Friday, June 3, 2011

Jabberwocky - Trying a Book Edition

I'm going to start working on a new book soon, and I've finally decided on the text it will be based on. I'm going to use Jabberwocky by Lewis Carroll. A little cliché, perhaps, but for good reason. I think the poem will work well because it's a good length (long enough for a decent size book, but short enough for a small project), and even though it's a nonsense poem, it still has a story to follow, which should allow me a huge amount of freedom when it comes to illustration. I can follow the story or invent whatever I want. I think I will focus of the letters themselves, because the poem features the bizarre words.

The main reason I'm starting this new project, and why it's taken me so long to figure out my newest project is because I want to make a printed edition. This will certainly be a bit of an experiment. Actually a big experiment. It's going to made with lino cuts, with the idea that if I make 20 books instead of just one the price will be 20 times less than a single handmade edition. And that could lead to one actually selling, which would be very welcome indeed! Of course I still need to buy an awful lot of paper and lino blocks to begin with, perhaps someone would like to pre-order one? Maybe I should start a support-an-artist fund? Send brushes!

A Few Influences:

This illustrated version is by Stephane Jorisch, who also did one of The Raven (great minds apparently think of the same authors).

Fantod Tarot Card Pack by Edward Gorey. I've always loved his drawings, there's something about the lines and stylization that I just can't resist. I got this set of tarot cards a few months ago and have yet to figure out how to display them, so I just pull them out once in a while to look at them and read the funny book that goes with it. I think the stark figures on a plain background may be the way make their way into my book.

I definitely want the words to be a little random and twist and turn all over the place. This is a lino cut of Amsterdam by Mark Andrew Webber. His work is incredibly cool, take a look at

Things I Don't Want:
I like the reproductions of the original illustrations that are all over etsy, especially the ones done on old pages of books, but I don't want my book to be one of a thousand copies.

And while I think this is beautifully illustrated I really dislike it that the poem itself is printed and not drawn. If you're going to put that much work into something, finish it!


  1. This looks like it is going to be awesome J!! Can't wait to see pictures as you begin it!

  2. Caryn! Now I'm excited to show you. Send ideas.