Review - Alice in Wonderland (Graphic Novel)

BOOM! Studios collaborating with Disney have combined forces to bring us what amounts to a pretty faithful adaptation of the recent Tim Burton movie Alice in Wonderland. The wording has been modified directly from the screenplay for the movie, so don’t expect any surprises. The main creative team consists of Alessandro Ferrari on manuscript adaptation, Massimiliano Narciso on layout and inks and Marieke Ferrari on paints. These three individuals have done a remarkable job taking the fantastical visuals from Tim Burton’s vision of Alice and transferring them to graphic novel form.

I think what really makes the graphic novel an appealing format for this story is the fantasy nature of the tale. A girl falls into a rabbit hole and finds herself in an alternate universe where an evil queen has taken control of the land through fear of her exotic animals the Bandersnatch and the Jabberwocky. In this world animals can talk and fight. Being insane seems to be a plus and a young girl can morph from a scared and rather weak young woman into a warrior.

There are certain drawbacks to graphic novel form however. Some of the amazing visual experiences from the movie are lost and some of the scenes seem almost cut short. I think it is easy to forget how much can happen in a five minute stretch of a movie. Certain scenes that just seemed more complete in the movie had to be translated into panels that made sense while still allowing for story progression.

In the end this is a faithful and really well drawn adaptation. What seemed fantastic in the movie is bent even further in the graphic novel. The overall look and feel is maintained and some of the fresh takes on the creatures are entertaining. It is always difficult to take something from one form and convert it while maintaining the story. Graphic novels going to movies are often questioned (see: Watchmen), and books translated to movies are often bemoaned by those who read the book first. Considering the difficulty that also applies to bringing a movie to a more limited format in a static book, I think this does an excellent job.

The bottom line is, if you have seen the movie, there isn’t really going to be anything different in the graphic novel. If you tend to enjoy this format better then by all means pick this up as it does a great job not leaving anything out and staying faithful to the style. If you are just a fan of the story, but are only really experienced with Disney’s original tale, I think you will enjoy this as it definitely provides some closure to the story whether you realized it needed it or not. For a closer look at the style I keep referring to check out the interiors below and if you find yourself falling down the rabbit hole…well you better pick this one up in stores so you can find your way out.