The Addams Family: An Evilution

Halloween is almost upon us, so I might as well wrap up my whistle-stop tour over some of the less well-known aspects of Charles Addams’ delightfully creepy kin. Ironically, it seems nowadays that the most obscure part of the franchise are the very cartoons that Addams made as far back as 1938. This might be, in part, due to an apparent lack of contemporary reprints – many were published during Addams’ lifetime, but there was a sharp decline after his untimely death in 1988.

Fortunately, Pomegranate Books decided to release The Addams Family: An Evilution, written by H. Kevin Miserocchi, back in March 2010. True, it was more to coinside with The Addams Family: The Musical which would open on Broadway to great success just a month later, but you can’t argue with synergy. Besides, the book had an unprecedented number of unpublished cartoons from Charles Addams’ estate, along with character guidelines that he wrote for the unmatched 1964 TV series.

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Cartoons You Probably Don’t Remember: The Addams Family (1992)

After the various attempts during the 70’s to revitalise The Addams Family brand, it was followed by a time of relative quiet for Charles Addams; he had his tenth anthology of cartoons (entitled Creature Comforts) published in 1981, made the occasional appearanceĀ  at comic book conventions, and died of a heart attack in late September 1988, just over six months after my birthday. He was 76.

The Addams Family, in their ubiquitous perversity, carried on not too long after the death of their creator; there was the NES game Fester’s Quest, which in a stroke of what The Addamses would consider genius, had almost nothing to do with The Addams Family (Fester fights aliens, with cameos from his relatives throughout the game) and was absurdly difficult to the point of being almost unplayable. Fortunately, the Tim Burton movies of the 90’s managed to not only salvage the brand, but elevate it to the same glory of its heyday in the 60’s.

However, whilst the Burton films are deservedly praised (whether or not they’re his best works is a bone of contention), there was something inbetween them – in 1992, to be precise – that is worth mentioning. No, not the pinball table (although I’d love to play a physical version of that…) but the first TV series based on the family that really is a scree-um for almost two decades, as well as the second by Hanna-Barbera.

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Remember when cartoons always had fun titlecards for each episode? I do…

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Cartoons You Probably Don’t Remember: Scooby Doo Meets The Addams Family (1972) & The Addams Family (1973)

Given that it’s the spookiest month of the year, I thought it’d be a good time to do a brief retrospective on the more obscure adaptations of Charles Addams’ hilariously dark comic strip. Everyone and their grandmother has taken a look at the classic TV show from the 60’s and the superb Barry Sonnenfeld movies from the 90’s, so I thought it’d be neat to have a look at the stuff inbetween.

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This already gets bonus points for emulating Charles Addams’ style for his world-famous family

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