Friday, May 22, 2009

Most terrifying horror illustration ever

I would totally crap my pants, shriek like a little girl and then die of a massive heart attack if I was walking around a dark, creepy old house and was surprised by that duck. Don't lie and say you wouldn't, either.

The Voyages of Dr. Dolittle (Story and art by Hugh Lofting, Publisher F.A. Stokes, 1922).


  1. Duck or a clown.
    Both would have freaked me.

  2. "My blessed matches are all wet. They won't strike. Have you got any?"

    "No, I'm afraid I haven't," I called back.

    "Never mind," said he. "Perhaps Dab-Dab can raise us a light somewhere."

    Then the Doctor made some funny clicking noises with his tongue and I heard some one trundle up the stairs again and start moving about in the rooms above.

    Then we waited quite a while without anything happening.

    "Will the light be long in coming?" I asked. "Some animal is sitting on my foot and my toes are going to sleep."

    "No, only a minute," said the Doctor. "She'll be back in a minute."

    And just then I saw the first glimmerings of a light around the landing above. At once all the animals kept quiet.

    "I thought you lived alone," I said to the Doctor. "So I do," said he. "It is Dab-Dab who is bringing the light."

    I looked up the stairs trying to make out who was coming. I could not see around the landing but I heard the most curious footstep on the upper flight. It sounded like some one hopping down from one step to the other, as though he were using only one leg.

    As the light came lower, it grew brighter and began to throw strange jumping shadows on the walls.

    "Ah-at last!" said the Doctor. "Good old Dab-Dab!"

    And then I thought I REALLY must be dreaming. For there, craning her neck round the bend of the landing, hopping down the stairs on one leg, came a spotless white duck. And in her right foot she carried a lighted candle!

  3. The entirety of Glen Baxter's career has been one long attempt to match the absurdity of that one panel.

  4. I loved those as a kid, but found some things repulsive as an adult. There is the obvious racial thing with the Prince (forget his name), but also find it weird that the good Doctor eats meat.

    I loved the illustrations, and thought this was Edward Gorey when I first saw it. :-)

  5. A white duck carrying a lit candle in her right foot would have to get around by hopping on her left foot. (I am guessing that there would be some hot candle wax spilled on the rug, naturally.)


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