Today marks 20 years of collecting Alice in Wonderland...something that I cannot even believe myself. Twenty years ago today I went to the Mouse Club Disneyana show in Anaheim and made the conscious decision to focus only on Alice in Wonderland in my Disney collecting; something that up until that day I had not done. I was 24 years old, and had just landed my first 'real' job out of college, having just accepted a position with a small defense contractor in Torrance, CA.
I originally started out as a comic book collector, and since I briefly held a job at a comic book distribution company in Southern California (from the time I graduated college until the 'real' job came along), I had access to lots of comics. I amassed quite a large collection of Disney comics, and occasionally would come across other Disney items from people selling comics to the distribution company. As the company was only interested in comics, I would buy these other items if they appealed to me.
I guess you could say that my first Alice item was the Four Color #331, since that was a comic book that I had acquired during my time at the comic book company. At the time I was collecting all movie adaptations, and had a complete set save for one issue.
Or perhaps the one-sheet poster, which I acquired from someone in the scenario mentioned above. My intention at the time was to get the one-sheet from every animated feature, something I abandoned rather quickly once I saw what a Snow White one-sheet was going for.
But what I consider my first Alice item is this drawing, which I purchased at the Mouse Club show.
I love this drawing, in spite of, and really because of, its 'faults'. I particularly like the expression on Alice's face. This is from the scene where Alice is interacting with the Queen for first time, and has just finished curtsying to her.
The story of its purchase has remained with me to this day. I remember the dealer I purchased it from, well-known in the SoCal animation circles. He had it on his table in a binder with a lot of other drawings, and people were lined up several deep in front of his table. When I made it to the front, I found this drawing and asked how much, he said "$50", and I said "I'll take it", not believing my luck at finding such an inexpensive animation drawing. And then, behind me, I distinctly heard someone say "Shit!"
And the rest is history...