Four new books of possible interest to Carrollians:
Seek & Find Classics: Alice in Wonderland, retold by Sarah Powell, illustrated by Isabel Muñoz, and published by Little Bee Books, asks toddlers to find various things hidden within pictures. It carries a short biography and introduction by the redoubtable Edward Wakeling.
Lewis Carroll: Author of Alice in Wonderland, a POD (or e-) comic book from TidalWave Productions, sets a biography of sorts within Wonderland. The writing can be moderately amusing, but the drawing is hideously amateurish, rendering both CLD and Alice as repugnant. Alan Tannenbaum suggests CLD looks more like Soupy Sales; I’d wager that Mortimer Snerd was used as a model for Alice. It’s that bad.
Following on the heels of Alice in Brexitland (Ebury Press, 2017; KL 101:64) comes Theresa Maybe in Brexitland written and illustrated by young activist/performer Madeleina Kay. There’s no publisher listed, but one can get it through her website.
Eva Le Gallienne’s legendary 1932 Broadway version (Josephine Hutchinson as Alice, Burgess Meredith as the Duck, Eva Le Gallienne herself as the White Queen) was re-created and broadcast on television by the Hallmark Hall of Fame in 1955, starring Gillian Barber as Alice, with featured players including Tom Bosley and Elsa Lanchester. That video has been considered “lost” to this day; it wasn’t even listed in the definitive “Alice on the Screen” in the 2018 Annotated Alice! But somehow, miraculously, it has now become available as streaming video on Amazon Prime (one can also purchase it on DVD – scroll down the page to find the little box on the left).
The production was re-created in 1982, as we all know, with Richard and Kate Burton, Colleen Dewhurst, Donald O’Connor, Nathan Lane, etc., which is widely available.
(A tip of the Hatter’s hat to Terry Steven for letting us know about this!)
Choreographer Christopher Wheeldon’s 2010 setting for the Royal Ballet, with an original score by Joby Talbots, was filmed at the Royal Opera House and is now available on Blu-ray from Opus Arte. The ballet has garnered very positive reviews as it traveled around the globe (including at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in Los Angeles in October 2012, and at the Kennedy Center, Washington, D.C., in January, 2013). It was released on regular DVD in 2010 and 2014. A preview is available here.
Clé de Peau Beauté, a global skincare product line, has made a sweet commercial with the tag line “Turn the key to a world of fantastical discovery. Unlock Wonderland.” Click here. (If you view it on smartphone through a VR viewer, you have the option of seeing it in 3D!)
The phenomenal “Wonderland” exhibition on various aspects of Alice’s adventures in films at ACMI (The Australian Centre for the Moving Image) running through October 6 was reported on by Matt Crandall in the Spring 2018 issue of the Knight Letter (KL 100:57). What we neglected to mention was how fantastic their catalog is. Published by Thames & Hudson as an oversize hardcover, it is sumptuously illustrated, superbly designed, and contains many enlightening essays. The fine price of AU$65 is somewhat dampened by the shipping cost (AU$88), a total of US$111. Nonetheless, most highly recommended! Order it here! (And you get a free tote bag!)
Ok, it’s taken us a while to notice it, but in the summer of 2014, a project by the National Literacy Trust (UK) scattered 50 book-shaped benches across the capital for the summer, each dedicated to an iconic London-related author or character (although that criterion is rather loosely interpreted; Dr. Seuss?). Through the Looking-Glass (left) was drawn, obviously, by Ralph Steadman. Read about it in The Guardian; a list and photos of the fifty benches is here. They were auctioned off that October.
Thanks to the New York Public Library’s InstaNovels project, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland “went viral on Instagram this week, spruced up for the digital age as a colorful, animated Instagram Story that leads into the complete text of the 1865 novel. The #InstaNovels project is an attempt to remind younger Internet users about libraries and to plug its free e-book program and popular podcasts. Some 39,673 people opened up Alice and stayed with it to the end.” USAToday reported it here.
Face Off is an American reality television game show on the Syfy cable network in which a group of makeup artists compete against each other to create prostheses such as are found in science fiction and horror films. The grand finale of the thirteenth (and final) season, called Face Off: Battle Royale, has something of interest. As one viewer put it, “Episodes 9 and 10 (originally aired July 31 and August 7) were called ‘Through the Looking Glass’ Parts I and II. The challenge was for three teams to create makeup and costuming for new characters from ‘lost’ chapters of Through the Looking-Glass. Scripts were provided, and a short movie was then filmed using the contestants’ character designs. Whoever came up with the new characters seems to have been channeling Oz, not Wonderland. There was a person of porcelain, a person of tin, a lollipop girl, a ginger general—all that was missing was a cowardly lion.” More info: Part One and Part Two.
Dmitry Yermolovich, Professor of Translation at Moscow State Linguistic University and a fine illustrator as well, has previously published Wonderland, Looking-Glass, and The Snark in bilingual editions, which he discussed in “As You Translate, So Shall You Draw” in KL 97:11-22, and “Drawing the Looking-Glass Country” in KL 99:11-15. This new hardcover collection, Все шедевры (All the Masterpieces), contains those three books, 32 of his color plates, “Phantasmagoria” (in a new translation), “The Three Voices,” “The Lang Coortin’,” “Hiawatha’s Photographing,” “The Mad Gardener’s Song,” and Carroll’s limericks, all annotated. The book is entirely in Russian.
His website (in Russian) is here, and you can order directly from the publisher on eBay for only $27 including free shipping!
Chilean-born global citizen Max Sir is an artist, painter, playwright, theater director, actor, writer, and photographer who has exhibited in New York, Moscow, Berlin, Costa Rica, Washington DC, London, Athens, Paris, and Prague, among other cities. The world of Alice is a crucial part of his oeuvre. His Alicia comprises a theatrical piece (scroll down halfway), a series of 144 paintings, fine art prints, and a forthcoming graphic novel, art book, and clothing line. The play was conceived, directed, and co-written (with Natalia Miranda Guzman) by Max, and had its world premiere in 2017 at Teatro Espressivo in Costa Rica. The paintings (in various configurations) can currently be seen in London at Chilean Embassy and the Parallax Art Fair, after touring Europe (Berlin, Prague, Athens, Paris, and London). Some of them will be shown at Comic Con Ukraine in Kiev in September.
Currentmembers of any active Lewis Carroll Society (North America, the UK, Japan, Brazil, the Netherlands) are invited to purchase one of his limited-edition fine art prints (example at right) at a heartily discounted price, as his way of opening the door to the Carrollian universe. The password is “specialedition”.