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Wonderland #1

Book Released: 17 May 2006
Review posted: 20 May 2006

Writer: Tommy Kovac
Artist: Sonny Liew
Publisher: SLG


 5.00 out of 5 Stars

Reviewed by Adam White

 


I’ve never been much of a fan of Disney-related comicbooks (other than Uncle Scrooge), but when I saw that SLG had acquired the license to their properties the possibilities intrigued me. I saw preview art for Wonderland #1 a while back and thought it looked incredible, so I purchased the book when it came out this week. I had no idea what it was about going into it, and honestly figured it was an adaptation or watered-down sequel (like most of Disney’s lame sequel movies), but was pleasantly surprised when I read something I didn’t think existed anymore: a comicbook for kids that can be enjoyed by adults as well.

Tommy Kovac scripts this impossible task, writing a book for children that does not talk down to them or feature mindless, repetitive rubbish like Dora the Explorer or Teletubbies. Kovac brings an intelligence to the story and the characters that makes them likable and interesting, something lacking in most mediums that produce work for children anymore.

Wonderland’s characters exhibit the otherworldly sensibilities originated in Lewis Carroll’s book, yet Kovac maintains that quality without simply rehashing the original material.


Kovac continues the story you see in Alice in Wonderland, yet moves on without Alice and focuses on the characters native to Wonderland, including Mary Ann, the girl the White Rabbit mistook Alice for in the book/film. Mary Ann, as well as the other characters, exhibit the otherworldly sensibilities originated in Lewis Carroll’s book, yet Kovac maintains that quality without simply rehashing the original material. Kovac has done his research and made Wonderland a wonderful reading experience for all ages.

Sonny Liew’s art, the thing that initially drew me to the book, was everything I hoped for based on the previews and more, vividly capturing the world of Wonderland and adding to the magical atmosphere of the story. Liew’s style resembles what you would expect from a high-end illustrated hardcover book, and he makes maximum use of his color palette to add texture and depth to everything you see on the page.

Liew’s style resembles what you would expect from a high-end illustrated hardcover book, and he makes maximum use of his color palette to add texture and depth to everything you see on the page.


From character head shots to nonsensical realms, Liew packs every page with wonderful illustrations (with which I would like to wallpaper my house), and his expressive characters convey a vast range of emotions. Liew also extends some art beyond the panels to encompass the entire page, and his Cheshire Cat roams about the book wherever he pleases (even outside the panels). Liew definitely has a handle on his craft, and the little details throughout demonstrate both a quality and consciousness in his work that makes it worth endless viewings.

Have a kid that you would like to share your love of comicbooks with? Wonderland is the place to start. I can think of no better way to get a child hooked on comicbooks than to hand them a copy of Wonderland #1 and tell them that this is what the medium offers when creators enjoy their work. Kovac and Liew have produced the first solid reading experience in comicbook form for young readers (and their elders) that I have seen during my time collecting comics; and while I’m not that old, that has still been a very long time. Nice work, gentlemen.

—CCdC—

 

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Cover image used without explicit permission in accordance with the "Fair Use" provision of US copyright law.

 

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