7 Mad Hatter Day Must-Haves

Mad Hatter Day is officially upon us! October 6th is the day dedicated to our most favorite milliner. In a world often bound by conventions and expectations, the Mad Hatter represents the freedom to be authentically and outrageously oneself. People yearn to don his oversized hat and mismatched attire, to dance a frenetic futterwacken, and to engage in absurd conversations that defy logic and reason. His tea parties, marked by their perpetual chaos and whimsy, beckon us to release our inner eccentricities and celebrate the kaleidoscope of our individuality.

Moreover, the Mad Hatter teaches us the value of embracing the present moment, no matter how bewildering or absurd it may seem. He reminds us that life’s journey should be a delightful, unpredictable adventure filled with laughter and imagination.

Celebrate Mad Hatter Day by inviting the Hatter’s spirit into your life through whimsical purchases that echo his eccentricity. These fun and exciting purchases not only commemorate the day but also remind you to embrace creativity, individuality, and the delightful madness of life. It’s a whimsical journey that lets you channel the Hatter’s charm, sparking imagination and a touch of Wonderland in your everyday adventures.


A black t-shirt with a cartoon character mad hatter from Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This is an extra-spooky black and white cartoon version, with a black and white spiral background that is hypnotizing. The text at the bottom reads: "Mad as a Hatter".

Purchasing a spooky Mad as a Hatter Tee for Mad Hatter Day is a brilliant fusion of whimsy and Halloween spirit. This unique tee allows you to blend the eccentricity of the Mad Hatter with the spooky ambiance of October. It’s the perfect way to celebrate both occasions, adding a touch of Wonderland madness to your Halloween festivities.

The tee becomes a conversation starter and a statement of individuality, making you stand out in the sea of traditional Halloween costumes. It’s a creative and fun way to embrace the whimsical side of life while embracing the spookiness of the season, truly making Mad Hatter Day memorable.


A collection of Hatter M graphic novels and books by Frank Beddor, with illustrations on each cover. The 6 books pictured are: "Far From Wonder", "Mad With Wonder", "The Nature of Wonder", "Zen of Wonder", "Love of Wonder", and "Seeking Wonder".

The Hatter M Graphic Novel Bundle, on sale for Hatter day, is an enticing gateway to a mesmerizing world of storytelling and visual artistry. This bundle immerses you in the captivating adventures of Hatter Madigan, expanding the truth behind Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland universe in beautifully illustrated detail. By purchasing it, you’re not just acquiring a set of graphic novels; you’re investing in a journey through the surreal and imaginative realm of The Looking Glass Wars carefully crafted by Frank Beddor.

You’ll traverse Wonderland’s enchanting landscapes, encounter whimsical characters, and delve into Hatter’s complex narrative. It’s an opportunity to relish the fusion of literature and art, all while enjoying a fantastic deal. Don’t miss out on this chance to own a piece of Wonderland’s magic.


A bookmark with a picture of Hatter Madigan, meditating in a zen-like state. A zen proverb on the bottom reads: "When you seek it, you cannot find it."

If you partake in the wild adventures of Hatter M. you are going to need this handy bookmark. Adorned with the iconic imagery of Hatter Madigan in his zen lotus pose, adds a touch of delightful eccentricity to your reading experience. It serves as a reminder to embrace creativity, imagination, and to relax your mind in your pursuits.

Whether you’re immersed in a gripping novel or exploring the depths of a philosophical text, this bookmark is a charming companion that encourages you to pause, reflect, and savor the present moment, just as Hatter Madigan would amidst the chaos of Wonderland. It’s not just a bookmark— it’s a piece of Wonderland magic in your hands!


A picture of Disney's Mad Tea Party board game with a box and a toy tea set. Featuring iconic imagery of Walt Disney's classic 1951 animated film: Alice in Wonderland.

Purchasing Disney’s Mad Tea Party Tabletop Game is like bringing a slice of Wonderland into your home. This board game combines the whimsy of Disney with the charm of Lewis Carroll’s creation. It offers a chance to immerse yourself in the fantastical world of the Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts, and Cheshire Cat.

With its intricate design, bright artwork, and gripping fast-paced gameplay, it provides hours of family-friendly entertainment. It encourages strategic thinking, fosters healthy competition, and sparks laughter as players navigate their way through the topsy-turvy. It’s a magical journey into the heart of Wonderland, perfect for Disney fans and board game enthusiasts alike.


A toy figurine by Funk Pop of the Mad Hatter from Disney's Alice in Wonderland, wearing a green jacket, pants, shoes and hat. The pop figure is standing outside of its box, holding an overflowing cup of tea.

Purchasing a Mad Hatter Funko Pop to celebrate Mad Hatter Day is a delightful choice for collectors and fans alike. This miniaturized, meticulously detailed figure captures the essence of the iconic character from Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. It serves as a quirky reminder of the spirit of eccentricity, imagination, and unbridled joy, which the Mad Hatter embodies.

Display it proudly, and let it become a conversation starter, inviting others to share in your appreciation for Wonderland’s madness. Plus, as a collectible item, it carries a certain charm and value that can grow over time. On a shelf with your collection, adorning a desk, or even treating the tea table – there’s nowhere this Funko wouldn’t be perfect.


A colorful ceramic container with a lid, made by Gracie Bone China. This one is covered in a multi-colored floral pattern and inspired by Lewis Carroll's Mad Hatter character from Alice in Wonderland. The perfect way to celebrate Mad Hatter Day, 2023.

What Hatter Day would be complete without tea time? And, what tea party is complete without sugar? This Mad Hatter Sugar Bowl from Gracie Bone China is essential, embodying the spirit of whimsy and tea-time merriment. It’s not just a functional item; it’s a symbol of camaraderie and eccentricity.

As you gather ’round for your own mad tea party, this sugar bowl becomes a centerpiece, invoking the enchanting chaos of Wonderland. It invites friends and family to join in the revelry, pouring sugar with abandon and stirring creativity with each spoonful. Crafted with exquisite bone china, its elegant and nuanced Mad Hatter design adds a touch of enchantment to teatime. It’s not just a sugar bowl; it’s a charming piece of functional art that elevates your tea experience.


A group of bottles of Mad Hatter Hot Sauce surrounding a bowl of chips. These are made by Mad Hatter Foods and feature the hot, sweet and spicy flavors of habanero peppers and pineapple for a deliciously deviant way to celebrate Mad Hatter Day.

Teatime may require some snacks – take a walk on the wild side, leave the tarty tarts behind and go for something a little more spicy! A bottle of Mad Hatter Hot Sauce is like adding a dash of Wonderland’s eccentricity to your culinary adventures. This “super-condiment” isn’t just any hot sauce; it’s a versatile flavor enhancer that transforms every meal into an unusual experience. Its universal appeal means it pairs seamlessly with a vast array of dishes, from steaks to pork, chicken to fish, and even eggs.

The Mad Hatter Hot Sauce isn’t just about heat; it’s about elevating your taste buds with a unique blend of flavors. Its zesty, tangy, and spicy profile adds depth to your meals, making them truly memorable. By adding Mad Hatter Hot Sauce to your Mad Hatter Day celebration, you’re not only embracing the spirit of whimsy but also elevating your culinary creations to an entirely new level. It’s a must-have condiment for the mad amongst us!

Hopefully, you found some exciting accessories for your Mad Hatter Day – and if you want more, be sure to check out the Hatter Day Sale on Frankbeddor.com!

Meet the Author:

After cutting her teeth in live sports television production and scripted independent features, Sarah transplanted from her native state of Indiana to LA where she earned her MFA from the American Film Institute Conservatory. She specializes in genre fusion storytelling, with an insatiable devotion to producing high-quality, character-driven sci-fi. She works at Automatic Pictures as Head of Development where she has continued to sharpen her eye for premium content creation.

All Things Alice: Interview with the Creative Team of Mad Hatter The Musical

As an amateur scholar and die-hard enthusiast of everything to do with Alice in Wonderland, I have launched a Podcast that takes on Alice’s everlasting influence on pop culture. As an author that draws on Lewis Carroll’s iconic masterpiece for my Looking Glass Wars universe, I’m well acquainted with the process of dipping into Wonderland for inspiration. The journey has brought me into contact with a fantastic community of artists and creators from all walks of life—and this podcast will be the platform where we come together to answer the fascinating question: “What is it about Alice?”

It is my great pleasure to have Vincent Conner, Michael J. Polo and Victor Valdez join me as my guests! Read on to explore part one of our conversation, and check out the whole series on your favorite podcasting platform to listen to the full interview. For the full transcript with exclusive content, join our private Circle community.


Gentlemen, welcome to the All Things Alice podcast. However, for today, I’m going to change it to “All Things Hatter” because we’re going to be talking about your very exciting musical, Mad Hatter: The Musical. I’m going to ask each of you to introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about what your role is in the musical. I’ll start with you, Vince.


I am the co-creator of Mad Hatter: The Musical. I am responsible for the book. I wrote the story and have been working, since 2018, on building the show. I was the original director of the piece at the London workshop and now I’m stepping into the role of the Mad Hatter in Montreal.


I’m the composer of Mad Hatter: The Musical. The thing I’m most proud of creatively is the synergy and the creative input that we all have in our collaboration more than anything.


I am a songwriter on the show and, as Mike said, once the boys got the show going and knew where the story was going, I inserted myself into the project. Their backgrounds are mostly in classical opera while I come from Latin America. I’m originally from Venezuela where I grew up singing pop ballads and that’s what I thrive on so I added that pop sensibility to their classical sensibilities, which is what makes the music very, very different and very, very cool. Also, I’m joining the cast in Montreal as one of the lead characters. Her name is Yola. I’m a Cheshire Cat, which is why my hair is kind of purple-pink right now.



Before we jump into the whole process, let’s give the listeners the elevator pitch.


I’ve always been fascinated with the character of the Mad Hatter. As time has evolved over the past 100 years, I think my fascination is also a joint fascination with other people. I’ve always gone down the rabbit hole myself of what his backstory was and so this is a story of a crippled man from boyhood who finds his way to Wonderland. In our post-COVID world, we have a lot of archetypes of Mental Health Awareness wrapped up in the musical and we tend to be in this place in history where we’re fascinated with this idea of the villain.

I didn’t want to make the Mad Hatter a villain, but we played with the idea of him being an antihero, making human mistakes, just as anybody would. Because hatters used mercury back in the Victorian period the Mad Hatter suffers from mercury poisoning, which is in large part why he has become mentally unstable. But there are many different levels of the story. You could take it from the fantasy of Wonderland versus the realism of a man going insane.


Does the musical go back and forth between our world and Wonderland?


Yeah, we go back and forth between the turn of the century London and Wonderland. Just as Lewis Carroll uses the rabbit hole, or the looking glass, as a way to travel to Wonderland, we use the Mad Hatter’s hat as a portkey.


That’s so clever. The hat makes perfect sense. So, what is your story behind the story? I’d also like to know how each of you became involved.


Vince and I started working together in 2016. Vince was the director, and I was a production coordinator and director, and producer on a show that we did together called Madame Butterfly. Then in 2018, Vince and I started working in Vienna, Austria. We were running education programs primarily in the opera sector, and we started to branch out. So, we went to London in 2018 in an effort to build a new program called the London Summer Music Theater Academy. We booked the theater, we booked the hotel, we booked the rehearsal space, and then we were looking for a show to do.

We were calling MTI looking for rights to do a show, and we couldn’t get granted anything, but we had booked everything in preparation for a 2019 production. We were on a bench in London, and he said to me, “I have a great idea.” And I said, “What’s that?” He goes, “Mad Hatter.” I said, “Mad Hatter, what?” He said, “We’re writing a musical.”

It became quite a journey, as we led into 2019 with the original production, which was very much a student-led workshop with a full ensemble, in a West End theater. It was not only a way for us to work creatively, but then after the production was done, we all said, “Wow, maybe we should pursue this even further.”

It, creatively, forced us to work on a way to identify that this story might actually have a tremendous impact, not only on the audiences that well-received it in London, but that it could potentially expand into other audiences and become a significant work that can compete with many other existing shows.



Can you walk us through the process? Why do musicals usually seem to take a very long time to come to fruition? What are all the factors that go into getting it ready to put on its feet?


Let’s first start with how our path is a little different than the normal path. One of the questions was, Why does it take so long to get to Broadway? Or why does it take so long to get to La Jolla? It can start in a few different ways. Traditionally, what happens is a producer who’s produced a musical before will cultivate a creative team. They’ll put together a book writer, and a composer that they like, and begin to generate a story. Over the next three to five years, they’re developing the story through table reads and workshops where they will begin to add equity actors and try to elevate the piece after each hearing and continue to grow it into a product that is then commercialized and sellable so the producer can raise the $20 million it takes to get to Broadway. That’s why it traditionally takes so long.

In this case, Mike and I have the study abroad programs in Vienna, which is an education program with the business model: If you want to be a classical musician, we’re going to bring you to one of the classical meccas, which is Vienna. It’s very similar to London if you want to study musical theater. We sensed this hole in education and we wanted to be at the forefront of changing that horizon and so we got this idea to write a musical and as producers we have already created a space for it.

So, we luckily have built the asset, so that now going forward, the London Musical Theatre Academy is going to be for new musicals where we’re actually developing new work right now aside from Mad Hatter. I think we’ve found a way to help musical theater, not only with our show but in general to bring awareness and to bring new projects to life.


What you’re saying is you’ve created an infrastructure as creatives, producers, and educators, which allows your musical, and hopefully other people’s musicals, to find their legs and be developed without the traditional process of the Broadway producer.


Actually, seeing the show, as a creator, was one of the first times in my life that I knew that I was a part of something bigger than myself. It was a very profound moment in my history as a creative. Since then, we’ve had a New York presentation, which is a very traditional step in development. That led us to now, our next step, which is going to be a full orchestra concert, where the music gets to be the hero, in Montreal next week. That is a non-traditional step. We did the industry presentation, and we did a workshop in a non-traditional way, but it’s all connected to the next step, which is really cool.



Your concert with a full orchestra, you said that’s unusual?


It’s unusual because there haven’t been many musicals that have been performed with a full orchestra. It’s typically after a show has been on Broadway for 20 to 30 years sometimes. It’s an honor, because Alexandre de Costa, fell in love with the score because of the pop sensibility mixed with this romantic classicism. Our music has a timeless quality that also feels very relevant to today but it also has a sense of nostalgia that translates really well to orchestral music. Oftentimes in my elevator pitch, I’ll say, “If Wicked and Sweeney Todd had a baby, that’s what Mad Hatter is.”


Let’s focus on the music because we’ve been talking a lot about the orchestral aspect of it but just give us some highlights of some of the different songs and what you’re excited for people to take away from this work.


One of the things that has been super exciting is seeing how the music has evolved from the beginning up to the final arrangement. For example, the opening number, “Pelt to Felt”. In the song, we learn the process of hatting and how they use the pelts from the animals and use mercury to make the felt to make the hats. It’s so insane. There’s no other word to describe the music. It sounds so amazingly insane. It’s very easy to get into the feeling of the show just from that first number.

I’m very proud of this song called “Out of Sight” that I got to write for the wife of the Mad Hatter. It’s a song about how she and the children see the father figure go crazy, and not be the same person that he used to be and how that shifts the dynamics in the family. It’s a beautifully heartbreaking song of a mother, singing about how she knows her children are seeing their father change in front of them and not for the better. Mike has done a ridiculous job orchestrating. It’s going to be such a tear-jerker. I’m so excited to see people cry.


We use different mediums of musical genres. We have “In a Mood” with the three Cheshire Sisters and it’s complete jazz, and then we have the Mad Hatter, who has an operatic pop sensibility versus the Queen of Hearts, who is very much on the operatic side. Then we have Mary Beth, the Mad Hatter’s wife, with Yola the Cheshire Cat being extremely musical theater belt. So, we were able to explore different varieties, but still bring the continuity of that melody that makes it all feel familiar.


I’m curious from a book writing standpoint, where you’re trying to connect the story through the songs where the songs take you from Point A and advance the story yet the book has to be so well written, so the audience can follow the beats and the conflict with the characters. Can we talk thematically about the lead character and his story arc?


So, where does the story end? We end up at the tea party. That’s where I really wanted to end the story. You hear one of our most memorable melodies from “Will You Be My Wonderland?” and we see Alice and there’s a blackout. Literally, people gasped in London, and we had standing ovations, so it was that surprise effect because there isn’t really much mention of Alice at all, except I did give the Mad Hatter a daughter and her doll’s name is Alice.

But, in terms of the story, we were able to approach this from the idea of building an ark. We didn’t say, “What’s going to happen with the Hatter and only the Hatter?” We said, “Okay, I think that we need to do a quartet with the family.” So we actually decided we wanted to do a quartet before we turned it into the dinner scene, which was how we created “Papa Please,” which ended up being a very Sondheim-y number in the show, where we see conflict happening between the Mad Hatter’s children and then we see the Mad Hatter’s aggressive behavior towards them. Just hinting at the chaos after he has been selling hats all day and working with mercury and all those types of things.

In our story, the Mad Hatter’s mother was a ballerina and his father was a hatter. Historically speaking, it’s in between upper and lower class so I wanted to show that by giving these occupations to these two people who would be in between classes. We explore him not being able to sell any hats and there’s generational trauma that we find out about in the overture, in that the Hatter actually wanted to dance like his mother but his father cripples him so he can never dance again.

We explore this with Mary Beth, the Mad Hatter’s wife. There’s this beautiful duet called “Relax, My Dear,” where she’s trying to let him know that everything’s gonna be okay, and he’ll sell hats tomorrow. They have this beautiful tender moment where they actually dance but he falls because he’s crippled and he can’t hold himself. That triggers a downward spiral of being haunted by his father’s hat, which contains the portkey to Wonderland. Then we explore him being very depressed in London versus finding a sense of freedom and utopia in Wonderland, where he regains his ability to dance again.

We wanted to have the psychedelic effects of Wonderland be explained by something which, in our show, is the Wonderland Crystal, which creates the Wonderland Elixir, which, if consumed, connects everybody as almost a communion. But it also makes you feel the effects of Wonderland. In this case, it heals the Mad Hatter and he’s able to dance again.

To make a long story short, Wonderland is a sense of freedom and utopia for him and then it’s taken from him when his hat falls off. The backstory is that the Mad Hatter’s father did some bad things in Wonderland, and so the Hatter is being punished for his father’s mistakes, so this idea of generational trauma comes back and there are multiple reasons why the Hatter goes insane. Then he does whatever he can to get back to Wonderland, including murdering somebody, so we have this interesting juxtaposition between “off with your head.” We have the Queen giving that energy and then the Queen doubles as the demon that haunts the hat, basically punishing the Mad Hatter.


The idea that he’s dealing with something that horrific and difficult, and he goes to Wonderland, where he regains his legs and his ability to dance again, it’s a beautiful reflection of what Lewis Carroll was writing about, which was identity, self-expression, and self-determination.

The dancing part of it is really important because it’s the emotional part that you can just feel as you’re describing it. All the other themes that you’re talking about, about all the other characters that come into it, are going to give it richness. But what’s going to make us cry is when he starts to dance, and we’re relating to him trying to find his identity.


Vince, it might be nice if you share with Frank the moment where Hatter almost imitates his father because I think it’s one of the most pivotal moments of the show.


The moment that Mike is talking about is when the Mad Hatter gets back to London. He was rejected by the Cheshire Cat, who he had fallen in love with because he had murdered somebody to get back to Wonderland. He stole their portkey to get back to Wonderland because he had to get back to see Yola the Cheshire Cat. When she rejects him, he hits rock bottom. When he gets back to London, he is trying to make sense of what’s happening in his life and his son finds the Crystal and we see a recreation of what happened in the overture where the Hatter senior hits the Mad Hatter and now he is about to hit his son. It’s at this moment that he realizes that he’s lost his mind. He realizes that he is no good for his family anymore and he’s actually hurting them. So, he chooses to go back to Wonderland to accept the punishment from the Queen of Hearts rather than stay and bring his family harm. He’s not a villain but he’s not a hero. He’s not technically doing the right thing but it’s very complex.


Alice in Wonderland is a work that has literally given us a vocabulary to articulate the times we’re going through. You hear “down the rabbit hole” all the time, “through the looking glass,” and “Winter Wonderland.” Alice is always redefining a generation, and what’s coming out of your musical for sure, is the mental health crisis. What are you hoping your musical will contribute to the vocabulary of the 2020s? What do you guys think?


I love that in our show, Yola is being played by a man. Victor’s playing a female, which is kind of an ode to the operatic background that Mike and I come from, with men playing women’s roles has been happening since the 1600s. Suddenly, politically, it’s causing World War Three right now in the United States with what’s happening in Tennessee with drag bans. I just saw My Fair Lady, and there were men playing women and women playing men, and yet, it’s being banned in places like Tennessee right now. It’s just another opportunity for us to show, it’s not about gender, it’s about humans and emotion. This idea that fantasy can be fantasy and emotions are emotions. I love that we’re turning a few things upside down like we have the Cheshire Sisters instead of the Cheshire Cat. I just think that we’re being true to ourselves by incorporating this idea of our 21st century.



I’m so happy to have had this chat. Thematically, you guys have such a strong show but as people, you’re really creative and trying to share your knowledge and your education. You’re also reaching out to give folks a forum, offering them a space to learn. There are so many aspects of how you’re going through life that I think a lot of us hope and want to be able to do – be creative and give back. It’s a beautiful thing to listen to, especially through the Alice in Wonderland lens, a work that’s been so imaginative. It’s been with us for over 150 years and you’re finding a way to make it relevant now in the 21st century.

If you were a character from Alice in Wonderland, who would you be and why?

Go ahead, Victor. I’m going to ask you first just because you have the biggest smile on your face. I don’t know if it’s because you have a Cheshire Cat smile right now.


Only because it’s so freakin’ obvious. The way that Vince wrote the Cheshire Cats and the Cheshire Sisters is so fun. I love the way that the Cheshire Cats are in our show, and thinking about how they are with how the Cheshire Cat is in Alice in Wonderland, it’s so easy to see how the whole Cheshire race is so fun that I just have to be the Cheshire Cat. I just have to.


And you Michael?


Oh my gosh, I don’t know. I think maybe when I was 19, I would be the Caterpillar for sure. Now that I’m 37 I don’t know. I’ve kind of lived through every role. I think right now, I’m currently feeling like the Mad Hatter. But I think Vince is coming into it more than I am.


I don’t know, Mike, you kind of strike me as the Rabbit.


Maybe I’m the Rabbit. Maybe that’s it.



I’ve been really getting ingrained in the Mad Hatter because I’m just performing the role, but I’m actually going to answer it similarly to what Michael said. I love this idea of the Caterpillar because it reminds me so much of my grandfather. In the book, I think the Caterpillar’s portrayed a little bit as a jerk but when I envisioned him, I think of him as more wise and philosophical. That’s really what I want to be.


Those are excellent, excellent answers. Gentlemen, thank you again, so much. This is just part one. We’re going to have more of the creative crew on and we’re going to talk more about pop culture influences, Alice, and, of course, we’re going to talk more about the Hatter. We’re gonna do a little bit of trivia about some of his rhymes and we have quite a bit more to go through. But until then, thank you for an epic morning of the Mad Hatter and your music.

For the latest updates & news about All Things Alice, read our blog or subscribe to our podcast!

6 of the Very Best Mad Hatter Tea Sets To Collect

The Mad Hatter’s Day came and went in October, but don’t be fooled – it’s never too early to prepare for the next year’s celebration! And if there’s one thing we’ve learned from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, it’s that the allure of Victorian elegance can be found even in the most ordinary of objects – like a humble tea set.

Subtlety is not the name of the game in Wonderland. Oh no, my dear reader. This is a world where everything is larger than life and eccentricity reigns supreme. These sets are not your typical run-of-the-mill dishes. They boast whimsical designs and extraordinary style that will transport you straight to the Mad Hatter’s tea party. And trust us, once you set these beauties on your table, the ambiance they create will have you feeling like a true Mad Hatter in no time.

So come along with us as we tumble down another rabbit hole and explore the very best Mad Hatter tea sets for every occasion. Just a word of caution, dear reader – the further you delve, the stranger and more whimsical these tea sets become!



This Alice in Wonderland Teacup boasts a simpler design, yet there is still a degree of madness about it – particularly with the reverse handle.

The light aqua-colored coating serves as the base for paintings depicting scenes from Wonderland, and it comes in a set of four – each with its own mesmerizing story told through the paintings. But the magic doesn’t stop there. The plates in this collection feature paintings of the unique fauna native to Wonderland.

Crafted by the renowned Mary Blair, this collection is not just for avid collectors, but also for those who want to relish in the delight of afternoon tea in the comfort of their own homes. Though it may not create an ambiance in the same manner as some of the more eccentric tea sets we shall soon explore, this teacup is a fitting collectible for those who appreciate the artistry of Wonderland.



And now, we invite you to discover a true masterpiece in the world of teapot design – the Tri-Spout Teapot. Yes, you read that right – a teapot with not one, not two, but three spouts! This may sound like something straight out of Wonderland, but we assure you it is quite real.

The unique design is sure to be a conversation starter and will undoubtedly make a statement in any home. The white background serves as the perfect backdrop for the impeccably crafted silhouettes of Alice, the Red Queen, the Cheshire Cat, and the Red Queen’s soldiers. The true star of this set is the teapot – with its three pouring holes, featuring the Red Queen and her warriors. A cute red heart adorns the lid, adding to the whimsy of the design. While it may not be practical, it is indeed lovely.



For fans of the topsy turvy and often dark machinations of Tim Burton, this tea set sports a modest and modernist silhouette with striking artwork of his Alice In Wonderland characters. Each cup is adorned with vibrant colors coinciding with the characters featured. Naturally, Johnny Depp’s iconic Mad Hatter takes the place of honor on the tea pot itself.



For a bit of pedigree on your tea table, and if you have a keen eye for auctions and scant availability—consider seeking out a James Sadler Alice in Wonderland Children’s Book Teapot. Hard to come by, but well worth the hunt.

Anyone with any awareness of fine porcelain and novelty collections alike will know the works of James Sadler. Stand out among the multitude of the company’s wide variety of teapots and tea sets would be the “Classic Stories Book Collection”. From Treasure Island to Wind in the Willows and even Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s masterwork Sherlock Holmes every teapot in the collection is brilliantly crafted to look like a bundle of books.

Best of all is of course the Alice in Wonderland Classic Stories Teapot. So popular is the timeless tale that the teapot was released once in the 1970s and again with updated art in 1990. No finer image could be selected for the “cover” of this book than the iconic tea party scene. Those with an eye for detail will also smile to see the red rose emblematic of the Red Queen atop the little teapot serving as the piece’s lid.



With a nod to Victorian elegance, this tea set sports black and white illustrations created by the iconic John Tenniel for the original books by Lewis Carroll infused into the porcelain. Alice, The Mad Hatter, The Cheshire Cat make their appearances on the teapot and cups. Collectors will also adore that the maker Angioletti Designs offers the set in powder blue, gentle green, and soft pink. Likewise, each color set offer a different combination of illustrations.

Of course, the set is made whole by a creamer cup and a sugar bowl. Rest assured despite the “eat me” labelling no shrinking or growing should occur upon consumption. The border of each piece is a scrolled raised gold which would make even Queen Victoria pleased with the royal dignity of tea time with this porcelain masterpiece.



For the big spender collectors, here is a crown jewel. Disney’s iconic depiction of Wonderland was so bursting with color and beautiful whimsey—and this tea set from Elisabete Gomes perfectly captures everything about the movie.

This is another tri-spout teapot, but it sports even finer hand sculpted creatures and flowers from the gardens of Wonderland from the previous entries on this list. Alice and the Cheshire cat are perfectly depicted, but the Singing Flower at the centerpiece of this tea pot makes it true centerpiece item for the most discerning collectors of Alice in Wonderland memorabilia.

How Johnny Depp Brought To Life Alice In Wonderland’s Mad Hatter

The Top Hat of Hatters and my personal friend Chad Evett is back to share with us another compelling peak through the looking glass. This time, he breaks down Johnny Depp’s iconic Mad Hatter costume (on which he has a Master Milliner’s worth of knowledge) and examines how the famed actor used the attire to embody one of the best known characters in literature.

Of all the characters from Alice in Wonderland, perhaps the most memorable and recognizable is none other than the Mad Hatter. He has been featured on merchandise, been replicated in media, and has been the symbol of High Tea the world over. He’s been a rock singer, a villainous clockmaker, a bodyguard and an assassin. In Lewis Carroll’s original novel, the character is referred to simply as “the Hatter.’’ He’s the only Male Human character Alice meets (all others are either animals or playing cards,) and has a small cameo as a pun in ‘Through the Looking Glass.”

In 2010, director Tim Burton sought to recreate the denizens of wonderland with his own signature style. It was natural that he would offer the role to famed actor Johnny Depp—with whom Burton has collaborated on numerous films from Edward Scissorhands (1990,) Sleepy Hollow (1999) and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005,) and Sweeney Todd: the demon barber of fleet street (2009.) There are more but if you don’t already know what they are google is your friend!

Hatters in the 19th century were victims of the terrible work conditions that existed before unions. As such, the materials and the chemicals that were required in the process of hat making were incredibly toxic. Glue had very high mercury content, the fumes of which caused milliners to acquire “mad hatter syndrome,” the symptoms of which included slurred speech, tremors, irritability, depression, as well as a myriad of other issues. Their eyes would be sunken, and in extreme causes their hair would take on a fried look and the skin on the hand would crack and peel.

Depp as a consummate performer is notorious for coming to the table with research. Famed makeup artist and Oscar winner Ve Neill collaborated with Johnny on characters such as Scissorhands, Jack Sparrow, and Sweeney Todd (among others). “Johnny came in with ideas in his head, thoughts on who these people could be, and he’s a wonder with collaboration,” she said. The Hatter was no different.

“I thought his emotions should be very near the surface, like a human mood ring. I started seeing the guy…” Both Burton and Depp, independently of each other, did watercolors and drawings of who the hatter could be. “We compared our notes,” said Depp, “And they weren’t far off. Tim is halfway around the world doing his own drawings and they weren’t dissimilar.”

Depp’s hatter appears to have the hallmarks of mercury poisoning, but almost as if it’s been put through a Wonderlandian lens. Bleached white skin coupled with fantastically orange hair, frizzed to perfection. His eyes are outlined in corals, blues, pinks and greens—framed with white lashes and punctuated with vibrantly green eyes. “I wanted him to have electrified kind of eyes, as if the mercury—the madness—is coming out of them. We also had one pupil painted ever so slightly off. So, he’s never looking right at you.” Said Depp, “he’s always looking a little further.”

Patti York was the makeup artist tasked with translating the elements if Burton and Depp’s ideas into reality. “After all the pieces come together, and the costume goes on,” she said, “the transformation is complete. He is the Mad Hatter.”

The Mad Hatter’s Combative Blue Coat

Multi Oscar winning costume designer and textile rockstar Colleen Atwood was the magician who redefined the look of a Milliner in war-torn Wonderland. “His coat changes color based on his mood, so we made multiples.” She said, “his coat is made from a silk, with layers of sheer silk on top that we burned away to create a shifting effect.” This particular garment had five iterations in the film, ranging from depressed grey to a bright combative blue. In flashbacks his coat is teal, and when he attends high tea, it sits a deep chocolate brown.

The Mad Hatter’s Chocolate Brown Coat

“His tie is a joke tie, when he frowns it wilts down and when he’s happy it perks up like a butterfly” she says with a cheeky smile. On one side his coat has ribbons that can be pulled to make a hat, he was a bandolier of antique silk spools, chainmailled together, and he’s got a clutch of scissors on his hip. We didn’t want his tools off on a shelf somewhere, so we incorporated them into his costume.  We all know Johnny loves a bit of jewelry, he has a pincushion ring, and thimbles on his fingers.”

In the original novel, the hatter laments that he has had a row with Time himself and has been trapped at tea for ages. The costume Atwood devised had elements that reflected this torturous punishment: “He has embroidery on his pants that he may have done when he got bored, and his boots have words scratched in them. Tim {Burton} likes to draw on his shoes so that’s where that came from.”

The Mad Hatter’s Shoes, inspired by Tim Burton’s habit of drawing on his own footwear

The grand centerpiece (and the most difficult to find) of any hatter costume is his Topper. The symbol of the hatter demands respect, and Atwood came to it with gusto. “The original hat was done before we did the sketches, but it was right.” Deep mottled green leather that has been laser-cut with an elaborate almost paisley design; the hat was then embroidered in patches with bright gold embroidery thread. “We ran a blowtorch over it, which gives it its age but also makes it look like it has survived a catastrophic event.” She is referring to the loss of the Hatters family at the hands of a mad Red Queen and her Targaryen-esq malefice the Jabberwocky.

The Mad Hatter’s Centerpiece Hat

It is this loss that fuels the hatters need to aid Alice in the saving of the soul of Wonderland (called Underland in this version,) which adds an entirely new layer to the interpretation of the character. He’s always been seated at tea with the Hare and the Dormouse, and while in the book he remains a guest who showed up and never left (not like he had any options, thanks Time!) he now becomes a loner who is seeking his tribe. In literary history he’s insulting and ride, but here he seeks Alice as a kindred spirit. “Alice and the hatter complete each other. Like a brother and a sister—She is his sanity, and he is her Muchness.”

Lewis Carroll’s work has such a potential for interpretation, and more importantly reinterpretation. One wonders who will be the next great re-imaginer of this eternal work. Who will be the newest performer to personify the madness and morph into the Mad Hatter?

Perhaps the next great performance will be an embodiment of Hatter Madigan himself, but by whom?

Could Tom Hardy Be The Next Mad Hatter?
Could Tom Hardy be the next Mad Hatter?

About The Author

Chad Evett graduated from Santa Fe University of Art and design with a degree in technical theater, with an emphasis on Costumes. He has designed numerous short films, and has worked as a theater director and production designer. His work has been seen on The View, and he has designed shoes for actress Whoopi Goldberg, and Writer/Producer Bryan Fuller.  He lives in Los Angeles and works as a designer and Consulting storyteller (when he isn’t rubbing shoulders with celebrities like Tim Burton!)

Celebrate Mad Hatter Day With These Deadly Weapon Hats

Happy Mad Hatter Day everyone, I hope you’re all fully expressing yourselves, wearing weird hats, or eating mercury in an attempt to become a real mad hatter yourself on this most frabjous of days. What am I doing on this day to celebrate? I couldn’t find any mercury, but I stopped taking my mood stabilizers, so the words I type are in God’s (Franks) hands now. Okay, I didn’t actually do that and you shouldn’t either, nor can I actually recommend in good conscious you eat mercury, no matter how delicious it is.

What is one to do on Mad Hatter day you ask? Be weird, be silly, wear crazy top hats, keep changing places at a table or in a car at a red light, I may not know a lot of laws but I think that’s perfectly legal on Mad Hatter day. Just remember, if you wear a top hat, laws don’t apply. On that note, I am not a lawyer. I’m Denholm Afedoj, famously redacted ex-jester for the queen of Wonderland. You’re probably asking yourself, “Denholm, when are you going to finish giving us bad advice and get to the topic of this blog post?” And too that I say, right after this last bit of bad advice. You can pay off your credit cards with another credit card indefinitely, just keep opening new accounts. Okay, onto the topic.

I’m sure you’re all aware of who the Mad Hatter is but here is a reminder. He is a silly man who enables the caffeine-addicted March Hare by throwing wild tea parties to celebrate his, yours, anyone’s, unbirthday. Or so you’ve been told. Remember, Bibwit and I are proof that Lewis Carrol got it all wrong, Alice is actually spelled Alyss, and the Mad Hatter’s real name is Hatter Madigan. The Looking Glass Wars is actually what happened. Hatter Madigan, the inspiration for the Mad Hatter, is the queen’s personal guard, a leading member of Wonderland’s elite security force, the Millinery.

Hatter Madigan Deploys His Hat

Those of you who are not in the know are probably thinking, “Denholm, how did this Hatter Madigan character protect the queen?” Well, along with a multitude of other weapons including a wrist-mounted, retractable blade that would put Ezio Auditore’s (Assassin’s Creed) to shame. He uses his hat, which is fitted with s-shaped blades that retract and can be thrown like a boomerang. I’ve seen him use it in person, you do not want to be on the business end of that throw.

So, today I bring you a list, of six other, hat weapons in popular culture. Remember this is a list of hat weapons, not famous hats. The sorting hat will not be on this list, and you definitely cheated when you took the online sorting hat quiz to get the house you wanted. Okay onto the list.

6. Oddjob’s hat, Goldfinger

Oddjob the silent, bowler hat throwing, henchmen for Auric Goldfinger, is a villain in the James Bond film, Goldfinger. Besides being incredibly skilled at had to hand combat, he is most famous for his bowler hat that is fitted with a knife inside the brim. People like to think that his hat was inspired by the chakram, a round thrown knife, invented in India, that was worn on top of turbans. Us Wonderlanders know the truth though, obviously, Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond books, was inspired by a Millinery hat that fell into the heart crystal. Unlike Hatter Madigan, Oddjob’s hat was the cause of his demise, after he attempted to retrieve his hat that was stuck in a live electrical cable. When asked about Oddjob’s death, James Bond smoothly quips, “He blew a fuse.”

5. Kung Lao, Mortal Kombat

MORTAL KOMBAT!!! Dun dun dun dun dun-da dun dun dun dun dun du. Ready? Fight! From the famous/infamous video game series, Mortal Kombat, we find the next character on this list, Kung Lao. First making his debut in Mortal Kombat II, Kung Lao is the teleporting, hat throwing, Shaolin monk. Kung Lao’s hat may seem similar to Oddjob’s and this is no coincidence, the creators of the game have stated they drew inspiration from the Bond villain. This means, if you’ve been paying attention and following my logic, Kung Lao was technically inspired by Hatter Madigan. Kung Lao uses his razor blade-rimmed hat to amputate the limbs of those unfortunate enough to end up in a bout against him.

His hat is also prominently featured in his post-fight finishing moves, aka fatalities. My personal favorite fatality is when Kung Lao throws the hat into the ground, where it continues spinning like a circular saw at a lumber mill. Kung Lao then drags his opponent by their feet through the saw, holding up the two halves of what was a person to the camera to celebrate the win. Graphic moves like this are the reason why Mortal Kombat is responsible for the invention of the ESRB game rating system and was awarded the first “M” rating. Does anyone else want to see Oddjob, Kung Lao, and Hatter Madigan duke it out? I’m taking all bets.

4. Peaky Blinders, Peaky Blinders

The calling card of a member of the Peaky Blinders gang is a newsboy hat with a razor blade peeking out of the blinder. Which I’m just now realizing is how they came up with the name. While the two previously mentioned knife hats were welded by skilled martial artists, these hats are used to give the members of the Peaky Blinders a surprise upper hand in a fight. When I wear a hat I’m constantly adjusting it, so I think that if I were in the Peaky Blinders I would have the nickname “Bandaids”. These hats have a hidden third use, they block the sun, have a blade in them, and can be used to shave. Imagine if the screenwriter of Peaky Blinders, Steven Knight, did a Looking Glass Wars T.V. show! Who would play Alyss though? Who would make a good Hatter Madigan? WHO would play me? Who am I kidding, with my track record, I wouldn’t even be an extra…

3.  Inspector Gadget’s Hat, Inspector Gadget

While this hat does not have knives, it does have helicopter blades. I’ve always wanted to use Inspector Gadget’s helicopter hat. This hat can do more than just fly, it has binoculars that lower out of the brim, hands for various necessary hand abilities, a police light, grappling hook, umbrella, and parachute. This hat is truly a Swiss army knife, I wouldn’t be surprised if it has a fish scaler in it as well. While this isn’t a traditional weapon, I felt as though it somehow fit on the list. Also, there are like twenty anime characters with knife hats so this is a nice change. Oh, and evil Inspector Gadget from the 1998 movie has a flamethrower, it counts! Go, go, gadget, write the rest of this for me… Damn… Wait, I got it, go, go, onto the next hat!

2. Cappy, Super Mario Odyssey

This is the only sentient hat on this list. Cappy is Mario’s magic hat from Super Mario Odyssey that gives Mario the ability to enter the body and take control of whatever he throws the hat onto. Be it Goomba, T-rex, or those orange flexible traffic posts. While throwing the cap does not harm the person or thing you take control of, you can use the fact that you control something else to make them fall off of ledges, walk into spikes, or get electrocuted. You get the idea. I feel as though if Hatter Madigan had Cappy, it would have changed the events of the Looking Glass Wars significantly.

Think about it, he could have thrown Cappy at a jabberwocky, quickly gotten through a bunch of playing card soldiers, and eaten Queen Redd. Oh oh, I know, he could have become a cannonball spider and launched himself at the castle. No wait, I got it! He could have thrown Cappy at a tarty tart that the Red Queen was going to eat, then when he was eaten, taken Cappy off, and the size shift would cause him to explode out of her body. Yup, that’s the most straightforward plan of action.

1. Laszlo’s Witch Skin Hat, What We Do in the Shadows

A cursed hat made out of the skin of a dead witch? Denholm, you disrespected the sorting hat then go with this?” Oh, my dear, sweet, innocent, reader, I can go with whatever I want, I’m the god of this document. Unless Frank says otherwise. First of all, the concept of this hat makes me laugh. For those of you who don’t know, Laszlo from What We Do in the Shadows has this hat made out of a dead witch. It is one of Laszlo’s most prized possessions. It’s also insanely cursed. This hat is canonically responsible for the Great Potato Famine in Ireland. Along with that, one time, when Laszlo wore the hat, he was attacked by a horse, who then tried to mate with him. “That’s all fine and dandy Denholm, but I still don’t see how this hat is a weapon.” I’m getting there!

The thing about this hat is Laszlo really loves it, he thinks it’s cool and makes people jealous of him, there is also another vampire who wants the hat really badly, and he tries to kill Laszlo for it. In a 4D chess maneuver, Laszlo uses reverse psychology to have the other vampire wear it, which ends up being the other vampire’s demise. It’s a far stretch, but in the right hands, a weapon.

We all agree that these hats are cool, but Hatter Madigan takes the cake here. Here are some hats that I wanted to add to the list, but realized that they actually weren’t “weapons”, but have threatening auras that would make Queen Redd take notice.

Chum Bucket bucket hat, from the SpongeBob Squarepants Movie

The Cat in the hats, hat.

Ash Ketchum’s hat, but only when he turns it around backward.

Beer helmets…

Any headgear with a Raiders logo on it!

Most (if not all) Fedoras…

And, last but not least, this…

Okay, this hat is a weapon technically, but it’s lack of efficacy would make any self-respecting Milliner gasp. That this madness is actually a real patented design is insane to me! Do NOT wear this one to any tea parties you attend!

Happy Mad Hatter day everyone!

Meet the Author

Jared Hoffman Headshot

Jared Hoffman graduated from the American Film Institute with a degree in screenwriting. A Los Angeles native, his brand of comedy is satire stemming from the many different personalities and ego’s he has encountered throughout his life. As a lover of all things comedy, Jared is always working out new material and trying to make those around him laugh. His therapist claims this is a coping mechanism, but what does she know?

How You Can Celebrate Mad Hatter Day 2022

Now that we have entered October, all of western civilization eagerly awaits October 6th, Mad Hatter Day. What started as an ode to Lewis Carroll’s greatest classic, Alice in Wonderland, has become a cultural phenomenon complete with the quirks and mesmerizing experiences of Wonderland.

But when it comes to things to do on Mad Hatter Day, we have merely put one foot into the rabbit hole. Let’s go all in and explore the fun things you can engage in with your family, friends, at school, or by your lonesome on Mad Hatter day.

Watch the Alice and Wonderland Movie – Both Old and New

Start your day doing something more traditional. Experience the wonderful world of Alice in Wonderland with the movie, but don’t go with just one. If you’re looking for a full-fledged experience of this principal character of Lewis Carroll’s novels, both films should be on your schedule.

For a more mature look into Alice in Wonderland with horror elements, go with the old movie. While it was marketed to children, Alice in Wonderland (1951) has some intrinsically dark undertones that might not be wholly suitable for children. But it is a classic – and underrated one at that.

If a more light-hearted movie is more of your cup of tea, you can join Mad Hatter’s tea party with Tim Burton’s 2010 Alice in Wonderland. This movie has taken a more grounded approach to the character of Johnny Depp’s Mad Hatter but you won’t be able to notice any of that due to Tim’s bombastic approach to directing.

This activity is great at home or at school if you can get permission. The movies are enjoyable, and every student can compare the films with the original Alice text.

Tap Into Madness with Teatime Snacks

Try some traditional Mad Hatter tea party foods. Go with afternoon tea snacks like macarons, pastries, and scones. Fresh fruits are always a good idea if you’re more health conscious. But do give these clock-faced macaroons a try!

You can also pick and choose among your favorite snacks from here.

Make Your Own Paper Hats

Get in the spirit of Mad Hatter Day by making a paper hat. Like Hatter Madigan and the other Millinery Academy Cadets can attest—a true Mad Hatter is only as good as their hat!

This most excellent activity is fun for both home and school—the more the merrier. The overseeing Milliner could even organize a friendly competition. Most imaginative top hat wins!

Let your creativity fly. But here are some hat ideas that are extra special for the occasion.

Toilet Paper Top Hat: Embrace true creativity by taking a minimalistic approach to creating a top hat. All it would require is some toilet paper. You can go with craft paper, but we are trying to be a bit frugal here and making it simple. Just grab some toilet paper, scissors, and some black construction paper. Roll the toilet paper under the black paper, cut out two black circles from the remaining paper and affix it atop this roll, and viola, you get a toilet paper top hat. To make it more thematic, stick some playing cards to the side.

Don’t worry if you don’t have the cards. You make the hat smaller and bring your pet to the party.

Cardboard Top Hat: If you want to stay true to the Mad Hatter theme, you can give your students some cardboard and let them craft a more precise hat out of it.

Be careful, though, as it will take a lot of effort. I suggest you don’t use it for a competition, but rather as a group project. May the best hat wins.

There is a wide array of hat competitions that you can arrange for your students. If you’re having a mad hatter party at home, you can also bring the contest there. Let’s see the adults try it too.

Singing Songs About the Hatter

Nothing beats Mad Hatter-themed music to make Mad Hatter’s Day more… madder. For students, you can organize a poem competition. But if you’re at home and in the mood to party, you can jam to any Alice in Wonderland Inspired music.

Mad Hatter’s music theme isn’t restricted to children. If you want to get more R-rated with it, Melanie Martinez’s Mad Hatter is a treat with over 100 million views on YouTube. The music is trippy and a perfect dance number if you want to add a party-flare to Mad Hatter’s Tea party.

Listen to some Alice In Wonderland inspired music. The video is no slouch, it perfectly encompasses what Mad Hatter is all about, but it cranks it up to eleven.

Hosting a Tea Party

Let’s get a bit more basic – and obvious – here. Mad Hatter Tea party is iconic and a must-do on Mad Hatter’s Day. You can buy all the party accessories from your nearest departmental store and get started. Just make sure you have a room where you can get a long table to get the feel right.

Now, we understand that not everyone has a big home enough to do mad hatter party justice. So, how about going outside and finding a location to party? These places are thematic and have the Mad Hatter aesthetics down to the “tea” (pun intended).

And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can join the Mad Hatter Gin and Tea Party in a location near you. The ambiance of this event is legendary.

Telling Riddles – The Madder The Better

No Mad Hatter’s Party is complete without riddles. Practice and come up with the ridiculous riddles you can find and see as your guests scratch their heads trying to come up with an answer.

So, riddle me this – What walks on four legs, then two, and then three? (Hint—ask the Sphinx what the answer is)

Curious Costumes

Alice in Wonderland is all about aesthetics and Mad Hatter Day encapsulates it perfectly. So, why not try a fancy dress party from the Victorian era? Doll yourself up as a dormouse or paint the roses red like the Queen of Hearts. No amount of accessorizing is over the top—you cannot have too much muchness.

Here is a fantastic teatime variant of the Mad Hatter costume, complete with a top hat and gloves.

That is as far as we go into the rabbit hole for now. So, how will you celebrate this most frabjous day of days? No matter your answer, the only thing that matters is to enjoy yourself and your friends and to be as Mad as the Hatter.

The Mad Hatter’s Missing Brother: Dalton Madigan

Dalton Madigan had worked hard to be a Milliner for the ages, and his skillset—that of a ninja, US Army Ranger, Navy Seal, MI6 agent, and KGB operative rolled into one—now surpassed his instructors’ expectations, their estimates of his potential, as high as they had been, having proven too conser­vative. Yet technically, Dalton was still a student, a cadet at the academy where generations of select Wonderlanders had trained in hopes of becoming members of the queendom’s most accom­plished security force.

The morning of his graduation, Dalton spent his last hours on campus walking the grounds in quiet contemplation, every sight a touchstone to memory. There, next to the sprit-dane topiary, was where he’d tended wounds that his younger brother Hatter had suffered while toying with a wrist-blade. —

There was the patch of grass inside the service gate, which Dalton had fre­quently used as his own private training area, spending count­less hours perfecting hand-to-hand combat fundamentals. And there—the curving path to the kitchens that he and Hatter had first taken eight years earlier, when they had been brought to the Millinery to live as its wards after their parents Belmore and Lydia were killed on a mission.

“He’s so little!” Cook exclaimed of Hatter.

Dalton placed a protective hand on his brother’s shoulder. “He’s the son of two of the greatest Milliners in history.”

“Of course!” Cook said and gave them each a plate piled high with jollyjelly scones.

Dalton strolled on, past the banquet hall and the Wonder­ground practice field. The Millinery had, unsurprisingly, become more than just an institution to him; it was home. But every­body had to leave home some time.

At only twenty years old, Top Cadet in his class, Dalton Madigan had been awarded the post of Queen Theodora’s per­sonal bodyguard, the highest possible honor a Milliner could receive in Wonderland.

Dalton Madigan deploys his Milliner Blades

Carrying a dusty old box, Dalton found Hatter (aka the Mad Hatter) in his newly assigned dorm room. It was a small, minimally furnished space, but a decided improvement over the basement apartment where he, too, had lived before formally beginning his education.

“I might not have a chance to see you alone again before I go,” he said.

Hatter merely nodded, shy around the queen’s new bodyguard.

Say something about how you’re going to miss him, Dalton prodded himself. Tell him you’d rather not leave the only family you still have.

Dalton pulled a battered stovepipe hat from the box he was carrying. “It belonged to Dad,” he said, offering the hat to his brother. “It’s the first one he ever wore as a Milliner. I was wait­ing to give it to you until you started your education.”

“Dad’s?” Hatter faintly echoed, his lips twisting in either per­plexity or displeasure, Dalton couldn’t tell which; and belatedly, the older Madigan realized: unimpressive as the hat was, it was nothing if not a stinging reminder of their parents’ absence.

Dalton opened his mouth to say—what? That the stove­pipe might inspire Hatter to accomplish great things, as it had inspired him? It felt like a lie. The hat had inspired him, but more from negative connotations than positive ones. The brothers hadn’t resided long at the Millinery before Dalton started hearing rumors that Belmore and Lydia had compromised themselves somehow, not only abandoning Millinery procedures, failing to perform up to the level of its least impressive graduates, but possibly engaging in treason.

Dalton, just twelve at the time, might have imagined worse than the truth. But since he never learned the truth, throughout his teen years he waffled between missing his parents, revering them as he had when they’d been alive, and being angry with them for having, by their deaths, abandoned him and Hatter— though not before compromising the Madigan reputation.

And Dalton’s worst assumptions were still with him. Which was why he’d worked so hard to excel at the Millinery Academy, to ensure that the Madigan name would again reverberate in people’s heads with respect, awe.

He must know the rumors, Dalton thought, watching Hatter wipe dust from the crown of their father’s hat. They hadn’t talked about it, but . . . he must know.

“I wish I could be around for you,” Dalton offered.

The words sounded false to his ears. Like many such orphaned siblings before him, he had tried to be everything to his younger brother—mother and father, all while keeping on top of his stud­ies. An impossibility. No doubt he hadn’t always been around when Hatter had needed him, and here he was, pretending he could make up for earlier neglect with a futile comment about the future.

“I wish . . . ” Dalton started again, but his voice petered out.

He knew that everyone at the academy thought him as emo­tive as a quartz slab. Not infrequently, he longed to bust free of the rigid exoskeleton under which he stowed all feeling.

Stepping forward, Dalton awkwardly put an arm across Hatter’s shoulders, unable to remember the last time he had touched his brother with more than a handshake.

The Hat of Belmore Madigan, passed down to Dalton and Hatter

It would be his last act as a cadet: to impress upon the incoming Millinery class a sense of what they might accomplish if they put in the effort.

Outfitted with his full complement of gear, Dalton stood in the open space of the academy’s Holographic and Transmutative Base of Extremecombat, a state-of-the-art training arena commonly called the HATBOX.

Floor, walls, ceiling: all were checkerboards of large blue and white tiles. Temporary bleachers had been erected at one end of the otherwise barren room, and the new cadets—Hatter among them—took their seats and waited in anxious silence for . . . they didn’t know what. Expressionless, immobile, Dalton also didn’t know what he was waiting for— not exactly. He had asked not to be told in advance, wanting to react instinctively to adversaries.

A sound like escaping steam came from the bleachers, the audience gasping in near unison as—


Fourteen white floor tiles flipped to reveal a platoon of card soldiers from the Diamond Deck. The soldiers charged Dalton, and he shrugged to activate his Millinery backpack; it sprouted an array of blades—C-blades, J-blades, daggers, corkscrews— all of which he put to excellent use. —

Succumbing to Dalton’s weapons, soldiers folded in on themselves. Only two were left. Leaping over the Four Card, midair, Dalton threw a dagger into its vitals. Landing, he dodged left to avoid the sword of the Three Card, whose life he deftly ended with a J-blade to the heart.

Breathing heavily, Dalton stood in the ringing silence, no longer aware of the bleachers’ worth of cadets holding their collective breath. He was alive only to his own survival.


The tiles supporting the dead card soldiers flipped; up came a set of white chessmen—pawns, knights, and rooks—and they raged toward Dalton. In a single fluid motion, he snatched the top hat off his head and flicked it flat into spinning rotary blades, which he sent slicing into the nearest pawn. The blades took out two more pawns and a rook while—

“Yah! Ugh!”

Dalton defended himself against a pair of knights, the wrist-blades of one hand activated—a centrifugal blur of Wonderland steel that served as a shield against the knights’ thrusts. He lifted his free hand to catch his spinning hat blades as they boomer­anged back to him.


A cannonball dropped from the ceiling—so close that it took out one of the knights. Dalton staggered backward, unable regain solid footing before the ball doubled in size, morphing. Nodules protruded. Panels retracted. Eight long mechanical legs unfolded. Dalton found himself backed toward a wall by what we on Earth might describe as a giant steampunkish arachnid. Like all cannonball spiders, this one had pincers capable of sev­ering a Milliner in half.

Dalton slashed his way through a converging scrum of chess­men and ran to meet the advancing spider, diving head first between its legs and taking up position underneath its “belly.” The spider scuttled about, trying to get out of its own way, as it were, its pincers clacking air.

Thuuunnk! Thuuunnk!

More cannonball spiders dropped from the ceiling. A pro­jectile the size and shape of an ordinary playing card whizzed past Dalton’s head, shot from a rook’s AD-52—an automatic dealer capable of shooting razor-cards at the rate of fifty-two per second. Dalton pulled a tab on his backpack’s shoulder strap; a complex of rods and blades telescoped up and out of the pack, arranging themselves into a horizontal propeller that whirred over his head, lifting him into the air.


It wasn’t the smoothest liftoff, ascending through the body of a cannonball spider. The propeller jammed more than once. Dalton veered at chest height amid chessmen, kicking at them to get free. A spider’s pincers tore off half a trouser leg, but then . . . up, up he went, pulling his knees close to his chest, extending his arms below, and flexing his fists to activate his wrist-blades as shields from the chessmen’s razor-cards and crystal shot.

The cannonball spiders started to climb the walls. Dalton, nearing the ceiling. deactivated his wrist-blades, and a hand again went to his shoulder strap. The propeller retracted, his backpack returned to its everyday innocuous appearance, and he punched his belt buckle to open the sabers at his midsection; the longest blades he possessed flicked out out from all sides of him.

He let himself drop, spinning like a blender into the chess­men below.

Swink, swink, swink, swink!

Pieces of pawns, rooks, and nights lay all around him. AD52s and crystal shooters littered the floor.

The cannonball spiders jumped from the walls as Dalton armed himself with an AD52 in one hand and a crystal shooter in the other. He aimed between their pincers, sending missiles down their mechanical gullets. Most of the spiders burst into pieces. Some wobbled, then folded their legs, forever inert.

Dalton again stood, out of breath, in a ringing silence.


The HATBOX floor tiles flipped, clearing the arena. The exhi­bition was over. Every cadet in the audience, having ducked or crouched to avoid cannonball spider shrapnel, now sat with their eyes wide and their mouths hanging open, the name Madigan reverberating in their heads with respect, awe.

Dalton Madigan Rides a Spirit-Dane

The life of a queen’s bodyguard: constant vigilance, but so far, for Dalton at least, no combat. He told himself that he wasn’t get­ting soft, that just because he spent his days amid the splendors of Heart Palace, where royals sipped tea and strolled in gardens while Queen Theodora occupied herself with diplomacy—none of this meant that he was falling out of top Milliner shape, phys­ically or mentally.

He wasn’t entirely convinced.

More and more, as he stood discreetly within sight of the queen while she confabbed with the Lords and Ladies of the Diamond, Club, and Spade families, Dalton would be flanked by the Heart princesses, Rose and Genevieve. Was he always so stiff and somber? Rose would tease. She was a constant flirt and decidedly less conventional than her sister.

“How can you effectively fight against Dark Imagination if you don’t know what it feels like?” she asked one time.

“I don’t need to be a criminal to thwart a criminal,” Dalton answered. “An assassin to thwart a murder—

“But you are an assassin when called upon to be one, aren’t you?” Rose laughed.

His brain always went fuzzy in her company. He tried not to notice the way her tongue poked out deliciously from between her teeth when she was privately amused. He tried not to notice the curves of her body, so tauntingly outlined by the tight dresses of jabberwock-hide she favored. But he couldn’t help it; his head, his thoughts, kept turning in Rose Heart’s direction.

It wasn’t instantaneous but a gradual wearing down of his resolve. Dalton came to feel that he didn’t have much choice; he surrendered to Rose and let himself be seduced. Having an affair with the princess, the daughter of the queen he’d sworn to pro­tect: he could be expelled from the Millinery for such a breach of ethics.

He had no intention of being like his parents, sabotaging his reputation, and he vowed to himself to end the relationship. But every time Rose called for him, he went to her, and he soon discovered that he liked secretly breaking the rules. As long as no one found out, he wouldn’t be like his parents.

He knew that Rose dabbled in Dark Imagination, and more than once, as he guarded Queen Theodora’s rooms at night, she messaged him, asking him to retrieve her from some illegal establishment that she’d sneaked off to visit, too far gone on artificial crystal to make it back to Heart Palace on her own. The more wild Rose became, the more he liked her. She was so unabashed, so disregardful of etiquette, norms, expectations, so unafraid to just be. He “liked” her? No, he loved her.

Then something happened. Queen Theodora quarantined her eldest daughter. It wasn’t like Rose to tolerate such treatment, but Dalton couldn’t get any information out of Genevieve as to the reason for the quarantine or for Rose’s tolerance of it. When, after what felt like an excruciatingly long time, he saw Rose again, he didn’t know that she had given birth to a girl, allegedly stillborn. But along with everyone else in Wonderland, he did know that, on account of Rose’s rebellious behavior, Queen Theodora had removed her from succession to the throne.

“How are you?” he asked tenderly.

“Glad I won’t have the burden of ruling,” she said with seem­ing nonchalance.

A few nights later she messaged him, needing him to bring her home from an artificial crystal den. As always, he didn’t ask for a palace guard to cover his post because this would have been a public admission that he was shirking his responsibilities. He secreted himself off to the crystal den, but Rose wasn’t there, and he very soon discovered why: she’d used his absence to sneak into Theodora’s rooms and murder the queen, swearing that she would wear the crown.

With shock, anger, dismay, Dalton understood that he’d been an accomplice in the queen’s death—unwitting, but an accomplice, nonetheless.

He didn’t say goodbye to anyone—not to Rose, whom he couldn’t help loving despite all, and not to his brother Hatter. He jumped into The Pool of Tears, a portal presumed to take those who entered its waters to other worlds, though no one had ever returned to verify it.

Dalton’s impulse to run, his unwillingness to face the conse­quences of his actions, surprised him. But he refused to live with his disgrace reflected in every Wonderland eye that deigned to look at him.

The Pool of Tears

Earth is a gray and primitive place compared to Wonderland. But Dalton, going through his days as if serving a prison term, thinks it appropriate; he doesn’t deserve better. He has spent years working as a mercenary for the unscrupulous and power-mad. His self-hatred and constant proximity to corruption have smashed what was left of his moral compass. Now, unknown to him, Wonderland suffers a violent convulsion, and his younger brother jumps into The Pool of Tears.

Now, not one but two Madigans wander the earth; each lost to themselves, they might yet find each other.

Chad Evett, Mad Hatter Cosplay Master at SDCC 2022

To all my Wonderland fans enjoying a trip down the rabbit hole of San Diego Comic-Con, be sure to keep an eye out for the cosplay king and Master Hatter (not to mention my friend and Wonderverse collaborator) Chad Evett. My understanding is that he will be dressed as Doctor Strange today.

Chad will be participating as a pro costume designer in several panels on Friday and Saturday at the convention center. However, on the final day I know he will be cutting loose as the Mad Hatter, and will be joined by his glorious gang The League of Hatters. You will all be happy to know our very own Hatter Madigan will be among their ranks—and I absolutely cannot wait for the pictures to start popping up!

To help pass the time—take a look at this conversation I had with Chad about his amazing cosplay craft.

Q: Frank Beddor

What is Cosplay?

A: Chad Evett

Cosplay is a slang term for the phrase ”Costume Play,” which is the art of dressing up in costumes and going out into the world. This can mean you embody the character and act like them, or perhaps you just like dressing up.

There are cosplayers who make their own costumes, but this isn’t necessarily a requirement. It’s all about going out and having fun.

Chad Evett holding the Queen of Clubs’ shoe


How did you get into it?


I had always had a love of dressing up and playing about in costumes, who doesn’t? Originally it was all about Harry Potter, dressing up and going to the movies or the book releases. From there, it sort of spilled over into any movie or event—let’s dress up, it’ll be more fun! (and more work!)

I ended up teaching myself to sew with the help of my mother (an award winning quilter) and the local seamstresses who did costumes for the various theater productions I was involved in. (incidentally, Hi Rebecca! Hi Barbara!)


How did you get into designing? Were you designing for cosplay or were you designing other things first?


It had always been costumes. Most of the plays I directed were original productions, so it was a necessity to imagine and then realize fully formed characters. I have a ton of original designs, but those I tend to keep secret. I’ve had ideas stolen before, so I usually only post my replica work online. (Replicas are a great way to learn new techniques) It was my replica work that got me out to California.  


What’s your background?


My background is predominantly in theater. I have been acting since I was a child, usually in local productions, and then when I got out of high school I started directing. I originally wanted to be a director, and by directing shows and organizing productions, I took on the role of scenic and costume designer.

 I had always been interested in costumes, but I didn’t know how to sew. By doing theater, especially the grandiose fantasy shows I was writing, I was sort of forced to learn this trade because the wonderful, WONDERFUL seamstresses working to build costumes for my shows sort of taught me as we went along. Then one thing led to another and before I knew it I was actively participating in cosplay. Which is a slippery slope!

Chad’s Design Sketches


How did you approach creating Whoopi Goldberg’s character, The Queen of Clubs?


The Queen of Clubs came a little naturally to me—whereas Redd needed to be decadent and a little seedy, Clubs needed to be, in my opinion, classier and regal and refined. I always thought that she would approach her position with dignity, she may not be THE queen, but she is still a queen. So I looked at fabrics that felt royal and regal, but slightly subtle. Also, I felt that Redd would want to Rule the world, but Clubs would want to Explore. So all of her fabrics are eclectic and foreign, the main fabric is a Chinese brocade, that I laired under black crystal organza. Her robe is the same organza, and that ties the look together. —

By using something like organza as well, the shimmery nature of the fabric aided in making the gown look regal. Also, the fabrics I chose catch the sun rather than reflect it, creating a ”glowing” effect. All of the crystals and embroidery on the front were done by hand, and everything glass is actually Swarovski crystal. I did 4 different sketches before deciding on the look we did, simply because all of them didn’t look quite right. She vaguely resembles a chess piece, thereby subconsciously reflecting the power struggle between Clubs and Redd.

My Mother inspired me. A woman who brings a sense of dignity to everything she does, and how, in my mind, that is the ideal queen. Someone with intuition who works from a sense of kindness and the greater good. So using that as a jumping off point I was able to dress the Ideal Matriarch.

The Queen of Clubs, Inspired by Whoopi Goldberg – Costume Created by Chad Evett


Queen Redd was an audience favorite, how did you create the flesh-eating roses?


Those Roses! I found silk roses in downtown LA, and then crafted all of their Maws using a clay that turns slightly transparent when baked. That way the teeth looked natural and the gums looked shiny and fleshy.

Redd, the Red Queen of Wonderland


Hatter Madigan revealed his top hat transformed into blades, was that a magic trick? Or…?


That hat was an antique silk top hat that was collapsible, and we re-skinned it to make it look like the blue caterpillar silk of the books. The Transforming Brim was crafted for us by Mr. Pinski Props, and all of the blades are etched with the various Royal Suits of Wonderland. It may not be a Magic Trick but it is definitely a Hat Trick!

Hatter Madigan standing on the Mad Hatter Statue in New York


Tell us about Warrior Alyss and your costume, Dodge Anders.


Dodge and Alyss need more on them—-they are a prime example of how costumes tend to grow into being. You work on something and tweak it into existence. Alyss was done specifically to look simultaneously hardcore and Mellifluous. All of her fabrics are bridal fabrics, because they have body but can flow. Her color scheme is designed to reflect the ”glow” of wonder: the power of imagination. Her buckles and fittings are gold, reflecting her royal nature.

Dodge is the regal captain of the guard, but we kept him specifically dark. His fittings were all done in silver, keeping him noble but one step below Alyss (Alice) on the hierarchy. Both of them will have more work done to prep them for further events, but I am really proud of how they are coming along!

Queen Alyss visiting the Alice in Wonderland statue in New York City


Lastly, the shoes Whoopi was wearing on the show – those of her character – what is the story behind them?


I knew Whoopi was a fan of shoes, and I knew Whoopi was a fan of the Looking Glass Wars books. So when Frank revealed to me that Whoopi had contributed and become a character in the books, it made sense to combine the two. Her shoes are designed to be something the Queen of Clubs would wear, but realized on fabrics and textures that are regal and royal. They directly match the dress—the same fabrics, colors, and crystals.

I worked with American Duchess in Nevada to create them, they are French court shoes made in black brocade, and they were made specifically For Whoopi. Once I had them I did the handwork and glammed them up, and fitted them with Club shaped Cabochons and crystal work to create something sparkly and immaculate. The soles of the shoes are also stamped with the Looking Glass Wars Logo.

They just sparkle on screen, and I adore them. I want a pair for me! I had so much fun making them for Whoopi, and I hope to do more items for her in the future. The View is such a joyous program, and it makes so many people feel good, that it is an honor and a privilege to do items for those incredible ladies. They ARE royalty!

Queen of Clubs Shoes – Made for Whoopi Goldberg
The Looking Glass Wars Cosplayers on The View — See Whoopi’s Shoes!

The Mad Hatter prevails! Author Frank Beddor sizes up an icon

Bestselling author Frank Beddor knows the landscape of Wonderland as the creator of the “Looking Glass Wars” series of novels and the “Hatter M” graphic novels. Today, as Disney basks in the glow of a $210-million opening weekend of Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland,” Beddor considers the pop-culture persistence of the Mad Hatter.

Riddle: When is a Hatter NOT Mad?

Shatterpated! Barmy! Raving! Amok! Berserk!

I love the smell of madness in the morning. The popularity of “Alice in Wonderland” has endured for nearly 150 years and been read by generations, so it understandably captures a large part of our shared imaginative history. And it’s not just books, film and television that riff on Alice and Wonderland, but music, clothing lines, nightclubs, games, toys etc. etc. etc.

Across the pop culture spectrum, from artists and musicians to ad agencies and Internet moguls, tastemakers are tapping into our shared imaginative history of the Alice iconography to capture their audience. Although Alice certainly gets top billing, there would be a strong argument for an even deeper psychic attachment to … the Mad Hatter.

It seems Alice gets the girls, the dreamers and the fairy-tale fanatics, but the Mad Hatter attracts a more raffish contingency of nose-thumbing social heretics who see the character as an icon of anti-authoritarianism and sartorial splendor.

Despite his moonstruck popularity, history is somewhat bent on the origin of the Hatter and his infamous mental state. The Hatter was a fictional character introduced at a tea party in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” And although he was almost immediately referred to as the “Mad Hatter,” he was never called by this name in Carroll’s book.

The Hatter is introduced in Chapter VII, “A Mad Tea-Party,” in which he asks Alice the famous riddle: “Why is a raven like a writing desk?” When Alice gives up, the Hatter admits he does not have an answer himself. How mad!

Minstrel outlaw Tom Petty donned the Wonderland madman’s costume for his 1985 music video “Don’t Come Around Here No More” and Tom Waits sings ”mad as a hatter/thin as a dime.” Bars and pubs and watering holes around the globe proclaim themselves to be an outpost of madness by adopting the name of (arguably) history’s most mad character. Racehorses and restaurants … a certain inmate of Arkham Asylum … all mad as hatters.

It seems from all this that the general populace is actually quite dazzled by all things MAD.

s it the social freedom that the Mad appear to enjoy? Freedom from petty constraints, the herd state and dress codes can be a lure to many individuals. But not to the timid. The timid seem to me to be anything but mad, which is why I so vehemently disagree with the consensus by some that the Mad Hatter’s mental state was induced by inhaling the mercury fumes that were part of the trade of 19th century hat makers.

Symptoms of mercury poisoning include excessive timidity, diffidence, increasing shyness, loss of self-confidence, anxiety, and a desire to remain unobserved and unobtrusive. WHAT? Nothing MAD about all that. So then… when is a Hatter NOT Mad?

When he is FURIOUS.

With full disclosure I must admit to a strong alliance with a Hatter whose “madness” manifests as an obsessive, single-minded, all-consuming mania to traverse our world in search of Wonderland’s lost princess. Many of those he meets along the way certainly consider him to be mad. What is this man in the Hat babbling about? A lost princess named Alyss? His loyalty to White Imagination? A puddle where no puddle should be! Lock him up!

But in between the timid, the toe-the-liners and the practical observers of life, he meets those who dare to believe him, who sense the truth of his mission and the beauty of his cause. And to all of those … I must tip my hat. One last riddle: Why must individuality be labeled a disease? Answer: Because it is dangerous.

Madly yours,

Frank Beddor