Wednesday, March 03, 2010


A Week of Alice: Camille Rose Garcia

Alie's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll

Illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia

This purpleish edition illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia is full of little details like decorated endpapers, small illustrations tucked in margins, and fanciful initial letters in each chapter. The illustrations are printed in colour so bold as to at times flirt with the garish, while the pages are an offwhite, with small, neat type. On the whole, the design is very nicely done, though my own preference is for matte pages over glossy (it's a personal thing, really). I especially like the 1920s-style font on the title page, which lends it the suggestion of an absinthe-fueled fantasia. Clever touch!

As to the illustrations? Garcia's style is interesting, and different than a typical portrayal of Alice, for certain. She is older, and sports a look featuring thin eyebrows and long, spidery lashes reminiscent of Theda Bara at her vampiest. Indeed, the overall of the illustrations is like that - a sort of older, gothic, yet playful mood that even seems to feel the influence of the surrealists, which fully works for Wonderland, where it makes the creepy creepier, the sad sadder, and the mean meaner with their black-rimmed eyes, downturned mouths, and much purple dripping going on throughout.

Between the feel of the illustrations and the tiny type, I would venture that this is not a book for a child, but would be fun for an adult with a taste for the offbeat and absolutely perfect for a teen, especially one who is inclined to the gothic anyhow. I mean, even Alice's hair-bow is oddly bat-like. How could you not give that to your dearest black-wearing darling?

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