When Alice in Wonderland was first published (written by Lewis Carroll,his real name was Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, but who could remember such a name?!) it received little, very little attention. Actually, the reviewers appreciated more the illustrations (by John Tenniel) than the story itself. That was 1866.
In the 146 years since its first publication, popular culture absorbed Alice and her trip in Wonderland to an extend Lewis Carroll could have never imagined. The story has been ‘branded’ and it is so much part of our visual culture, that it takes little effort to recognize it in certain clothes, jewelry, stickers and whatever other products took its face.
As for the book, it has been published and re-published so many times that no one could keep track of how many editions and how many faces Alice took over the years.
But how can this white and often blonde girl dressed in ribbons, drinking tea and following a white bunny appeal to all children? How can a mad hatter be an universal character? and that Cheshire cat?
For the aboriginal children from Australia, Alice has no ribbons and she doesn’t drink tea. She looks like this:
And she runs after a white kangaroo.
And she doesn’t have a Cheshire cat.
For the African children, I imagine you’re guessing, ribbons and tea might not be particularly illustrative.
So their Alice is black. And her adventures are not in Wonderland but in Africa. Illustrated by Erin Taylor.
And there is no Mad Hatter but rather…
And the Queen looks like this and she has leopards running in the background:
Last, the Japanese (besides the endless Alice dresses, theme restaurants and never ending products) have the manga version: