Meet the New Addams Family

A charming read — if you are able to see the beauty in beasts — Colin Thompson’s new book about a black-magical family, The Floods: Good Neighbors, is bound to draw comparisons to The Addams Family. But Nerlin and Mordonna Flood have something going for them that Gomez and Morticia Addams never did: page after page of dazzlingly imaginative illustrations by Crab Scrambly, the modern-day Edward Gorey. What possessed him to draw characters (in every sense of the word) such as Merlinmary, a sexually ambiguous hairball, and Valla, a twentysomething skeleton? And whatever possessed him, has he since had it exorcised? To find out, braced itself, walked right up to him… well, um, wrote from a distance to the resident of deceptively sunny Southern California, and asked.

How much guidance did the author give you in creating these characters? Were you able to suggest quirks yourself?
Crab Scrambly: Although the author had already established an idea of what the characters should look like, I was still allowed to interperet what I imagined in my head. So really… it’s his ideas filtered through my eyes.

Is it strange for you to know that your vision of these characters will now be how people picture them forevermore?
No… I don’t really find it too strange. Well… unless of course the characters came to life and cursed me for designing them that way. Now that could be strange.

Do you prefer inventing your own characters or bringing other people’s ideas to life?
I’ve adapted other peoples characters before and I’ve enjoyed it, but ultimately, I would like to breathe life into my own ideas. I have so many ideas, yet precious little time to execute them…

Has there been any talk of adapting The Floods into an animated series, or, especially in light of the fact that a sequel is already in the works, a series of films?
At this point, I’m unaware of any possibilities of a series, animated or otherwise. I’m sure it would work well for such things, but we will have to wait and see.

With a name like Crab Scrambly, do you think you were always destined to draw things that were a little warped?
I swear that it’s my pencil that’s evil, not me…

Is your real name, like, Mike Smith?
Nope… Mike Smith is a professional skateboarder from the ’80s.

You must occasionally get the urge to draw a daffodil that isn’t wilting or a puppy that isn’t rabid. How do you fight the impulse?
I don’t seem to get these urges you speak of, but I might just draw a wilted puppy being eaten by a rabid daffodil!

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