Tuesday, December 26, 2006

New Alice in Wonderland

I downloaded a legal, electronic version of Rod Espinosa's four-issue New Alice in Wonderland through Wowio and just got through reading it. Unlike some of the Alice stories I've seen lately, this one is essentially just a re-telling of the original. For the record, it was published by Antartic Press in the early part of 2006.

It's definitely got some good things going for it. Rod does a fair job as sequential storytelling for a story that's really all over the map. In places, he's even streamlined things a bit from Lewis Carroll's original. I like some of the ancillary designs tucked away throughout the series. The walking cards with the spot-shaped heads is nice, and I especially liked the lanterns based on the four card suits.

I wasn't terribly keen on the character designs, though. Nothing blatantly wrong, per se, I'm just not a big fan of typical manga-style character designs.

The biggest problem I had, really, was that this wasn't the original. It's a problem inherent in almost any re-envisioning of a good story -- the new creator is interpretting the original story before presenting to the audience. There's nothing you can do about that, to be fair. Each reader is going to step away from the original with a slightly different take on it; they're going to naturally focus on some aspects more than others, and this will inevitably be different than what other people focus on. The new creator, as a new creator, is then forced into the position of trying to stay true to each and every readers' interpretation of the original, which is nearly impossible.

Which isn't to say that making the effort is not worth pursuing! Just that they've got a higher bar than someone who's creating a wholly original work.

If you've never read the original Alice in Wonderland, you can't go wrong with downloading a free copy of Rod's comic book version. He's put a slightly different spin on the story and included some visual designs that I will likely remember in my next re-reading of the original. In any retelling, I think that's really about the most a creator can ask for.

1 comment:

slacks said...

I love Alice in Wonderland with johny Depp