Archive for August, 2009

I’m better than John Tenniel

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Today’s comic (August 10) is a victory for me over deceased 19th century British caricaturist John Tenniel.  Tenniel is most famous for his illustrations in Lewis Carroll’s Alice stories.

In looking on my victory, it feels hollow.  Its not entirely fair to have a contest with a man who’s been dead nearly a century.

In any case, today’s comic references a famous lost Alice story.  The legend goes like this:  In the lead up to his publication of Through the Looking Glass Tenniel sent Carroll a letter regarding the chapter “Wasp in a Wig.”  Tenniel said that drawing a wasp in a wig was “artistically impossible” and that the chapter didn’t “interest [him] in the slightest.”

So, with the deadline for the book coming up, Carroll scrapped it, locked it away in a secret vault in the darkest parts of British East Africa, protected by numerous jungles, beasts, and a chap named “Jabber” MacBarcobb.

Needless to say, the story of the wasp was thought to be a myth and that anyone who sought it out was destined for a slow death in the belly of the Jabberwocky.  That is…until 1974.

Yes, 1974, an eventful year.  Nixon resigned, the “Rumble in the Jungle” between Foreman and Ali took place, ABBA won Eurovision, and the “Wasp” flew again!

And so, to you, my beloved twenty-or-so readers, I have bested Mr Tenniel!  Only 138 years later, the Wasp and his wig has been ILLUSTRATED.

Below the cut is the missing chapter.