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Estimate: $ 6,000 - $ 9,000
CHARLES ADDAMS. Z Line Subway. Cartoon featuring Uncle Fester, Wednesday, and Grandmama for The New Yorker, with their copyright label on verso, published October 1, 1979. Watercolor, pen, and ink on paper. 292x416 mm; 11 1/2x16 1/2 inches, on 15 3/4x22-inch sheet. Signed "Chas Addams" in lower right image. Faint foxing. Provenance: From the Tee & Charles Addams Foundation.
This cartoon marks a rare and unusual appearance of members of the Addams Family. Upon the debut of the ABC television series in 1964, William Shawn, the current editor of The New Yorker, refused to publish any of Addams's cartoons featuring his beloved characters. Shawn allegedly saw conflict between the high-brow readership of the magazine and the low-brow nature of the television show. This ban lasted until Shawn's retirement in 1987. Ever the opportunist, Addams crafted this image of a subway car packed with kooky and odd characters to sneak in three members of his morbid clan. Wednesday and Grandmama can be seen directly behind the conductor's booth, while Uncle Fester can be seen peering out of the back of the subway car.