This week sees the release of Alice in Wonderland from Zenescope Entertainment. While this book has been previously published as a hardback, this release gives you the chance to get your sweaty mitts on the trade paperback version. This story is an origin of Alice’s tales in Wonderland and tells the full story behind the much-loved character and how she became the woman she is. The book starts when for reasons unknown, Alice is asked to enter a nook in a tree by her grandparents. She is of course afraid as any small child would be but respects her grandfather’s wishes and enters. The small tree opening is the doorway to Wonderland of course and Alice is met there by the iconic white rabbit. After a cryptic exchange the rabbit bounds down into the depths and is followed closely by Alice. As you may expect, the journey downwards gets stranger and stranger and follows only the rules you would expect your own dreams to conform to. Alice suffers prolonged mental torture at the hands of the sinister Jabberwocky who seems to take great delight in holding Alice captive and tormenting her. As the years pass, Alice becomes a beautiful young woman. It is then that her troubles really begin! To find out more you will need to read it for yourself.
The book continues on as a roller coaster ride of terror and wonderful bizarreness. All the familiar elements from the children’s classic are present but it’s all been kicked up a notch for the horror loving adult market. In short, this is what Alice in Wonderland would be like as a nightmare on Red Bull, rather than a dream. This trade is a collection of the first six single issues all beautifully written by Raven Gregory. What impressed me the most about the writing was how Gregory used artistic licence to recreate the story so that it was fresh and unique but still maintained the essence of the classic. I felt at home with the characters and there was a level of comfort, which was pulled out from under me on more than one occasion. The characters are great spins on the originals and each one is interesting and terrifying in equal measure.
The artwork in the book is just what you have come to expect from Zenescope titles. It’s slick, polished and very, very pretty. The line work is consistent throughout even though there were five pencil artists involved over the six issues. The colors used are really nice and give you that dreamlike, otherworldly feel. For me, one of the standouts in this book was the lettering by Jim Campbell. The choice of fonts and caption boxes is inspired and it’s what gives the characters their own distinct style.
Overall, this book is a hoot from start to finish. The pace and story really keep you interested and the artwork will deserve repeat readings. This is an essential volume of modern horror story telling and should be on every comic book fan’s shelf. Please visit the Zenescope website for more information about this title and many more and look out for this book at your local stockist.