‘The Wonderland Alphabet: Alice’s Adventures Through the ABC’s and What She Found There’ is a new, beautiful, hard back book released by Archaia. Sequentail Tart’s Sheena McNiel interviews Alethea Kontis and Janet K. Lee on their story behind ‘The Wonderland Alphabet’.
I’m a huge fan of Lewis Carroll’s works, and I especially like seeing well-done works inspired by his stories. This book of ABCs combines Alethea Kontis’s whimsical poetry and Janet K. Lee’s unique art. Upon reading it, I knew I wanted to find out more about the creative process behind such a great collaboration.
Sequential Tart:How did you two end up working on this book together?
Alethea Kontis: In 1998, I moved to Tennessee from South Carolina. A couple years later, I got a job at a major book wholesaler and made a bunch of new friends there — including Janet K. Lee, a similarly creative workaholic who attended a lot of the same SF conventions I did. Janet and I were always bouncing ideas off each other and challenging ourselves. Collaborate on a story about a mad scientist garden gnome? Sure. Decorate our cubicles for Christmas in the style of Adam Rex’s Frankenstein Makes a Sandwich? Bring it, sister. Create an alphabet based in Carroll’s Wonderland? Absolutely.
Janet K. Lee: Working on Return of the Dapper Men had put me seriously behind in preparing for a gallery show called “ProtoPulp: Classic Books of the Future,” and I only had a couple of weeks to create my pieces. Thankfully, I had Alethea! I told her about “Wonderland,” and she came back with amazing and inspiring lists and verses. It’s a good thing to have friends who write children’s books!