Let’s face it, Christmas is mad, madder than the maddest thing. Millions of people work themselves up into a frenzy doing the the strangest things, from the hunting of the turkey (or in my case the non horrible nut roast) through to the coating of everything with glitter, baubles and lights. What I have to do is even madder, utter nonsense in fact, drawing images to be used as Christmas cards during an Indian summer as the sun shines and I cover my head so it doesn’t burn. The conventions of Christmas cards, are strange. Take snow for example, when did it properly snow at Christmas? I honestly cannot remember and yes there I go drawing snowy wintery scenes that never ever happen.
When I drew my set of Alice illustrations for my Dweeblings in Wonderland show a few years back, madness was an ever present factor in my life, I guess that is why I have always had such an affinity with the book. I tried to incorporate all the elements of madness in my drawings then, homelessness, exploitation, falling through the gaps in society. These elements are even more pronounced at this time of year and as the cold begins to bite and the disparities between rich and poor, sane and mad become more obvious.
The real irony for me is that Christmas sends me scurrying away for cover like the cards from the queen of hearts, looking for somewhere to hide until the whole thing goes away. It’s never been a good time of year for me, new year neither and I never really recover until March. But for those who can embrace the madness and throw themselves wholeheartedly into it there is fun to be had I’m sure, if you like that sort of thing.
I think this is my third set of Alice cards now, it’s becoming my own Christmas tradition now in a strange way, a tradition of drawing things that never happen with a different twist I guess that is what Christmas really is, traditions, and mad ones at that.