Pursuing an Artist with Smiles and Soap

Hunting of the Snark Movie

How did the delightful work of art for our Spring Conference Keepsake Fundraiser come to be? It all started about a year ago with an issue of The Snarkologist. As I gazed upon the cover of Volume 1, Fit 3 depicting a joyful little fellow leaping through the air, I thought, “That’s the cutest little Banker I’ve ever seen!” A flip of the page revealed that the illustration was by Jonathan David Dixon, a colorized version of a black-and-white illustration from his edition of The Snark (LCSNA, 1992). An article inside by Stephanie Lovett detailed Jonathan’s long and varied Snark history.

Fast forward nine months to the planning stages of the LCSNA 2023 Spring Conference, when it became clear that a brand new The Hunting of the Snark film would be a feature presentation at our virtual conference/film festival. I was determined to have some sort of fundraiser in concert with our conference, as LCSNA membership has not bounced back to pre-pandemic levels. I thought of our in-person conferences, and how happy everyone always is to get some sort of keepsake to take home. Why not have a keepsake for a virtual conference?

If the subject was the Snark, there was no doubt in my mind whom I wanted to ask to donate his talents and time: Jonathan David Dixon! But would he do it? He’s a busy man, after all: a multitalented multi-hyphenate artist of the stage, screen, and page. Plus, I had no relationship with him, unless you count fangirling and getting him to autograph my copy of Looking-Glass House a few years back. But it couldn’t hurt to ask, right?

Okay, maybe it could hurt to ask …

I took a deep breath and virtually cold-called Jonathan. Much to my delight, he wrote back the next day and said YES, very graciously. Much to my amusement, he let his true feelings be known on Facebook somewhat later:

“Hello, folks!
For the Lewis Carroll Society of North America’s upcoming virtual online meeting on Saturday, April 15th, I was asked to do an illustration that could be printed up as a 5×7 card for a keepsake and fundraising promotion.
I went back and forth, wary that I wouldn’t have the time … but then Heather Simmons recommended that I use my characters from Carroll’s THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK, and I weakened because I love them so much and the temptation to revisit them was strong.
Then, because the theme of the meeting will be Lewis Carroll-inspired movies, she suggested as one possibility the characters wearing 3-D glasses. I shouted, ‘Curse yooouuuu!!! Cuuuurrrrsssse yoooouuuu!!!’ — because I knew then that I had to do it.”

Hey, I have no problem being cursed, with results like these! Jonathan decided the Butcher and Beaver would be attending the movies together, as they are friends now. Flanking them in the darkened movie theater are the Bellman and the Billiard-marker. Fun fact: this is only the second time Jonathan has depicted the Billiard-marker!

5X7 prints of this Dixon original may be purchased through May 15 for just $10.06. (Like ten shillings and six pence? Cute? Yes?) But I wholeheartedly recommend you take the second buying option: for $42, you get a print and a chance to win the original art in a raffle being held at our May 20 virtual event! Intent on increasing your odds? You may buy as many chances as you like!

To those that have already purchased a keepsake print, THANK YOU. All proceeds of this sale go toward bringing you more virtual and in-person events like our Spring Conference/Movie Marathon, which welcomed 162 attendees from 15 countries!

May 15 will be here before you know it! Don’t miss your opportunity to support the LCSNA in the most adorable way possible. Prints will be shipped starting the first week of May.