Creator / Charles Addams
Charles Addams and his famous family.

A long-time contributor of cartoons to The New Yorker magazine, Charles Samuel Addams (19121988) specialized in whimsically grotesque scenes, which was evidently something of a case of Drawing What He Knew.

One set of his recurring characters became the basis for the television series (and later movies) The Addams Family. Addams also drew such classic one-off cartoons as a skier somehow going around a tree on both sides at once; a moustachioed villain with a young damsel slung over his shoulder heading down into a subway, presumably to tie her to the tracks; and a banana peel lying on a busy city sidewalk, cordoned off by "caution" signs.

This creator provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Awful Wedded Life: Numerous examples of husbands and wives either fantasizing about or actively plotting to do each other in. Interestingly, the reoccurring tribe who became The Addams Family is a very notable exception to this.
    "Are you unhappy, darling?"
    "Oh, yes. Yes! Completely."
  • Bald of Evil: The guy who became Uncle Fester.
  • Black Comedy: It's basically his trademark.
  • Chained to a Railway: Used as a gag more than once.
  • Christmas Carolers: A classic cartoon (replicated at the start of The Addams Family movie) has the Family preparing to drop boiling oil onto a group of carolers in front of their house.
  • Collector of the Strange: Addams himself. He died (peacefully) seated behind the wheel of one of his classic automobiles.
  • Death as Comedy: Again, done numerous times. One typical example has a woman inviting her husband to enter the house, while she has a gun aimed at the door.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: Most cartoons are in black-and-white and take place in dark settings.
  • Droste Image: Subverted in one cartoon, where an ordinary-looking man is reflected in a pair of barbershop mirrors to this effect... but one of the reflections shows a demonic-looking horned monster in his place.
  • For Halloween, I Am Going as Myself: One cartoon depicts an Alien Invasion, with one of the invaders being greeted by a homeowner and told, "I'm sorry, sonny. We've run out of candy."
  • Fur Is Clothing: One cartoon depicts a bear leaving a fur-storage place in boxer shorts and sunglasses.
  • The Nameless: In his original cartoons the Addams Family characters remained nameless. Only for the tv sitcom The Addams Family the script writers asked him to invent names for the individual family members.
  • Nightmare Fetishist: The man was openly into the dark and macabre.
  • Noodle People: The gal who became Morticia.
  • Unholy Matrimony: As noted, the couple who became known as Gomez and Morticia Addams are a sort of borderline example; they are very creepy and eccentric, but calling them overtly "evil" might not be entirely fair.
  • Sibling Rivalry: Carried to an extreme by the little dark-haired girl (eventually named 'Wednesday') and her bulbous brother ('Pugsley'). Attempted assassination was the theme of several of their cartoons.