My mother swears this is true: The first time anyone ever heard me laugh was when my older brother sneaked up on my crib, peeked over and scared the wits out of me by yelling "Boo!" Clearly, I was born with a twisted sense of humor, a truth which is borne out by my early fascination with the cartoons of Charles Addams. Addams' work appeared regularly in The New Yorker, a weekly magazine I grew up reading (Mom's cousin worked at their office in NYC so we received gift subscriptions every year for Christmas - I don't think my parents, staunch Republicans, would have bought it otherwise) first of course for the cartoons, then later for the fiction and film reviews, and much later for the political articles. So, Lord knows how old I was when I saw my first Charles Addams cartoon - all I know is that it was love at first sight for work such as this:
Addams, whose biography can be read here, is better known for his cartoons depicting the Addams Family, characters later developed for television and movies:
But to me, those venues, while fun, never did justice to the wit and intelligence of their creator.