Lost Alice after nine months is finished.
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, probably one of the most imaginatively creative popular books of our time celebrated its 150th anniversary this year, a cornerstone of children's literature and the inspiration for a thousand more it has no equal. A book full of humour, puzzling situations, lateral thinking, mathematics and wordplay enshrined in a wondrous world of surrealism and symbolism alike.
Last November I sat with my sketchpad trying to work out the details to what would have been the third Lost Impossimal collection - Revelation, the continuing story of murder and mystery spanning hundreds of years but my mind wandered. Idly I sketched out a Lost Impossimal divided between two worlds, Impossimal in looks but merged with Victorian imagery inspired by Punch annuals from 1899. What I should have created was a young Victorian girl wearing two types of clothing reflecting both sides of Victorian society, she was to be in a scene with one of my new characters centred around Spring Heeled Jack; a spark spitting, high jumping, red eyed creation from Victorian folklore.
Instead I had created Alice, not as we know her but rather as parts of Alice pulled together from other sources; almost an amalgamation of minds, a gathering of cherished stories, it all felt strangely familiar. It made me think; what if all creators of popular children's fiction share one thing , what if Roald Dahl, L. Frank Baum, Norton Juster, Dr Seuss and a multitude of others had all mentally visited the same place in one form or another, a collective state of mind that goes one step beyond a dream.
What if that place was real and always there it's just we lose the way to find it.
What if we could find a way back, what would we find now it's been abandoned for all these years.
What if it was called Wonderland?
What if I could show you the way?
Wonderland needs you; Alice is not herself, in fact she's 'everyoneself' as the Hatter calls it and it's all got very confusing now several new doors have appeared.
For doors need keys and keys need locks,
several contain the Jabberwocks,
whilst others open to a different land,
one is never sure who you will be,
when Alice turns out to be all three.