Sunday, July 14, 2013

Review: Alice in Wonderland by Raven Gregory & Robert Gill

Title: Alice in Wonderland (TPB)
Author: Raven Gregory
Illustrator: Robert Gill
Colors: Jason Embury
Collects: Alice in Wonder #1 - #6
Release Date: 30 October 2012

Decades ago, a girl named Alice was sacrificed into the horror-filled realm of Wonderland but her terrifying and awe-inspiring experiences there have been shrouded in mystery.

The one thing known is that her time spent in a world full of insanity left her a broken adult. However, her courageous will to survive is what ultimately saved humanity. Now the story of Alice’s visit into Wonderland is fully revealed and the truth of the terror will be told in full!

I saw this on NetGalley and had to give it a try. There are so many great artistic possibilities with Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland story. And I have to say that the author and illustrator really took advantage of that. The episodic nature of Alice's travels in Wonderland is really interesting - there's never a dull moment and you really get to see a lot of the characters that fascinate so many of us.

The Jabberwocky plays a huge role in this, and in fact the ending leaves you a little bit hanging as to what ultimately happens to him. He's the reason that Alice is brought to Wonderland though, sacrificed really. Which is an interesting spin on the falling down the rabbit hole. She follows a white rabbit for a little while, gets lost in the land of dreams, and ends up in Wonderland. As the prisoner of the Jabberwocky she must tell him stories of her world. Years and years and years pass this way, and eventually Alice grows up (and apparently out of her clothes...)

When she gets the chance to escape she takes it. But the saying: Out of the frying pan, into the fire, never was so applicable. I loved some of the spins they took on the White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, March Hare etc. The illustrations of them were all superb, and intriguing to look at. The Queen of Hearts, Queen of Spades, and Gravity herself were very interesting here. I'd definitely like to see more of their stories.

Unfortunately, the part that seemed to suffer the most was Alice herself. She was a bit of a cipher; with no real personality, merely jumping from one insane situation to the next. I would have liked to see a bit more character development from her. And maybe have her wearing some more clothes occasionally. On the one hand, I get it, but on the other - honestly, she doesn't need to be half naked to be appealing.

I did really appreciate the use of the panels, and pages to tell part of the story. At one point - which doesn't work so well digitally - the pages rotate around as Gravity starts messing with this. It really brought the story to me, I thought. Also, the fonts and speech bubbles used for the characters were unique to each one, and it made it very easy to determine who was speaking.

I enjoyed this graphic novel - Alice could have used a bit more personality, and I definitely felt like I was missing things (obviously based on the editor's notes placed occasionally throughout the text), but all in all it was a good, fun, and different read. I liked this unique look at Wonderland. And I think I'll be looking for more of the Grimm's Fairy Tales comics.

Grade: B-

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