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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March 2010
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