I have to admit that I’m just a little bit addicted to Lewis Carroll’s Alice books. I grew up with them and found/find them to be some of the most creative stories ever told. And because of this, I’m always on the lookout for new tales in Wonderland…though at the same time, a bit skeptical as to what I’ll find. To discover that there is a comic/graphic novel, somewhat loosely based on the Alice stories was a bit of a thrill.
First, let’s be clear that this is clearly a Wonderland for adults. From the improbably provocative female bodies to the blood and gore to the drug use, this is an all-adult graphic novel. This story follow’s Alice’s daughter, Calie, and grand-daughter, Violet as they try to re-establish themselves in the modern world, and it also follows the Red Queen in Wonderland trying to find the Temple of Purity. Being connected to Wonderland, strange occurrences are to be expected, and the reader is not disappointed.
I was delighted to find a story that wasn’t a re-boot of the classic, but instead used Lews Carroll’s stories as the background framework to build this darker story-line.
The art is quite effective for the story. For whatever reason, I seemed to find the Red Queen story-line art to be more ‘real’ than the real world art. I’m not sure if that’s because I was more willing to accept something slightly abstract in Wonderland, or if it’s because they wore more clothes in Wonderland, so less chance of drawing the human form out of proportion, or if it was my imagination entirely. All in all, though, the art worked for the story, and young men will greatly appreciate the pin-up-esqueness of the women.
I love what they’ve done with the Chesire cat. One only needs to look here to see that this is a dark, gritty version of Wonderland.
Looking for a good book? This is a recommended read for anyone interested in non-traditional graphic novels, epic fantasy/dark-fantasy, or the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland books.
* * * * * *
Wonderland Volume 2
author: Raven Gregory
artist: Sheldon Goh
paperback, 176 pages