Archive for March 20th, 2010

20
Mar
10

Alice in Blunderland

Alice in Blunderland by Scott Adams

Published by Boxtree Ltd, 1999

Teeny weeny little hardback.

ISBN: 0752217372

No real Alice connection apart from the title: it’s a collection of Dilbert cartoons featuring the short tempered engineer Alice. She’s my hero.

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20
Mar
10

The Wallypug of Why

The Wallypug of Why by G.E. Farrow.

Illustrated by Harry Furness with vignettes by Dorothy Furness (Harry’s daughter, who was only 15 at the time).

Hardback first edition, published by Hutchinson, 1895.

The Alice connection seems rather tenuous at first look, but the synopsis of “Alternative Alices” by Carolyn Sigler says:

Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland (1865) and Through the Looking Glass (1871) are among the most enduring works in the English language. In the decades following their publication, writers on both sides of the Atlantic produced no fewer than two hundred imitations, revisions, and parodies of Carroll’s fantasies for children. Carolyn Sigler has gathered the most interesting and original of these responses to the Alice books, many of them long out of print. Produced between 1869 and 1930, these works trace the extraordinarily creative, and often critical, response of diverse writers. These writers — male and female, radical and conservative — appropriated Carroll’s structures, motifs, and themes in their Alice-inspired works in order to engage in larger cultural debates. Their stories range from Christina Rossetti’s angry subversion of Alice’s adventures, Speaking Likenesses (1874), to G.E. Farrow’s witty fantasy adventure, The Wallypug of Why (1895), to Edward Hope’s hilarious parody of social and political foibles, Alice in the Delighted States (1928). Anyone who has ever followed Alice down the rabbit hole will enjoy the adventures of her literary siblings in the wide Wonderland of the human imagination.

It certainly has an Alice-y feel: little girl falls asleep and meets fantastical creatures in a dream-world, and it’s a lovely thing with plenty of illustrations by one of Carroll’s many interpreters.

This is G.E. Farrow’s first book, but he went on to write more than thirty, including several Wallypug sequels.

Bought in Sotheran’s Fine Books, which is well worth a visit if you’re a booky person. It’s fab.

20
Mar
10

Illustrated by John Vernon Lord

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland illustrated by John Vernon Lord.

Published by Artists Choice Editions, 2009. Hardback with illustrated boards. First edition, limited: signed by the artist, and numbered 89/348.

ISBN: 9780955834318

John Vernon Lord has said:

I tackled everything that came my way. I carried out portraits of company directors for their retirement dinner menu covers, buildings for brochures, strip cartoons, maps and humorous drawings for advertisements….gardens and their plants, vegetables, mazes, refrigerators, dishwashers, totem poles, kitchen utensils, resuscitation diagrams, all kinds of furniture, typewriters, agricultural crop spraying machines, door locks, folded towels, decorative letters, Zodiac signs, animals….When you are a student there is a tendency at first to limit yourself to draw only what you like drawing. This of course ultimately shackles you and limits your repertoire …(it) narrows the margin of what you are able to depict in an image and consequently stifles imagination and ideas.

You can really see the result of this in the illustrations for this book: there are visual puns and hidden pictures everywhere. Look at the front cover- it illustrates the passage where the dormouse is telling the story of the three girls living in the treacle well:

The Dormouse had closed its eyes by this time, and was going off into a doze; but, on being pinched by the Hatter, it woke up again with a little shriek, and went on: `–that begins with an M, such as mouse-traps, and the moon, and memory, and muchness– you know you say things are “much of a muchness”–did you ever see such a thing as a drawing of a muchness?’

Lord has drawn the moon and a muchness: an infinity sign, and mousetraps, and two versions of memory: a knot- and the seahorse shaped hippocampus.

I also like the fact that all the illustrations are sen through Alice’s eyes: she doesn’t appear in them: we just see what she sees…

Lovely book, and highly recommended despite the pretty price tag… Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland




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