“NOTICE HOW THE EYES SEEM TO KEEP FOLLOWING YOU?”: CREATURE COMFORTS, INSCRIBED BY CHARLES ADDAMS TO DOUGLAS FAIRBANKS JR. WITH A DRAWING OF UNCLE FESTER
ADDAMS, Charles. Creature Comforts. New York: Simon & Schuster, (1981). Tall, slim quarto, original half orange cloth, pictorial endpapers, original dust jacket.
First edition, first printing, of this collection of Addams’ cartoons, inscribed to actor Douglas Fairbanks Jr. and his wife, with a pen-and-ink drawing to the fly-leaf depicting Addams’ famed character Uncle Fester flashing himself under a rain coat; appearing as a tattoo on Uncle Fester’s chest is the inscription, “To Marydee [in red ink] and Douglas [in green ink] with Love [in blue ink] Chas Addams 82 [in black ink].” Uncle Fester wears boxer shorts striped in a bright red and green.
“Addams specialized in a bizarre brand of comedy founded on the inexplicable in nature and the antisocial in humanity… Although he sold cartoons to many magazines during the 1930s and 1940s, Addams is most closely associated with The New Yorker, where his macabre sense of humor became a fixture. That magazine bought its first Addams cartoon in 1935” (ANB). Novelist Wilfrid Sheed remembers Addams as “a tall, laconic man, with a head he might have drawn himself and a voice straight out of Casket and Sunnyside, the mortician’s manual.” Addams’ prototypical American family, described by Sheed as “an American classic, a Halloween version of Norman Rockwell and Grant Wood,” inspired a hit television series and two movies. Price sticker to rear panel of dust jacket. With armorial bookplate of inscribee Douglas Fairbanks Jr., famed “actor, producer, administrator, bon vivant and Anglo-American ambassador,” whose many films include Morning Glory (1933) with Katharine Hepburn and Prisoner of Zenda (1937). After a brief marriage to Joan Crawford, during WWII Fairbanks enlisted in the Navy, becoming “the first American officer to command a British flotilla of raiding craft during a commando operation.” Using his “prestige and administrative skills as a volunteer for the United Nations… his contributions won him many honors, including Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire” (New York Times).
Interior fine; light wear to binding extremities. Light wear to extremities of bright dust jacket with shallow chipping to spine head. A near-fine copy with exceptional provenance, scarce with a sketch by Addams.