Tuesday, 14 July 2015


Today, I will be celebrating my birthday by attending the private view of Alice in Cartoonland, an exhibition that I have curated for The Cartoon Museum in London.

Marking the 150th anniversary of the first publication of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the exhibition celebrates a century and a half of cartoonists, caricaturists, comic-book artists, graphic novelists and animators heading off down the rabbit hole in pursuit of Alice and her dream companions.

To mark this event, I am posting some Alice cartoons that are NOT in the exhibition! They were made, back in 1967, by the 17-year old Sibley and were very much a response to Jonathan Miller's iconoclastic TV production of Alice in Wonderland in which all the animals were portrayed (by a very starry cast) as bad-tempered, bad-mannered Victorian uncles and aunts.

Miller's version made a huge impact on my younger self (already a confirmed Alice-lover): I wrote a school play giving the same treatment to A A Mile's Winnie-the-Pooh and embarked on an attempt to create my own illustrated edition of Wonderland – in which enterprise I was largely inspired (often far too closely) by my two cartoon heroes: Ralph Steadman and Trog.

Anyway here they are! Some are self-explanatory, others require a knowledge of Who Was Who in the '60s, hence the occasional notes...

Father William: the Catholic Church; the Young Man: Mick Jagger or similar

The Duchess: a direct steal from Miller's Nanny-Duchess (played in the film by Leo McKern)

Cheshire Cat: Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Ramsey

The Hatter: no one particular, but seems to be the Caterpillar in a new guise!

The March Hare: John Lennon; the Dormouse: Labour Prime Minister, Harold Wilson

 The Queen of Hearts: no specific influence by a good deal of actress Peggy Mount

The Executioner: Journalist, Punch Editor and TV pundit, Malcolm Muggeridge 

 The Gryphon: Philosopher, Bertrand Russell

The Mock Turtle: Journalist and TV personality, Gilbert Harding

Now off to look at some really good cartoons...


Sheila said...

What a great collection! Well done, (still) young Brian.

Roger O B... said...

I see you included a label off Holloway's Ointment! It may have indirectly funded the last 17 years of my pre-retirement employment but I have to reveal that when tested by his eponymous college after his death it was found (and the same was true for his pills) to contain no active ingredients! Have a good night, looking forward to seeing the exhibition tomorrow.

Michael G. said...

Masterpieces All! Sir John Tensile has nothing on you!