As reported in the December 2012 issue of the Lewis Carroll Society (UK)’s Bandersnatch, there is a new boutique at 14 Cecil Court in London called Alice Through the Looking Glass. (It’s right next door to well-known Carrollian rare book dealer Marchpane.) The founders of the boutique say they were inspired to start the business when they learned of the recent discovery of some draft designs for an “Alice” chess set by illustrator John Tenniel. They offer a couple of picture of the expensive, limited-edition set on their web site, along with teasing images of other Alice items. Sadly there are no conversations to go along with the pictures, so after visiting their web site, if you don’t happen to be in London, you’ll have to contact them directly for more information about what they actually have for sale! But at least you can see a couple of teasing glimpses of the chess set, if you’re curious. Or curiouser.
If you’re an avid collector of vintage children’s literature editions, you might be interested in this updated list of the most collectible children’s books, according to Helen Younger of Aleph-Bet Books. As one would expect, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland makes the list. And note the clever way she handles the issue of the publication date. Disappointingly, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There doesn’t make Younger’s list. And don’t even think about The Hunting of the Snark. So, whether we agree or disagree, it’s interesting to see one bookseller’s list based on 30 years in the rare book business. To read the list, click here. Thanks to one of our mimsy minions for this link.
Artist Sue Shanahan has added a new Alice-themed post to her child-centric blog, commonplacegrace.com. In it, Sue ponders what might have led Lewis Carroll to pen the Alice books, and also shares an image of a charming Alice paper doll that she created a few years ago as a gift for the attendees at a United Federation of Doll Clubs convention. She also includes a photo of the her niece, who modeled for the image.
Sue is also selling signed prints of the paper doll image for a modest price on her Etsy site. And if there’s a paper doll art collector among you, the original one-of-a-kind artwork is currently still available for sale directly from Ms. Shanahan for US $22.00.
Looking for a new set of wheels? Or a nifty one-of-a-kind piece of Alice art sculpture? Or maybe both? Have a look at these images of artist Valerie Young’s new work. You can click each image to see a larger version. This information was sent along with the pictures:
“Artist Valerie Young writes, “When I first saw the pair of plaster feet sitting on a box at our local flea market I knew immediately that I had found Alice. But what to do with “her” next? I had just finished reading Harrod Blank’s “Wild Cars” so I thought to myself maybe Alice would like a car. As you can see, I still think of Alice as a delightful childhood friend. An old rusted pedal car was next followed by two plastic pink flamingos and the Alice car was off and running–so to speak. Gathering or creating all the iconic items was great fun and soon it became, officially, “Alice, You Can Drive My Car” (apologies to the Beatles).
Valerie Young is a found-object sculptor whose work was recently part of the “Alice: Into the Looking Glass” exhibit at the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ. Her work has also been shown at the Gallery at Chapin in Lawrence, NJ; the Frank J. Miele Gallery in New York; the Outsider Art Fair in New York; the Bernstein Gallery of the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and Riverrun Gallery in Lambertville, NJ. She was also included in the shows: “Vision and Voice: Folk Art by Woman of the 20th Century” at the Chubb Atrium Gallery, and “Seven New Jersey Sculptors” at the Art Gallery of The College of New Jersey.
To learn more, you can contact Valerie at firstname.lastname@example.org
“Email is the best way to contact me but phone is fine too: 609.466.2394.””
If shopping for Carrollian goodies is your “bag,” then you might want to check out Baba Studio’s web site, if you haven’t already done so. They have quite a selection of Alice-themed bags. To see the results of a search for “Wonderland” on their site, click me.
Baba Studio is also hard at work on a gorgeous-looking new Alice Tarot, for those of you who enjoy prognosticating with the help of a Tarot Deck, or for those of you who simply enjoy collecting unusual Alice items with nifty artwork. You can follow the progress of the deck’s creation on this Facebook page.
Warner Home Video and BBC America have teamed up to release two Alice in Wonderland rarities on DVD. The first is the BBC’s 1986 production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland staring Kate Dorning as Alice, originally broadcast as a weekly series of four 30-minute episodes. The second is the 1973 production of Alice Through the Looking-Glass with Sarah Sutton as Alice. You can be sure you won’t find either of these on your local video streaming service. Both can be purchased from the BBC America Shop and are currently listed at a special “new release price” of $15.98. See below for links.
Looking for all of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on a single page? Yes, it has been done, and what’s more, you have quite a selection to choose from.
Novel Poster sell this 18 by 26 inch, very-legible print that reveals Alice playing croquet in the negative space ($40).
Postertextmake one similar, but with slightly different dimensions—a 20 by 24 inch print with the text split over seven columns reveals Alice talking to the Cheshire Cat ($23.99).
20 x 24″ from Postertext
This action shot from Spineless Classicsshows their more detailed poster. It measures 50 by 70 centimeters (about 20 by 28 inches) ($39.99).
Litographs offer several options: the 24 x 36 inch print ($29) includes the full text of both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass ($29); the 18 x 24 inch print includes the full text of just Wonderland ($24).
The Litographs prints are the only ones available in color ($29 for the smaller poster, $39 for the larger one). They also make a full-text t-shirt, guaranteed to get you some squinty attention whenever you wear it.
For a greater challenge, you might like to try assembling you own one-page Wonderland with this 672-piece jigsaw puzzle from Spineless Classics ($29.99). In addition to whiling away a winter evening, I’m sure it’s also a fascinating way to get to know the book really well.
Here’s something we’ve never seen before (although it is true we tend to go about with our heads in a book): pantyhose that create the illusion of a Tenniel tattoo. Choose from the White Rabbit, the Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, or Alice with Flamingo for the finishing touch to any outfit, or any leg, for that matter. The tattoo tightsare printed by Hakosen and sold on Etsy.com for $20 a pair.
White Rabbit Tights by Hakosem
Hatter Tights by Hakosen
On the subject of Tenniel prints, we’ve also been meaning to mention this Alice Tea Party Pillowcase Set, sold by Urban Outfitters for $34 (curious dreams not included).
The door stops featured in Antiques Roadshow on PBS
In yesterday’s Summer TV round-up PART ONE, the evil ghost of Alice Liddell came back through the looking-glass in Syfy’s Warehouse 13. The characters in the show needed to use enchanted artifacts, such as the caterpillar’s hookah, to conquer the demon. Alice-related artifacts were also on a very different show this May, namely, Antiques Roadshow.
The popular PBSshow featured some lovely Alice in Wonderland carved door stops, appraised at $10,000-$15,000. The appraiser, Noel Barrett, said, “Alice in Wonderland is so much a part of our culture. And this imagery is just ingrained. And what to me is really exciting is, in carved wood, whoever created these did a masterful job of adding dimension to the wonderful Tenniel illustrations, which of course are touchstone imagery of Alice.” The guest originally paid $100 for them at an estate sale. More pictures and a transcription of the appraisal are here.
Last week, a show called Face Off, also on Syfy, had an episode called “Alice in Zombieland.” Face Off is a stage make-up competition, sort of like Iron Chef but with the contestants making monster masks. In this episode, “the contestants find themselves in the gorgeous Descanso Gardens where McKenzie tells them that the challenge this week is a mash-up between Alice in Wonderland and zombies. Some artists are psyched, but Sarah, who grew up in a Mennonite community, is stumped. At a loss for how to turn the Cheshire Cat into a zombie, she consults Nicole, who tells her to just mash it up.” This episode can also be watched online in HD on Amazon Instant Video for $1.99.
There pictures below were taken from FearNET TV, where there is a detailed review of the episode.
A still from Syfy’s Face Off, episode 304 “Alice in Zombieland,” from FearNET TV.
A still from Syfy’s Face Off, episode 304 “Alice in Zombieland,” from FearNET TV.
And now a look into the future of Alice television!
On the CW network, look for a cop drama based on Alice in Wonderland. You read that correctly. “Alice will be a modern-day big city detective,” reports Entertainment Weekly. “In this version, Alice discovers a fantastical world beneath Los Angeles. The working title is Wunderland (yes,with a ‘u’).” EW concludes, “What could go wrong?”
And finally, big news from Comic-Con. Last year we joked about the fact that the prequel to Zenoscope’s “Return to Wonderland” was called “Alice in Wonderland.” Indeed, the books have been among the top ten independent comics of the past few years. Now, the news from Comic-Con is that the television rights for the whole Zenoscope series were won by Lionsgate, apparently following a “six-studio bidding war.” Look for Alice Liddell’s busty ass-kicking daughter to enter a mad Wonderland on a major network sometime in the next few years. The entire series of Zenoscope novels are available at Amazonand where all fine comics are sold.