Alice (About Comics)

    (About, 2004)
™ and © About, Dowling

In some ways, Alice is a standard retelling of Alice in Wonderland. In other ways, it’s like no Alice you’ve ever seen before.

The retelling is faithful, albeit in comics form. The real innovations come (and don’t come) from the art. Some of the characters, such as The Caterpillar, look pretty much as one would expect. Others, such as The Mad Hatter, look different. (Alice herself looks like a blonde Dorothy.)

Dowling cites Walt Kelly among her influences, and that’s easy to see in the faces of the anthropomorphic animals. She doesn’t name Eisner, but she works in the same panel-free style as that of which he is the master. It’s well done and suits the story admirably.

Most characters’ faces are detailed, but Alice lacks definition. While an almost blank-faced protagonist works well in The Dream-Quest of Unknown Kadath (to name one example), it fails here. Alice is a too well-known and iconic character to take on the role of an everyman (everygirl?). She probably would work even better with a wider range of expression.

Reprint alert: The contents of this book were originally serialized in Eclipse’s The Dreamery.

— Jack Abramowitz

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1 copy available for $8.00
 B&W; ca. 2004Lela Dowling, Lewis CarrollLela Dowling