The next two illustrations have heavy elements of Japanese influence. When re-reading Alice I spotted that the painting the roses red scene, revolved around a sequence 0f 3 numbered hearts cards. This stirred up a buried memory of the origins of the Yakusa, the Japanese Mafia, who got their named from the worst possible hand in the Japanese card game oicho-kabu, 8 yattsu or ya, 9 kokonotsu or ku and 3 mittsu or san, shortened to ya-ku-sa. I took the liberty of swapping the 3 cards mention in the book for this much less reputable crew, putting them in sharp suits that cover their all over body tattoos, the ubiquitous hoodlums shades and the final detail, lopping off a few fingers, the traditional Yakusa punishments for failing a task.
One of my classic Dweebling characters makes a cameo appearance in the next drawing as the king of hearts, the Magical Mystical Dweebling, seeing as his outfit is a massive rip off of that of a shinto priest to complement the Queen of Hearts who I intended as a cross between a Geisha and a Japanese princess.
The executioner carries on the theme with Samurai warrior’s armour comprised of many layers of the Ace of Spades, a nod to Vietnam death cards. The twisted calling cards used by U.S Military units in the Vietnam war. To lighten the mood a little I hung a prop department label on his sword, a nod to the Spike Milligan “Q” show, on which Spike refused to remove the storage labels for any of the shows costumes. I figured all that death needed a bit of levity with it.