The earliest memory of an artist that captured my imagination and touched on my dark sense of humor was Edward Gorey. I remember as a child seeing his animated opening of PBS "Mystery!" and was hooked. An American artist and author, Gorey is known for his macabre illustrated books. Although Gorey's books were popular with children, he did not associate with children much and had no particular fondness for them.
I fell in love with his children's books, especially "The Gashlycrumb Tinies: or, After the Outing", where Gorey tells the tale of 26 children (each representing a letter of the alphabet) and their untimely deaths. I found this video showing the complete book of "The Gashlycrumb Tinies", a little slow-moving but well worth the time.