When CBR News spoke previously to author, film producer and "Hatter M" creator Frank Beddor, the Desperado/Image comic was just days away from exploding in stores around the world and selling out just as quickly. Beddor's fascinating and controversial take on the story of Alice Liddel and her experiences in what is popularly known as "Wonderland" is based on the premise that everything author Lewis Carroll told readers were lies. The story continues today in the hotly anticipated, newly shipped issue #3, written by Beddor and Liz Cavalier and featuring full color art by comics superstar Ben Templesmith.
"The Looking Glass Wars" which will finally be published later this month, September 26th, is the novel by Frank Beddor from which the popular "Hatter M" is spun off.
"[The story] begins in 1859 when Princess Alyss Heart flees a bloody coup in Wonderland," Beddor told CBR staff writer Robert Taylor earlier this year. "According to extensive documentation, Alyss (aka Alice Liddell) told her story to Lewis Carroll in 1862 resulting in the initial book, "Alice's Adventures Underground" being published in 1864."
"Hatter M" follows, in comic form, events not explicitly depicted in the book, specifically Hatter Madigan –who in this version of the classic story is Alyss' bodyguard and not an insane tea party host- on his thirteen-year search for Alyss in the real world following her escape from Wonderland. The comic is designed to function as both a stand-alone series and an adjunct to the novel.
As issues #1 and #2 virtually vanished from bookstores when they were released by Image Comics earlier this year, Beddor & Co. have spared no effort to make sure new readers can enjoy issue #3. The LGW crew have posted pages from both issues in the Hatter M section of www.lookingglasswars.com and also provide previews of issues #3 and #4, with additional pencil sketches by Templesmith. The convention special issue #2.5, which features answers to many fans' questions, will also be available as a download.
The first two issues saw Hatter M wander the streets of Paris, have a conversation with Jules Verne, and battle deadly, insane monkeys. Beddor tells CBR News that "in issue 3, Hatter M is forced to reveal the pivotal, iconic moments that lead to his relentless search to find the lost princess."
Despite the obviously high demand for "Hatter M," Beddor is pragmatic about the book's success. "Unlike a film," the "Something About Mary" producer said, "a book's 'expectations' aren't calculated over a weekend so I will have to wait a few months to really track the sales and see how they line up with everyone's expectations (the publishers, the booksellers, the store owners) which seem very positive. Sales in the UK and other countries where LGW has already been published have been very good and very encouraging for its prospects here in the states."
As a film producer, it would be only natural for Beddor to be developing a film version if his increasingly buzz-erific franchise. Something is in the works, surely? Not so, says the author. "The most important thing to me is that the books stand on their own," Beddor said. "If I can control the creative direction in various media then I will be happy to explore any and all. What I will not be doing is licensing off the rights, crossing my fingers and hoping it all turns out especially when it comes to a movie. At that level of expression I would be even more protective, sensitive and diligent about getting it right. "
Also launched today is the official Looking Glass Wars online card game. Featured here on CBR earlier this week, the game is based on an ancient, incomplete deck of cards Beddor claims to have discovered in the British Museum. "So playing cards have always been intrinsic to the Looking Glass Wars trilogy," Beddor said. "But it wasn't until after the book was first published in the UK that I considered the idea of a card game.
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width="136" height="190" alt="" align="left" border="0">"Late one night, I received an anonymous phone call hinting at the Wonderland beginnings for the ancient game of GO. The caller whispered, 'It all begins with GO. But to complete the truth you must go beyond the board. To the cards.' Beyond the board? I was intrigued enough to hire an esoteric mathematician to unravel this gaming riddle. The mathematician soon realized that the ancient cards were pieces of an even older game, played like the Eastern game of GO, but using the playing cards of the West. What he had discovered was the origin of all strategic gameplay."
Based on these findings, Beddor's mathematician created The Looking Glass Wars card game. Said to transport players from the known to the unknown, enhance perceptions, extend clarity, and open the mind to the infinite power of the imagination, the game is available to play now on www.lookingglasswars.com now. A printed version of the game will be available soon.