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. Current members 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”.
On July 7, a segment of The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan, a British television show hosted by the eponymous comedian/actor, featured the work of micro-miniaturist sculptor Willard Wigan, who first came to our attention in 2016 when he made the news by accidentally inhaling Alice as he was making his Tea-Party. Read about it in the Daily News, the Telegraph, or watch Wigan’s TED talk.
Maggie Taylor’s superb photocollages illuminating Looking-Glass are now available for purchase in both deluxe and trade editions. See prior post for details.
Humboldt County, part of California’s “Emerald Triangle,” so called as it’s the largest (legal!) cannabis-producing region in the U.S., has adopted Our Girl in a series of posters and TV commercials boosting tourism under the rubric of “Follow the Magic.” Well, it involves a blonde girl (probably in her twenties) in a blue dress inveigling us to “Follow me!”, possible references (“Have a cookie!”), and sometimes a stylized White Rabbit in the print ads.
Gennady Kalinovsky (1929–2006) was one of Russia’s most famous illustrators, with an oeuvre of ninety books. However, his great obsession was with Lewis Carroll’s two Alice books, even though it was politically impossible to publish them until he was sixty. The fine folks at Artist’s Choice Editions have now produced lovely editions of both books. Alice in Wonderland combines Kalinovsky’s b/w edition of 1979 with his colored edition of 1988 [168 pp, casebound continental style, 140 numbered copies, £76.00]. Through the Looking-Glass reprints his surreal b/w edition of 1992 [168 pp, casebound continental style, 120 numbered copies, £76.00]. Also a Special Edition gives you both books, both quarter- leather bound, continental style, and includes a numbered giclée print from each of the three editions, contained in a folder decorated with a printed rebus by Kalinovsky, all in a solander box with a specially printed cover. There are 46 numbered Special Editions available, £385.00. Click here.
In Adventures in Beauty Wonderland, Japanese pop surrealist Keiichi Tanaami crafts a 4:39-long psychedelic anime “inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, unveiling an underworld of kaleidoscopic cosmetics.” You can also “Enter wonDiorland with new Dior Addict fragrance fashion film starring Russian model Sasha Luss.” The new perfume is promoted as “a journey into fantasy world, an initiation to sensations and utter freedom. Filmmaker Harmony Korine and photographer Ryan McGinley have portrayed an Alice in Perfumeland – a free & sexy heroine with adventurous nature.” In fact, she enters “WonDiorLand” through a looking-glass, but that’s a minor quibble.