Charles Addams Google Doodle
For 24 hours on January 7th 2012, the Google homepage was taken over by a Charles Addams Google Doodle celebrating what would have been the 100th birthday of the talented cartoonist. Addams gained fame for his creation of the “Addams Family”, therefore it was only fitting that the family featured in the Charles Addams Google Doodle. The Charles Addams Google Doodle appeared globally.
The Charles Addams Google Doodle featured a spooky, gothic themed black and white illustration. The Charles Addams Google Doodle illustration depicted all seven members of the Addams Family, Morticia, Gomez, Cousin It, Pugsley, Wednesday, Lurch, and Uncle Fester. A number of the characters in the Charles Addams Google Doodle are depicted interacting with the Google logo. To demonstrate Pugsley Addams is depicted being guillotined by the second “G” of the logo. The characters appear in the Charles Addams Google Doodle’s foreground, whilst in the background of the Charles Addams Google Doodle the family’s mansion is depicted.
Charles Samuel Addams was born on January 7th 1912, in the New Jersey town of Westfield. Notably, Addams was distantly related to a number of other famous individuals, despite slight differences in the spelling of their names, including the American presidents John Quincy Adams and John Adams.
During his early life Addams earned the reputation as “something of a rascal around the neighbourhood”. Addams talent for illustration was recognised from an early age by his father who encouraged his efforts. From a young age Addams was submitting his illustrations to publications. This practice began during school, whilst attending Westfield High School, Addams produced cartoons for the school’s literary magazine, “Weathervane”.
Between the years of 1929 and 1932, Addams studied at no less than three further education institutions. These were as follows, Colgate University 1929-1930, the University of Pennsylvania 1930-1931 and the Grand Central School of Art in New York 1931-1932. Following his studies, Addams went to work for True Detective magazine’s layout department. His role at True Detective required him to retouch the images of corpses which appeared in the magazine in order to remove any blood from them. Addams is said to have complained that “a lot of the corpses were more interesting the way they were.”
Addams began working as a freelancer for The New Yorker in 1932, he would continue this work throughout his life until his death. His first illustration to appear in The New Yorker was a sketch of a window washer, which appeared on the 6th of February 1932. Despite gaining publication with the magazine in 1932, he only became a regular contributor in 1938. The New Yorker was where The Addams Family appeared for the first time.
Throughout the Second World War, Addams utilised his abilities as part of the Signal Corps Photographic Centre in New York. Whilst here he helped to produce a number of animated training films for the U.S. Army. During this time Addams met his first wife, Barbera Dean Jay, who is said to have resembled the character of Morticia Addams. The marriage ended after eight years in 1950, as Addams was unwilling to adopt a young child, due to his general dislike of children.
Following the divorce, Addams married his second wife, Estelle B. Barb, in 1954. Barb worked as a practicing lawyer whose diabolical legal scheming meant that she ended up with the legal rights to the Addams Family in both film and television. She also persuaded her husband to part with other legal rights. Eventually Addams secretly sought the advice of another lawyer, behind his wife’s back. Following the consultation, the couple divorced in 1956 after just two years of marriage.
A number of collections of Addams work were produced during his lifetime. These published collections include, “Drawn and Quartered” which was published in 1942 and “Monster Rally” which was published in 1950. During his incredibly productive working life, Addams drew over 1300 individual cartoons. Many of which appeared in The New Yorker, however some also appeared in other publications including Colliers and TV Guide. His productivity and talent meant that in 1961 he was awarded a special Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America.
A number of televised versions of the Addams Family have appeared. The first of which was an American television series which featured 30 minute episodes and aired for two seasons on ABC. The series began airing on September 18th 1964, the final episode was aired on April 8th 1966. During this period a total of 64 authentic episodes were created and aired. Both seasons were screened to the American public on Friday evenings beginning at 8:30pm and ending at 9:00pm.
In addition, two animated Addams Family television series’ were created. The first of these appeared in 1973 and the second was aired in 1992. A second live action, televised excursion of the Addams Family was launched. The series was named “The New Addams Family”, which was a Canadian-American sitcom. The series ran between October 1998 and August 1999. The series was greatly acclaimed and won a number of awards at the 2000 Leo Awards.
Three Addams Family movies were created during the 1990’s. These are as follows, The “Addams Family”, which appeared in 1991, “Addams Family Values”, which screened in 1993 and the final cinematic excursion was “Addams Family Reunion” which was released in 1998.
Addams was to die as a result of a heart attack which struck him after parking his car. Following the heart attack he was admitted to St. Clare’s Hospital and Health Centre in New York, where he died whilst awaiting medical assistance in the waiting room on September 29th 1988, aged 76. He was cremated and his ashes were spread in the pet cemetery, on his estate which he affectionately called “The Swamp”.
The Google doodle team have celebrated the achievements of a number of the twentieth century’s leading cartoonists alongside this Charles Addams Google Doodle. E.C. Segar, the illustrator who created Popeye also received a dedicated Google doodle on the 7th of December 2009. Other cartoonists and illustrators have received doodles dedicated to their most famous creations, these doodles include, Asterix, Pippi Longstocking and Wallace and Gromit.