055 Walk a little fasterShall we try another figure of the Lobster-Quadrille?

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State of the Project Update

It has been just about exactly a year since I last updated this blog, and about 9 months since I worked on Chapter X of Project Carroll.

I will be honest: my enthusiasm for the project dwindled significantly starting in October 2013, and went downhill since. In fact, this is the last thing I drew for the Chapter:

069 turn not pal

That gives you a sense of how little I wanted to work on it. I like how the snail turned out, to be fair, but…compared to my efforts on other poems like “You Are Old Father William,” this isn’t good enough, and I haven’t had the motivation to make it good enough.

The truth is that Project Carroll is high-work, and low-reward, and became eclipsed by another project of mine: Relics of Hyrule, a mod for Skyrim, which was a year old in August. The two overlapped for a while, but as my life became more stressful because of college and frankly not knowing what the heck I was doing with my life, Project Carroll became a burden rather than a source of pleasure. After working for hours at coursework I didn’t care about for a degree I wasn’t sure I wanted, coming home and meticulously moving pixels around wasn’t appealing. Relics of Hyrule had a fast turn-around. I could make something for it, and see it quickly in Skyrim, and then update the mod and quickly see players’ responses. It was more free than Project Carroll, and was easier to make something I was proud of. Relics of Hyrule helped me work through my stress and depression, for lack of a better term, and after finally graduating, I’m now working in a job I love, doing things I enjoy doing.

I’m approaching a major update for Relics of Hyrule and plan to take a break from it, or at least update it less frequently with smaller bits of content.

That said, I’ve been having the itch to finish Chapter X, and move on to Chapters XI and XII, some of the most entertaining parts of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Every few weeks I think about “The Willow-Tree” and how much I want to read it for Project Carroll. Once in a while I practice my Alice voice, and come up with voices for not-yet-introduced characters. I’ve been getting excited about how I can breathe new life into the Project for myself, like streamlining the “animation” process. For instance, having full poses of Alice ready to be put in place if she is doing something she does a lot, like stand still, walk, or sit. That way, I would only have to use the “paper doll” approach for more specific poses.

Project Carroll is 4 years old today, Lewis Carroll’s birthday (I wrote this post on January 27th), so it felt fitting to give a State of the Project update. I needed some time to re-evaluate it, and I hope to have more stuff out to you in the coming months.

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50th Illustration for Chapter X!

50th Illustration for Chapter X!

I’ve completed 50 illustrations for Chapter X. This one is the first Tenniel echo of the Chapter. It also shows the evolution of Alice’s design, if you compare her to the illustrations from Chapter I in my last post. Her features are smaller and her expressions more subtle. Her hair has also been redrawn since Chapter I to be less big, with more of it covering her forehead. Her arms are also smaller and more consistent, as well as being generally more relaxed in pose.

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In Honor of Lewis Carroll’s Birthday!

I’m going to run through some behind the scenes easter egg tidbits on Chapter I of Project Carroll! This was supposed to be posted on the Project Carroll blog first, but I done goofed!

ImageThe White Rabbit’s appearance is actually based on Max of Sam & Max, and his watch is telling the time 4:10, which of course means the hands are pointing to 4 and 2, respectively. In the original illustration, which this echoes (I make a point of re-creating every John Tenniel illustration when I get to them in a Chapter), the time is 6:50 or 7:50…ca’n’t really tell. But I couldn’t miss up a 42 opportunity.

ImageAlice’s fall down the Rabbit-Hole is filled with easter eggs. The first being two books called “Sylvie” and “Bruno.” I made Alice fall upside down for comedic effect and to solve the “what about her skirt?” problem. Falling upside down fits well with the nature of the book, anyhow.

ImageAlice passes by one of Lewis Carroll’s own photographs, as well as a blank piece of parchment. There’s a book called “Snark” here, too. That parchment is actually a reference to the map in the Hunting of the Snark, which is blank.

ImageLewis Carroll’s photograph of Alice Liddell at an early age is featured here, as well as a tea set. The wedding cake has no significance. I just sort of put it there.


Alice passes by Lewis Carroll’s final photograph of Alice Liddell, taken when she was a teenager and after their friendship had faded.

ImageOther than the chessboard, there’s nothing to see here. This is just one of my favorite moments in the story, when Alice puts the marmalade jar in another cupboard. It made me laugh out loud when I first read the book!


The black and red books are actually the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer, with the white parts removed. They’re in here because the physical books themselves are beautiful, but the stories contained within belong in a hole.


Alice passes by Lewis Carroll’s photograph of Alfred, Lord Tennyson, one of his idols and inspirations.



One of Lewis Carroll’s self-portraits appears on the 42nd illustration of the Chapter, with two books before it: “Phantas” and “Magoria”

ImageMostly because I got sick of drawing bookshelves, Alice passes by one last shelf before dreaming about Dinah and landing. This shelf contains all of my Alice memorabilia when I made Chapter I. The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll, Norton M. Cohen’s biography of Lewis Carroll, Anne Clark’s biography, my copy of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, Linda Goodman’s Sun Signs, which uses Lewis Carroll quotes to start and end sections, two card tins and round tins I bought from the Lewis Carroll Society during an auction. On the bottom shelf is a Mad Hatter doll from Tim Burton’s “adaptation”, as well as a DVD of that “adaptation.” Next to them are a Hatter doll and an Alice doll.

ImageAnd that’s it! I leave you with another Tenniel echo, and the assurance that Chapter X will happen…eventually.


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More Chapter X progress

I finally started working on the illustrations for Chapter X – The Lobster-Quadrille.

It took so long to get this chapter going because quite frankly college was ruining my life, mainly by sapping my energy. Chapter IX was a lot of work and sort of put me off the project for a bit, which is frustrating.

Therefore, in the name of goodness and sanity, I’m going to cut a lot of corners starting with Chapter X. I’m going to try to have fewer illustrations, for one, and I’m not going to try to set a deadline. Since I hate them anyway.

Lewis Carroll’s birthday is tomorrow, and I’m searching through the Complete Works of Lewis Carroll for a poem to read for it, for I wo’n’t have Chapter X done by then.

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Chapter X progress

I have edited the audio for Chapter X – The Lobster-Quadrille.

It’s about 14 minutes long. I hope to have the Chapter done by Lewis Carroll’s birthday.

Also, you will find that the Project Carroll Mock-Turtle ca’n’t hold a tune. I will make sure Alice’s face reflects that.

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Chapter IX complete!


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