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Jabberwocky

Published 1975. This was the 2nd edition.

The first edition was 1000 signed and numbered copies, which the printer delivered in sheets which I collated, folded and sewed together myself to save money. One of the slimmest books you’ll ever see, it was just 12 pages long with no title page.

I was surprised to find myself selling the whole first edition just about as fast as I could sew it. So for this second edition I felt brave enough to pay the printer to collate and saddle-stitch. And I added a title page.

Jabberwocky: Lewis Carroll’s poem

The front and back cover spread is, loosely, a mirror image – including the creature itself. It is even a mirror image vertically: ie the branches above reflect the shape of the Jabberwock. I was clearly a bit over-conscious of that sort of thing …though I felt at the time the logician Carroll might have approved.

Nowadays I am more impressed by the title lettering. It is letraset (dry transfer, which was all we had available in those days) which I have worked on with scalpel and rapidograph to create the burbling effect. Took a while, I seem to remember.

Mimsy borogoves. In 1975, a lot of my friends spent much of their time in this sort of state.

Lewis Carroll’s work is a rich source of parody for many illustrators and cartoonists, and I for one often found reason for referencing Tenniel’s famous Alice illustrations. Roger Woddis

Many years later in 2017 I revisited Jabberwocky when I took up the annual Inktober challenge which required daily postings of ink drawings throughout October. It seemed obvious that Brexit was a quintessentially Carrollian subject, and it worked out well enough to deserve a second outing as my 2018 calendar. Brexitwocky: see a few images from it here.