Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Today's Cul de Sac from Two Days Ago, January 22 2012

My original plan was to have a week of Mom reading Lewis Carroll to Alice, with Alice responding in various annoying ways. Like here, where she's fixating on some pointless digression because that's what four-year-olds often do.

I don't remember why but the week got boiled down to a Sunday. It's an excuse to try drawing like the formidable John Tenniel, whose definitive Alice illustrations show Wonderland in careful, other-worldly detail and solidity. Which was a stupid thing to do, as I discovered after fussing with the counterfeit Tenniels and using up half a bottle of ProWhite on Alice alone. I meant to save the roughs for this and post them. They were nice and loose and got a semi-Tennielly effect in a few quick lines without any worrying but I must have chucked them.

Millions of illustrators have taken a shot at illustrating Carrol's Alice. His characters and situations exert a powerful visual fascination; you want to draw a croquet game with flamingo mallets just to see what it'd look like. For me, of all the other artists who've tried, only a two have brought something worthwhile to putting Wonderland on paper- Ralph Steadman and Deloss McGraw. But neither is likely to unseat Tenniel as Court Painter to the White Queen.


Neat Man said...

I love Ralph Steadman's "Alice" work. I wish Ralph would return to this approach. His current work lacks that loverly tension that exists by juxtaposing the technical detail and the serendipitous splats.

Mike said...

I adored this strip (and featured it at comicstripoftheday.com) simply because of the way you drew Tenniel without abandoning Thompson. You were absolutely in the zone with this one.