My rating: 3 of 5 stars
This graphic novel interested me by the cover art alone. Then I realized it was a retelling of Alice in Wonderland and had to get it from the library. Then I learned there are novels but more on that later. It’s postulating that Lewis Carrrol had it totally backwards. Alice didn’t fall through the looking glass into Wonderland. She is Princess Alyss OF Wonderland and she’s lost here on earth.
Wonderland has come under attack as the red queen tries to take over her sister’s throne. The White Queen forces Hatter Madigan of the Millinery Corps to take Alyss and run but he loses the girl between worlds. He’s now stalking Earth trying desperately to find his lose princess.
To do so, he’s ‘following the glow’ of imagination since Alyss would be ripe with it and humans are a bit less so. Among his adventures are him losing his hat to an evil magician, him being taken prisoner by the French police and the longest of which brings him into contact with The Baroness who is working with a group who know who and what Madigan is and are working against him. They have a wonderfully creepy device that drains and bottles imagination. On top of all of this, the Red Queen’s minions are after him and Alyss.
I found the storyline to be fascinating and I want to see more of the graphic novels and the source novels. In fact, I might want to see them more. While Ben Templesmith might be an Eisner nominated artist, I hated the art here. I think it may have been purposefully distorted and muddy to make it look depressing and disturbing to the eye but it didn’t work for me. Many times the hands and proportions were something you’d see on a kid’s refrigerator art and surely that had to be intentionally. Then again, it’s this ‘edgy’ art style thing that made me stop collecting American comics almost all together so that does play a role in it.
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