In the mood for the macabre (part II) – Amelia Dyer

Early this year, I came across a newspaper story about one of Britain’s most prolific killers; Amelia Dyer. ( I was surprise that I had never heard of her before reading this column. Seeing that she had killed over 300 babies, you’d think she’d be well known like Jack the Ripper and other infamous killers. It’s a fascinating but very gruesome story. The tale of Amelia Dyer is so gloomy it doesn’t read like a factual description. You’d feel like it should belong in the fictional world of horror. Sadly, it’s all true and it all happened in Bristol during the Victorian times.

Amelia Dyer1893

Amelia Dyer1893


I was looking for a new challenging project for next yearI wanted to write a short story in the horror genre and when I read the article about Amelia, I just knew I’d found my subject. I’ve decided that the illustration style of this project will follow the same child-friendly, cartoon-like design that I’ve employed in my other projects (see “Agosto, a frightened little acorn” and “My Monster”). My intention is to mix the two opposite genres of horror and humour. A great example of this is Edward Gorey’s book entitled: “The Gashlycrumb Tinies”.  It is cruel, gruesome, horrific but at the same time funny, enjoyable, clever and charming plus it took the macabre humour genre to another level.   It begins:-

A is for Amy who fell down the stairs,

B is for Basil assaulted by bears,

C is for Clara who wasted away,

D is for Desmond thrown out of a sleigh …

My story will not be an alphabet book horror tale but I have written the story about Amelia in rhyming verse.  If everything goes according to plan, I will make the finished product into a picture book similar to my previous work.


About G. Olivo

I love children’s picture books, Disney and Pixar animation and a lot of my illustrations tend to reflect my love for comics, cartoons and picture books.

Posted on November 12, 2013, in Amelia Dyer and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. Sounds like a great project!!

  2. I laughed out loud at the intro to The Gashlycrumb Tinies. You may be on to something here…

    • Thanks for your comment Ruth. I love the gashlycrumb tinies and I laughed out loud too when I first read it. I must have read it a million times by now and I still love it!

  3. Sounds intriguing Gustavo, I love thinking outside the box. Go for it and push those boundaries thats when something magical happens…cant wait to hear more.

  1. Pingback: All that gore! – G. Olivo

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