Pearls Before Swine, a nationally syndicated comic strip which runs in more than 400 papers, had an Alice in Wonderland-inspired sequence at the end of October 2009. The decade-old cartoon is written & drawn by San Franciscan Stephen Pastis. (The internet home of Pearls Before Swine is at the United Feature Syndicate website here: comics.com/pearls_before_swine, where I’ve copied the strips below from.) They reminded me of Walt Kelly’s illustrations for “Who Stole the Tarts?” using similar anthropomorphic characters from his mid-century newspaper comic Pogo. If they’re too small to read, click on the image and it will redirect you to the strip at comics.com.
An interesting twist in the scenario: instead of it being “such a curious dream”, the surreal wonderland adventures were the result of one of the other characters usurping the composition of the comic strip. Like the Red King’s dream, was the rat drawing the cartoonist or the cartoonist drawing the rat?
Fans of comics from the 1950s might appreciate the Betty and Veronica Digest, No. 195 (June 2009), which leads with “Betty in Wonderland” (pp. 1-21). Betty is babysitting for the Anderson kids, who beg her to read Alice in Wonderland every night. This time she changes the story a little. Betty (Alice) chases Archie down a big hole to Wonderland, where she meets the Cheshire Dog and other characters. Milkshakes and burgers make her shrink and grow, respectively. Veronica appears as the Red Queen who wants to take Archie from Betty, sticking her with Dee and Dum. Instead of croquet, Alice/Betty and Veronica/Red Queen have a bowling contest with Archie as prize. Betty loses, but fortunately Veronica’s parents appear and help Betty escape from Wonderland.
Thanks for the heads up, Clare!
DC Comics’ Detective Comics #854 (June 24), 855 (July 29), 856 (August 26), and 857 (September 2) cover the storyline “Elegy,” in which Batwoman runs up against Alice, “a madwoman who sees her life as a fairy tale and everyone around her as expendable extras” and who speaks only in lines from Lewis Carroll.