It must be a difficult undertaking to attempt to draw upon Lewis Carroll’s creation without being heavily influenced by the work of Walt Disney, Tom Petty, or Zenescope. Sure, I’m kind of joking about the last two, but Alice — Disney’s interpretation — has permeated the public consciousness and established itself as the interpretation of the character, to the point where it directly influenced the other two. Beyond those mentioned, Alice (either in tandem with Wonderland or Wonderland by itself) have made a number of appearances in comics in the recent past, including “Wonderland” by Slave Labor Graphics. So it would seem this is just another in a string of Alice rehashings.
Dynamite’s dedication to presenting Alice to a new audience — or at least presenting her in a new depth — is drawn directly from the source material, Carroll’s books: “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” “Through the Looking-Glass,” and “What Alice Found There.” I’m unsure how far and wide Dynamite plans to take this tale, but to this point, the story is solidly reinterpreted.
Awano’s art is less in line with the work of John Tenniel that graced the original story of Alice, and more heavily in line with manga. Her clean style fits this recapturing of the adventures of Alice, by giving it both a modern and a vintage feel at the same time. I admit, this may seem to be on the level of non-sequitur that Carroll’s tale is filled with, but it is true. The manga-influenced artwork doesn’t tie itself down to one era, and this story will look as magnificent in twenty years as it does today.
Moore and Reppion do a splendid job of leaving the story intact while interpreting Carroll’s text for their artist. The final two pages of this issue provide some insight into their process of taking the piece from Carroll to the comic, a nice addition in pulling back the curtain (sorry for mixing the tales together there) to explain the process. It’s like including the trade paperback extras in the original floppy for completionist’s sake.
Finally, I’ve got to give credit to the graphic artist who designed the logo, which has a fine, polished, classic feel in and of itself. The Cheshire Cat as the dot on the “I” takes the logo from classic to brilliant. “Oh, you can’t help that. We’re all mad here.”
This is a wonderful re-imagining of a classic tale. Dynamite has done a good job here, but the story seems truncated — which, of course, it is. Three issues remain in it (“What is it?”) and surely the creative team has a few more pleasant translations to share with us in those future stories. Inevitably, this series will be collected, so if you have a hard time accepting literature in a serialized format, the hardcover or trade might be right for you. If you’re fine with floppies, then you might want to take a drink from the bottle and join me down the rabbit hole.