Sunday, May 21, 2006

Wonderland #1

Slave Labor Graphics debuted a book based on Disney's Alice In Wonderland (in turn, based on the Lewis Carroll children's book) this past week, named Wonderland. Not Alice In Wonderland mind you, because Alice does not appear in the book. The book, written by Tommy Kovac (author of Autumn, which always caught my eye at the comic store, though I regret I never picked up an issue), with art by Sonny Liew, takes place just after Alice leaves the magical kingdom, with the loveable characters from the world such as The White Rabbit, Tweedle-Dee, Tweedle-Dum, and The Queen of Hearts, in their element. The main character of the tale is a young human girl named Mary Ann, who if you recall the story of Alice In Wonderland, was who The White Rabbit mistook Alice for when she showed up at his house and eventually experimented with the whole eating/drinking, shrinking/growing thing until she got it right. So this character who was never actually seen becomes the protagonist of this story. It makes perfect sense really and I commend the writers of the series for the idea. Mary Ann herself is the maid of The White Rabbit, and as such, prances along in a maid outfit with a talking feather duster. And she's a compulsive cleaner on top of that, dusting everything in sight (even the dirt road). So, when The Queen of Hearts, going after The White Rabbit to see why he's been conspiring with the "Alice Monster" (or rather just looking for a reason to scream "Off with his head!"), accidentally knocks a cupcake onto Mary Ann's newly-starched apron, the young girl swiftly gets a maniacal gleam in her eye and knocks the queen over the head with a spade. Thus she has condemned herself and The White Rabbit to a life on the run. The book is really very fun, with a lot of creative, crazy scenes. Liew's pencils are beautiful with his cartoony style and its sketchy feel. It's really a perfect book for younger readers, following up on a concept they're probably already aware of, with some intelligence and creativity behind it. Check out a preview over at Slave Labor Graphic's site.

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