Batman follows the White Rabbit down the rabbit hole to battle none other than our favorite archvillain, The Mad Hatter, in a new 112 page full-color hardcover graphic novel Batman: Through the Looking Glass ($22.99), written by Bruce Jones and Sam Keith, released by Titan Books in January 2012. (Not to be confused with the Batman: The Brave and the Bold “Through the Looking Glass” comic released last year.) With a new big budget Batman movie every year or so, how long before we’re going to see DC comics’ Mad Hatter battle the Dark Knight in some summer blockbuster?
Roger Daltrey, the Caterpillar
Roger Daltrey, former lead singer of The Who, is to lend his voice to the Caterpillar in a Wonderland-themed episode of the ABC show Once Upon a Time. The executive producers of the show apparently said that The Who’s rock opera “Tommy” was “a huge inspiration for the show,” so, who could be better, really?
“Once Upon a Time” is a fantasy drama set in Storybrooke, Maine, a fictional town populated by fairy tale characters who have been exiled to the real world. The episode, entitled “Hat Trick,” will air on Sunday, March 25th on ABC. Other guest stars will include Sebastian Stan as the Hatter, who you may (or may not) remember as the bad guy in the movie Hot Tub Time Machine. In the episode, producer Edward Kitsis promises, “we find out how the Mad Hatter became mad.”
Sebastien Stan as the Mad Hatter in "Once Upon a Time"
Would you take lessons in business management from the Mad Hatter? Charles Jennings, British “thought leader” and learning and performance consultant thinks that might not be such a bad idea.
In a January blog post Managers and Mad Hatters: Work that Stretches, Jennings takes events from tea party and turns them into lessons in leadership for today’s managers.
“Alice looked back once or twice, half hoping they would call after her: the last time she saw them they were trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot”
Many [learning and development] people struggle with the challenge of engaging and enrolling business managers in employee development. Trying to wedge them into a place they don’t really want to be. More…
The post is the last in a series of three which uses Alice’s adventures to illuminate strategies for effective learning in the workplace wonderland. Previous posts covered “The Lobster Quadrille for Learning and Development” and topical advice from the Cheshire Cat.
Tidying up some loose ends from 2011, I found a couple of books that still deserve a mention. Comics and crosswords – what more do you need on a Saturday?
Pearls Before Swine collection by Stephan Pastis
Larry in Wonderland: A Pearls before Swine Collection gathers together almost a year’s worth of Stephan Pastis’s bizarre parliament of animals. In these strips, which ran between August 2009 and May 2010, Pastis really had fun with a Wonderland theme, introducing such characters as the Mad Ducker, Cheshire Snuffles, Tweedledum Pig, and Tweedledee Idiot Pig.
The book is currently only $6.49 on Amazon.
Mad Hatter Crosswords reproduces 75 puzzles from the New York Times. An admirably dedicated reviewer has identified them as the Thursday, Friday, and Saturday crosswords published between January 2009 and April 2010. The Mad Hatter connection doesn’t seem to go beyond the cover illustration, through it is true that crosswords go very well with tea.
NYT Mad Hatter Crosswords
The collection is published by St. Martin’s Griffin and is available from Amazon for $7.99.
October 6th – It’s Hatter Day, here in the US anyway. In the UK, much like Mother’s Day and Independence Day, they celebrate on a different day (the 10th of June).
First appearance of Jervis Tetch/Mad Hatter in Batman (1948)
In Hatter news, the mad one is to join the roster of villains out to kill Batman in the video game Arkham City. Josh Harmon discusses the addition on the gamer site Gameranx where there is also a trailer for the updated game.
Hatter entered Batman’s universe sixty-three years ago this month in 1948. Originally, he was a batty ever-so-slightly megalomaniacal baddie, real name Jervis Tetch. Over the years he’s gained a touch of 21st century evil, as the screenshot from Arkham City below suggests. The updated game will be released on October 18.
New Villain Mad Hatter in Arkham City
Your watch may be stuck at 6 o’clock tea time, but it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere, right? New Holland Brewing out of Holland, Michigan, has a new beer called Mad Hatter India Pale Ale.
Dry-hopped for a distinctive, floral hop aroma; subtly balanced with delicious malt notes.
Pairings: spicy dishes, greens and aged cheese.
Alc. 5.25% by Vol.
Estimated Next Ship:
There’s also an Imperial Hatter Imperial India Pale Ale (9.4% alcohol will make you madder quicker.) And lovely label art, I wonder who the artist is. Cheers!
Disney and MINDstyle are collaborating on a toy collection this Spring called the Mad Hatter Project, in celebration of the 60th Anniversary of their 1951 Alice in Wonderland movie. There will be toys designed by artists Gary Baseman, Ron English and Mike Shinoda. The latter, who is the rapper and songwriter for the rock band Linkin Park, has designed the below toy, Alice connected to the White Rabbit wearing gas masks. It was sculpted by Dave Cortes from Inu Art Studio.
And here’s the Mad Hatter by Ron English. I assume these will be released as toys this year some time (I think we all know some kids and adults who would play with them,) but no word yet on the release date of the Mad Hatter Project.
Here’s the cover for Issue #3 of the new comic series The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold, which was launched after the success of the Cartoon Network show Batman: The Brave and the Bold. Bob Kass writes to us: “The cover shows the Alice in Wonderland characters but the story has the Looking Glass characters. In the story, the Mirror Master, who is a classic Flash villain, sends Batman and the Flash to the Looking Glass World with the help of Mad Hatter. The story includes the White Knight, the Tweedles, Jabbewock, Humpty Dumpty, etc. There is a clever touch where the Flash’s costume insignia reverses in the Looking Glass world.”
Johanna Draper Carlson at Comics Worth Reading is happy that this issue “take[s] on some of the whimsy and charm that make its cartoon counterpart so much fun to watch.”
Issue #3, for example, takes the trendy inspiration of Alice in Wonderland to remind us of the Batman villain The Mad Hatter, who’s mind-controlling the original Flash because “he’s one of the few heroes with the good taste to wear a hat.” That kind of logic, internally consistent to the characters but ridiculously silly to the reader, adds to the enjoyment of this comic.
"The Mad Hatter as he appears in Lego Batman: The Videogame." -Wikipedia
Batman’s most famous enemy The Joker has been identified with Carroll’s character before (recently in The Joker’s Asylum II, June 16th, 2010.) But apparently The Mad Hatter is himself also a Batman villain, originally appearing in Batman #49 in October 1948 (according to the Wikipedia.) “Like other Batman villains, the Mad Hatter has become a darker character over the years. The Mad Hatter is depicted as a scientist who invents and uses technological mind-controlling devices to influence and manipulate the minds of his victims, believing that ‘the mind is the weakest part of a person’. He is well-known for sporting a green-coloured hat which is usually slightly over-sized as it houses his mobile mind-manipulating devices.” So that’s why the Hatter wears a big hat!
Rebecca Shawyer with "Occupational Hazard"
Congratulations to Rebecca Shawyer, an artist from Cable Bay, New Zealand, for winning the People’s Choice Award at the 2010 Portage Ceramic Awards. Linda Laird reports in the The Northern Advocate:
Ms Shawyer’s version of Lewis Carroll’s Mad Hatter is called “Occupational Hazard”, a delightful, and according to the judges “slightly disturbing”, figure which made a striking statement among the less animate ceramic works in the country’s prestigious pottery contest.
That the piece was also voted the viewers’ favourite at the exhibition at Lopdell House, Titirangi, was the icing on the cake, as it were. Ms Shawyer’s previous career was largely spent in Europe as a pasticerra, or sweet pastry chef, specialising in pastiage, the art of making flowers and decorations with sugar paste.
“Typically most entrants stem from a potting background,” Ms Shawyer said of the Portage awards.
“The point of difference in my work is that I do not.
“The patisserie adorning my hatter offers a suggestion of a tea party, but more importantly acknowledges my past occupation.”
Ms Shawyer said that in times past many hatters went mad due to mercury poisoning from the chemical soaking cheaper furs.
“I allude to the madness in other occupations as well, particularly artists by referencing Duchamp in the signing of a readymade, and Van Gogh by eliminating an ear, replacing it with brushes and a loose screw.”
The October 2010 issue of the tri-quarterly poetry journal Blue Unicorn ($7), out of Kensington, California, contains an Alice-themed sonnet, “Hatteras Time,” by Gregory Perry. It has a quotation from Alice and the Hatter’s conversation on time as its epigram. The poem begins “We’re mad as hatters down in Hatteras.” Ruth Berman reports that the piece “draws on imagery of teatime, the Queen of Hearts, a lack of ‘much of muchness to pursue,’ and having ‘buttery time to kill.’”