Probabaly more than any other 19th centuy writer, Carroll used ilustrations (and thus his illustrators to define. expand and even subvert the written text. He was not alone in this - Dickens and Thackeray for example used illustration as plot line and to get around the constraints of 'Mrs gundy'. However Carroll suprememly understood the linguistics of illustration and, where possible, used them to the full. This is most apparent in the Alice books and Snark - least asppaent and successful in S$B (Furniss was not a happy choice as illustrator!).
So, what I find intriguing when lookibg at illustrations of Carroll's work how how clearly the illustrator understood the linguistic importance of the illustration/text relationship in his work.
Many illustrators attempt to turn the Alice Books into merely child entertainments - especially those illustators practising in the 20 or so years after Carroll's death. These are the illustrators I am least intrigued with.
I think it has to be considered that illustrations are central to Carroll's writing (what's the good of words without pictures!). So what I am looking for are the different ways that illustrations impact on the meaning of the text. I enjoyed, for example, Steadman's illustrations - purely because you could argue with them! Peake's illustrations of the Snark are fascinating and, to me, underline Carroll's use of myth and mysticism.
So I look for illustrations that challenge the text and, perhaps, even challenge the way Carroll used his illustrators to enable the reader to see his works in a new light.
This thread is pure catnip for me … there's just too many Alice illustrators, the site you mentioned is fascinating, thanks!
For the Snark, though … it's Peake for me, and there's another one, Doug Howick sent me some material on him, a John V. Lord, his illos seem unusually locked into the subtext. And also, Max Ernt's illos, though a bit off-hand, do justice to the text.
The Snark is a good case-study for the visual/textual principles that you're espousing, the text is so rich and also universal, it furnishes a perfect springboard for a wide variety of visual approaches. It's one of those works which is instantly archetypical but in a completely intellectual manner. The Snark is Mannerism Nonsense, perhaps?
If we continue in this vein, maybe we should move to the Snark forum, it feels so lonely there …
I love the rich muted colors and quirkiness of Rackham, though I never think his Alice looks anything like, well... Alice. Ideally I'd combine his richness of color and general soft strangeness with Tenniel''s Alice and have something like my ideal.
Sixties hippy is a good terminology. She certainly looks anorexic and not cute and Alicey at all! Though I guess the Tenniel Alice isn't that cute. But she works, doesn't she. She looks like such a bossy, smug little minx.
I also love Rackham dearly but his Alice was a bit disengaged …
this will interest all Alice fans … an artist, Su Blackwell, is creating some very complex and delicate Alice illustrations, she calls them book-cut sculptures, strongly recommended, start here and scroll down to the "tea Party" and TTLG: