Creepy and Kooky
New Jersey town opens a Charles Addams museum.
Web2Carz Senior Writer
Published: May 26th, 2012
"He was the Alfred Hitchcock of cartoonists" — Ron MacCloskey, who opened the Charles Addams gallery.
f you’ve ever watched The Addams Family, either the television show or the films, you’re familiar with the characters created by Charles Addams. But unless you’ve read his cartoons, you’ve only caught a glimpse of his bizarre genius. If the TV show and movies portrayed a world in which everyday is Halloween, in the cartoons every day is Dia de los Muertos.
And now, to mark the 100th anniversary of Addams’ birth, his hometown of Westfield, NJ is opening a gallery in his honor.
"He was the Alfred Hitchcock of cartoonists," says Ron MacCloskey, a local historian who opened the gallery inside the Rialto Theater. "He was a great humorist. Dark and weird and strange."
Addams left New Jersey to make a name for himself—which he did when his cartoons began appearing in The New Yorker in 1935—but his hometown provided him with key inspiration.
Two Westfield homes, one at 411 Elm and the other at 229 E. Dudley, inspired the gothic look of many of his cartoons and served as models for the Addams family residence.
“Charles Addams cared very much about his hometown, says MacLoskey. “On rare occasions he would put either a reference to Westfield or out-and-out draw a landmark in Westfield.”
Addams was not directly involved in the making of The Addams Family show, but he did provide ABC with names for his characters and brief descriptions of their personalities for the writers and actors to work with.
Addams died in 1988, suffering a heart attack in his car after parking it.