Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Artifact-tales of an Antiquarian-Alice

Indulging my love of the late 1800's to early 1900's period,as seen through the sepia woodcuts of the penny dreadful's, mixed with a certain amount of Steampunk, and the literary works of Dickens, Barrie and Poe, The Victorian Gothic series ran briefly between 2004 and 2005.
Predating Tim Burton's Sweeney Todd and his forthcoming Alice film, I was obviously honing my antenna into what was only an underground zeitgeist of the time, as well as dipping my toe into more commercial territory in the vainglorious hope that I could capture the elitist myopic attentions of Spectrum or Dark Horse et al.
'Whatever Happened to Alice'-played somewhat with the enigmatic movie title-'Whatever happened to Baby Jane', and re imagined the protagonist a few years post the J.M.Barrie books, I took Alice from Wonderland and incarcerated her in the gothic avatar of Victorian malady-the insane asylum. My vision was quite cinematographic, since I cast Kirsten Dunst as Alice, hence the resemblance to the actress. Viewed as if looking through the gated letterbox of one supposes is an iron door, the light that falls across her face is like a mask from the outside world, revealing her inner world in the darkness.

In my inner circle, it was a popular piece at the time, to the point that I unsuccessfully tried to revisit the theme, with Alice on the Mad Hatters teaparty table, electrodes pinned to her head.

With Tim Burton taking on the mantle with his own dystopian version next year, it's a shame that my rendering never garnered anything further than a hasty sale on Ebay, as I think its a particularly strong illustrative piece, that should have secured me the occasional token tossed bone of a living from the pantheon of publishers out there.

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