Fuse #8

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Wonderland Gothic

There's something about Alice that just brings out the worst in people. If Lewis Carroll's whimsy isn't being broken on a rack of inarticulate violence (as in The Looking Glass Wars) then someone's gone 180 degrees in the opposite direction and created something like this.

From a design standpoint, the Wonderlost images are not bad. They're really rather pretty. But it's impossible to look at them and not realize that somewhere they're undoubtedly being worshipped and adored by 16-year-old wannabe Goth girls with posters of Emily the Strange on their bedroom walls and copies of Edward Scissorhands DVDs watched and rewatched so often they're scratched beyond all repair.

And yes. I was one of those girls. Sans the ability to look Goth, of course.


At 2:51 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this up. I'm so sick of people, particularly illustrators, churning out endless "new" interpretations of Alice as twisted dystopian gore-fest, or pot-smoking psychedelia, or sexual allegory. Though, I have to say, as dystopian visions go, I like Chris Appelhans':


And I really hate the way these people all seem to think they're forging into some edgy new territory with their work. Like we all haven't been able to buy warped Wonderland T-shirts at Hot Topic since 1989.
Side note: there also seems to be a cottage industry of illustrators who make gun-toting versions of the Wizard of OZ; with grim, La Femme Nikitaesque Dorothys, heartless tin cyborg killing machines, Batman-villain-style Scarecrows, and, well, lions.

At 4:29 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

Oh, sweet mother of God, I had repressed those Hot Topic Wonderland outfits somewhere in the darkest deepest crevices of my brain. I've seen the Oz stuff you've talked about too. It's not too suprising then that Alan Moore made "Lost Girls" with those characters. The only question is why we haven't seen the same twists on Peter Pan images. Just as iconic. Just as potentially weird.

At 7:24 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, and Pan actually IS partially an allegory for growing up, willfully leaving childhood behind, etc. I can't believe I haven't run across any smutty illustrations of it.
Speaking of Lost Girls: I haven't read it, but I'm sure I will eventually. If anyone can do the Alice-as-sexual-escapade thing well, it's probably Moore. I'm worried my first post gave the impression I was against this book as well. I was speaking more about illustrations that simply recast Alice as hot nineteen-year-old, probably still wearing the same size dress she wore at age nine.

At 10:05 PM , Blogger fusenumber8 said...

No need to apologize since I am wholly and completely on your side. I love me my Alice, but could we PLEASE stop covering her in blood? Please?

At 5:39 PM , Blogger Little Willow said...

Oh, Alice, you really needn't be bloody. Meanwhile, the red eyes on the White Rabbit make me think of Bunnicula.

At 1:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

You think that's bad? Check out my twisted little Alice thingo:



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