The first edition of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson’s 1865 novel (writing under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll) Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was illustrated by John Tenniel, an artist with an early start in oil painting and high art before evolving as a humorist and social cartoonist. Alongside his fifty-plus year career as political satirist for Britain’s Punch Magazine, his other major artistic achievement is handling the illustrations for Carroll’s ‘Alice’ novels — as influential to the craft of design and illustration as Carroll’s words were to the art of the narrative.
Tenniel’s touch is staunch yet carefree — he abides the cues of the text, those twists of the illogic and makes them logical. For his take on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, English illustrator Jonathan Burton follows suit, giving us Carroll’s topsy-turvy dose of delicious fiction a realist take. Burton takes a wonderful approach to the mock seriousness of the Mad Hatter and Queen of Hearts and Alice’s absolute confusion at her own predicament. Like Tenniel, Burton is a fantasist at heart, his skill at bringing the whimsical and the deliberately insane a sophisticated touch is common protocol.
With Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Burton, teaming up with Mad Duck Posters, continues his string of incredible prints that include other English classics like 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea,Dracula, Frankenstein, and the first Conan Doyle Sherlock Holmes’ novel A Study in Scarlet.