New Alice in Wonderland
by Rod Espinosa
Publisher: Antarctic Press
When I was a young lad, Alice in Wonderland always terrified me. I don’t know if it was the huge purple cheshire cat, the talking poker cards, or that wretched queen. It was the one Disney film that I didn’t ask my mom to rewind. Now that I’m older I’ve been wanting to return to it. Why not check out this new “manga?” Rod Espinosa is a critically acclaimed graphic novel author, let’s take a look at his take on Lewis Carroll’s classic novel.
New Alice in Wonderland is a full color graphic novel and is the first volume in the series. This story starts with Alice’s mom reading to her. All of a sudden she sees a big fat rabbit running around in the yard and decides to chase after him. She follows him into the woods and of course, down the rabbit hole. Here she encounters a door that’s just a little too small for her. But no worry she finds a drinking potion that shrinks her down to the right size. Once in Wonderland she meets many new animal creatures who not only talk, but assault her for liking cats! Running further into Wonderland she again meets the rabbit and a giant caterpillar. Alas, Alice has no idea where she is going. Wondering down the path farther she meets the Mad Hatter and Hare. Unfortunately they insult her by asking her riddles they don’t have the answer to. Infuriated she follows the path farther and meets a deck of cards painting roses red the queen. The queen puts Alice on trial for “eating” a pie but she escapes by growing into a giant and…waking up.
Rod Espinosa’s artwork on Alice closely resembles the manga style but generally only the facial expressions of Alice. The queen was turned into a white faced geisha which I thought was an interesting take. Although this is only supposed to be the first volume, I thought there should be a little more time taken on developing Alice. All she ever does is eat cakes to grow smaller or bigger and we find out it’s a dream way too early. Rod Espinosa wrote in the introduction that one of the main reasons that he started this story was that David Hutchison was doing a “manga” on the Wizard of Oz. Personally, I think I would’ve rather read that.
Read a preview of New Alice in Wonderland here.