Preliminary artwork for The Disrespectful Summons.
c. 1970. Pen-and-ink on three leaves measuring 8 1/2 by 11 inches. The first sheet, on pale yellow stock folded into fourths, contains a panel of six roughed-out storyboards, a more detailed drawing of what became the cover of the published work, and in the upper left, a series of ten titles, only one of which—The Loathsome Couple—made it into a realized book. The other two sheets further flesh out the storyboards for this tale—issued as part of the fourth trilogy from Gorey's Fantod Press—that charted the demonic possession of a certain Miss Squill and the consequences thereof. The second page, in particular, shows Gorey's process for developing the principal characters, in this case, the devil, Miss Squill, and a small, fork-tongued demon named Beëlphazoar. Both the latter character and the devil bear a rather striking similarity to figures in an early woodcut associated with the trial of Agnes Sampson, a Scottish healer accused of witchcraft in the North Berwick Witch Trials. The image shows the devil blessing wax figures offered by a group of four women while Beëlphazoar-like creatures fly in the sky above. This image appeared on the cover of Chadwick Hansen's Witchcraft at Salem, published in 1969, and is featured in a magazine clipping included with these preliminary sketches. Aside from the aforementioned folding to the first sheet, a fine group of rare concept drawings. Item #30949