiest of ways: Addams matched the sophistication of the other cartoonists, but he was distinctive because of his dark humor.

Some of the cartoons had victimless creepy humor, like the ones suggesting the existence of mice with human organization skills. But we humans, for better or worse, can be led to laugh at evil toward victims prior to the disastrous consequences, as with Addams cartoons (unfortunately, some can laugh after the consequences too). Addams' perhaps most famous cartoon had the creepy Addams family on the roof of their haunted house getting set to pour boiling oil onto Christmas carolers at their doorstep. But the cartoon that most epitomized what Addams' humor was all about had Uncle Fester displaying a wicked smile while staring at a movie screen unseen by the reader, even though all the other attendees were crying. Because readers laugh, they are agreeing with Uncle Fester rather than the viewers, just as Addams readers see humor in bland-faced husbands and wives that imagine killing each other. Keep things simple, without graphic details and explanations, and it is funny.

Addams had skill as an artist, as a master of dark shadings and a punctilious drawer of details. His sketchings of humans tended to be plain, but the creepiness of the Addams Family was ingenious. The Hardcover Edition is also worth checking out for the introduction by Wilfred Sheed. Ironically, Sheed writes "Charlie's ghost ... should ... be spared the clumsy gropings of psychobiography" even as he sheds much light on the dark cartoonist, with respect to his childhood and other things.
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on July 17, 2015
I was so psyched when I first learned my favorite movies were based on the works of a real Addams. Honestly, looking through, I can see where Disney YET AGAIN STOLE so much from other, less famous people. Shame on Disney, but WOOT for Chas!
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on July 20, 2001
If you are a fan of black humor, then these cartoons are for you. This book contains many of his "Addams Family" cartoons, but there is MUCH more in there as well. A collection of classic cartoons that will have you rolling read after read!
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on October 2, 2014
Considering the deluxe nature of this coffee table book about arguably one of the most unique comic cartooning talents of the twentieth century, you would think the printing would have been better. As it is the cartoons are reproduced from what looks like secondary sources, perhaps not even scanned or photographed from their original appearances in The New Yorker or any other original printings.

Because of the subtleties of his art, gray washes sometimes turning near black and obscuring parts of the cartoon, it takes a real effort to reproduce Addams' artwork to the standard it deserves. That being said, the cartoons look better in this book than they do in The New Yorker's digital reproductions from their complete cartoons collection.
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on August 30, 2014
This oversized hardbound book is suitable to study and display. It is the best format to relish these drawings. You will never forget what you have in your hands once you have seen it only once. Put it on your coffee table and enjoy the rich humor. Each page has one 'cartoon' published in the pages and covers of The New Yorker magazine. The pages are chronologically presented, which is interesting in itself. Charles Addams has other cartoons not published in this book, and you may find yourself searching for all of them!
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