Author Archive for

04
Jan
14

Alice in tumblr-Land and Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation

reviews_feature1Alice in tumblr-Land and Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation by Tim Manly.

Published by Penguin Books (29 Oct 2013).

Hardback 1st edition.

ISBN: 978-0143124795

Based on the blog Fairy Tales for Twenty-Somethings.

From the publisher’s blurb:

Disney meets Lena Dunham in this illustrated humour book featuring your favourite fairy-tale characters dating and finding their way in 21st-century America

The Ugly Duckling still feels gross compared to everyone else, but now she’s got Instagram, and there’s this one filter that makes her look awesome. Cinderella swaps her glass slippers for Crocs. The Tortoise and the Hare Facebook stalk each other. Goldilocks goes gluten free. And Peter Pan finally has to grow up and get a job, or at least start paying rent.

Here are more than one hundred fairy tales, illustrated and re-imagined for today. Instead of fairy godmothers, there’s Siri. And rather than big bad wolves, there are creepy dudes on OkCupid. In our brave new world of social networking, YouTube, and texting, fairy tales can once again lead us to “happily ever after”—and have us laughing all the way.

Alice and her friends star in several of the one page scenes- the Cheshire Cat emails links to sites selling tail-enhancement pills, Dum and Dee are shwasted and the caterpillar has really changed…

On Amazon: Alice in Tumblr-Land: And Other Fairy Tales for a New Generation

 

02
Jan
14

Alice in Wonderland: A Classic Story Pop-up Book with Sounds: Richard Johnson

ImageAlice in Wonderland: A Classic Story Pop-up Book with Sounds. By Lewis Carroll, retold by Libby Hamilton.

Illustrated by Richard Johnson.

Publisher: Silver Dolphin, 2011

Hardback.

ISBN-10: 1607101246

ISBN-13: 978-1607101246

Includes  5 large pop-ups and two gatefolds, and a sound chip with 5 sounds: one for each pop-up page.

Richard Johnson says:

I was approached by Templar to help work on a new series of extravagant pop-up books that incorporated sound. Lewis Carroll’s classic is, for any illustrator, a real opportunity to get stuck into the surreal environments and variety of strange and wonderful characters. 

From the publishers:

Follow Alice on her journey down the rabbit hole – meet the Cheshire Cat, go to the Mad Hatter’s tea party and hide as the Queen of Hearts comes to inspect her roses.

This amazing book combines superb sounds, astonishing pop-ups and magical illustrations in a very special retelling of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale.

Available on Amazon

31
Dec
13

2013 in review

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 13,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 5 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

30
Sep
13

Royal Mail Stamps: “The Magical World of Children’s Literature”

scan0001Royal Mail Stamps: “The Magical World of Children’s Literature”, designed by Peter Malone.

Royal Mail, 1998. First day cover.

This series of stamps illustrating classic children’s literature marked the centenaries both of the death of Lewis Carroll and the birth of C. S. Lewis.

The 20p stamp shows Bilbo Baggins and Smaug from The Hobbit; the 26p one depicts Mr. Tumnus, Lucy, and Aslan from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe; 37p is the children from E. Nesbit’s The Phoenix and the Carpet and 43p has Pod and Arrietty from The Borrowers. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland  is naturally the subject of the most expensive 63p stamp, with  Alice and the Red Queen running as fast as they can to stay where they are.

Just at this moment, somehow or other, they began to run.

Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over afterwards, how it was that they began: all she remembers is, that they were running hand in hand, and the Queen went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with her: and still the Queen kept crying ‘Faster! Faster!’ but Alice felt she could not go faster, though she had not breath left to say so.

The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and the other things round them never changed their places at all: however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. ‘I wonder if all the things move along with us?’ thought poor puzzled Alice. And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried, ‘Faster! Don’t try to talk!’

Not that Alice had any idea of doing that. She felt as if she would never be able to talk again, she was getting so much out of breath: and still the Queen cried ‘Faster! Faster!’ and dragged her along. ‘Are we nearly there?’ Alice managed to pant out at last.

‘Nearly there!’ the Queen repeated. ‘Why, we passed it ten minutes ago! Faster!’ And they ran on for a time in silence, with the wind whistling in Alice’s ears, and almost blowing her hair off her head, she fancied.

‘Now! Now!’ cried the Queen. ‘Faster! Faster!’ And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.

The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly, ‘You may rest a little now.’

Alice looked round her in great surprise. ‘Why, I do believe we’ve been under this tree the whole time! Everything’s just as it was!’

‘Of course it is,’ said the Queen, ‘what would you have it?’

‘Well, in our country,’ said Alice, still panting a little, ‘you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.’

‘A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen. ‘Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’

Bought for the magnificent sum of 80p in an antique shop in Snape Maltings.

l_carrollkaart

 

 

09
Sep
13

Iris Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland Programme

2C057EF19-B119-20E5-70F8BD3802B33FD8Iris Theatre’s Alice in Wonderland Programme.

Theatre programme, published July 2012.

According to their website:

Iris Theatre was created in 2007 to produce a production of T.S. Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral at the world famous St. Paul’s Church in Covent Garden, right in the heart of Central London. The success of that production led on to further shows, more success, and a dynamic company which has grown year on year. We gained full charity status in Oct 2009 with a mission to support the development of the next generation of professional theatre practitioners across all theatre forms.

They’re now resident at St. Paul’s, and it was in the grounds and body of the church that the action took place. The story was told with energy, imagination and enthusiasm by the small (and apart from Alice, male) cast, and the different sets were really delightful, as was the initial journey down the rabbit hole. Shame it’s finished, or I’d recommend you to go…

Fran about to go down the Rabbit Hole.

Fran about to go down the Rabbit Hole.

09
Sep
13

Alice’s Diorama Shadowbox

ImageAlice’s Diorama Shadowbox from Benjamin Pollock’s.

Drawings by Simon Seddon.

Published by Benjamin Pollock’s Toyshop 2012.

New, and as yet unopened.

From the Pollock’s website:

A new cut-out model from Pollock’s Toyshop. 4 illustrated sheets can be cut-out and stuck together to create a decorative shadow box/diorama. The pack includes an Alice doll and her accessories. Leave it plain or colour it yourself – add decoration, imagination and peep through into a Pollock’s Toyshop Wonderland.

Bought for me by the lovely Fran when we went to see Alice in Wonderland at St. Paul’s in Covent Garden.

 

03
Sep
13

Oedipus in Disneyland

Oedipus in Disneyland: Queen Victoria’s reincarnation as Superman by Hercules Molloy.

Published by Paranoid Press, 1972.

Paperback.

I can’t pretend I’ve read this- I only bought it yesterday after all- but on skimming it seems to be a (badly written) cross between a Freudian nightmare and a Foucault’s Pendulum conspiracy theory horror story.

I’ve found a couple of reviews on-line- one from Angtime:

But nothing, nothing, nothing in the world will mess your head up more than “Oedipus in Disneyland” by Hercules Molloy. I have a first edition, for the simple fact that it never made it to a second. The title, snappy as it is, gives one only a small glimpse as to its range. The subtitle: “Queen Victoria’s reincarnation as Superman”, while also intriguing, is likewise only part of the tale. What will melt your mind is Clark Kent, unaware of his destiny, sitting alone in a Mexican jail cell, reading “Alice in Wonderland” and providing a subtextual play-by-play. Copies are hard to come by, not surprisingly, but a google search turned up one review that began with the words “It is positively disgusting….” And one webpage that just had some keywords: Classics-Alice-Wonderland-Kent-Clark-Dirty-Sex-Superman-Bad-Words which I think surmises it pretty well.

…and one from the International Journal of Social Psychiatry:

There’s also an amusing review/article here.

I think I’ll stick to skimming it!

Available via Amazon: Oedipus in Disneyland

09
Jul
13

Alice on Mars

scan0002Alice on Mars by Robert Rankin.

Published by Far Fetched Books, 2013.

Hardback with dust jacket, signed, 200/3000.

When Alice (of Wonderland) is abducted by aliens she begins her biggest and strangest adventure. In a Rainy Tale told to the boy Robert by his Granddad’s ventriloquists’ dummy, Alice, together with her loyal and brave flock of performing kiwi birds, becomes embroiled in a twisted epic saga of worlds domination, robot wars and thwarted romance.

See giant kiwi birds on the attack!

Questionable practices and odd folk from space!

Martian Mayhem!

Massive robot destruction!

The year is 1896 and WORLDS WAR TWO has begun!

Robert’s second full-length illustrated book is only available in this special limited edition of 3000 signed and numbered hard back copies.

It was a pleasure to attend Film and Comic Con and meet Mr. Rankin, who has signed my book so beautifully.

sig

Robert Rankin’s website is here: you can download Alice on Mars posters there. And his Amazon page is here.

22
Jun
13

Illustrated by Franciszka Themerson

IMG_0406Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There: by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Franciszka Themerson.

Published by Inky Parrot Press (2001).

Hard back with black boards decorated with white illustrations by Themerson.

With a forward by Jasia Reichardt, and afterword by (the now rather disgraced- found guilty of six charges of indecency with a child and one charge of indecent assault against a child) Graham Ovenden.

Themerson was commissioned in 1946 (not long before copyright was up) by Harrap to illustrate Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There. Even though the blocks had been made, Harrap decided not to go ahead with publication- possibly as with the loss of copyright, the market may have been flooded with new versions, but Inky Parrot rescued and published the rather fabulous illustrations in 2001.

Published in an edition of 372 Standard copies, casebound, signed and 48 Special copies, bound in quarter leather with 6 initialled prints in a folder, but mine is a proof copy with a dedication from  Ovenden.

IMG_0408

Available on Amazon.

22
Jun
13

Illustrating Alice

IMG_0405Illustrating Alice: An International Selection of Illustrated Editions of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass.

Published by Artists’ Choice Editions, 2013.

ISBN: 978-0-9558343-7-0

The book was issued in two versions: one standard hardback with dustjacket, limited to 600 copies, and one leather bound and including artists prints- limited to 68. Mine is the cheaper of the two…

From the publisher’s blurb:

Since 1907, when the copyright for Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland expired, there has been a world wide explosion of illustrated editions by artists who have been inspired to visualise Alice in their own fashion. There are at least three hundred illustrated English language editions and eighty from Japan. Carroll’s life and writings have been exhaustively documented but, curiously, very little has been written about the illustrated editions. The focus of Illustrating Alice is, in particular, the contemporary versions and these are discussed by experts and illustrators from nine countries. The book has a Foreword by Marina Vaizey, followed by illustrations and commentaries on the interpretation of Alice in different countries. Writers include Adriana Peliano – Brazil; Richard Newnhan – China; Selwyn Goodacre and Dennis Hall – England; Michèle Noret – France; Caterina Morelli – Italy; Prof. Mikiko Chimori – Japan; Prof. Monika Adamczyk-Garbowska – Poland; Ella Parry-Davies – Russia; Mark Burstein – United States and Canada. This is followed by reflections by artists who have illustrated Alice, with contributions by Barry Moser, De Loss McGraw and Gavin O’Keefe from the US; Ralph Steadman, John Vernon Lord, Helen Oxenbury, Emma Chichester Clark, Justin Todd, John Bradley and Michael Foreman from England; Chiara Carrer from Italy and Tatiana Ianovskaia from Russia. There is a chapter on Alice in film in which the Czech filmmaker Jan Švankmajer discusses his Alice film and Karen Lury, Prof. of Film and Television Studies, writes on Animating Alice: the heroine without a heart. Graham Ovenden writes an Afterword. An alphabetical checklist of all English language editions, compiled by Selwyn Goodacre and Edward Wakeling, is included.

This is an extremely dangerous thing for me to have bought- it opens a whole new world of books I have yet to buy, but it’s nice seeing old friends in there as well. There are loads of fantastic pictures, and articles by various illustrators (Barry Moser, Ralph Steadman, Helen Oxenbury, Jan Svankmajer). It’s printed on beautiful paper and really is a joy to handle.

Available on Amazon in both standard and special editions.




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