Edward Gorey (1926-2000) is one my greatest artistic heroes--- a writer, illustrator, artist, book lover, cat lover, fellow queer, & collector of oddities. Perhaps one of Edward Gorey's most recognized works is his animated introduction to the PBS show "Mystery!"(you know the graveyard & the fainting woman on top of the stone wall?).
I always assumed Edward was British, (as most people do) because of the Edwardian & Victorian settings of all his illustrations. But the old boy was born in Chicago and lived the later part of his life for many years in Yarmouth, Massachusetts. Edward was just lucky enough to be raised by an eccentric family of British ex-patriots. Several family members were writers, cabaret singers, and illustrators. Gorey's first independent work-- "The Unstrung Harp," was published in 1953.
Edward Gorey's house, stocked with books, illustrations, & all kinds of curious oddities, is a museum now. I plan to make a pilgrimage there soon. http://www.edwardgoreyhouse.org/
Gorey's themes are macabre & darkly humorous. Most characters end up dead in bizarre ways. Very strange and unsettling events happen for no particular reason. Three of my favorite Edward Gorey pieces are "The Gashlycrumb Tinies," "The Doubtful Guest," and "The Curious Sofa." To give you a taste, see below: