Filed under: Comic Reviews, Titan Comics | Tags: Alice in Wonderland, Barnaby Bagenda, Dave Elliott, Fahriza Kamaputra, Frankenstein's Monster, Gloria Caeli, Ifansyah Noor, Imam E. Wibowo, Jessica Kholinne, Jungle Book, Sakti Yuwono, Sami Basri, Sunny Gho, Titan Comics, Wind in the Willows
Volume one of Weirding Willows is due for release soon and I got an early look thanks to the folks at Titans Comics which has given me some pretty damn good read’s recently in It Came! and Death Sentence.
At first I wasn’t sure what to expect but hey, that’s the lure of taking a gamble on a brand new book be that comic themed or otherwise. Dave Elliott writes a story featuring some of the most recognizable literary characters around as Alice In Wonderland, Frankenstein’s Monster, Wind in the Willows, The Wizard of Oz, Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde, The Island of Doctor Moreau and The Jungle Book all combine to give us a fairly hefty roster. The worlds of Oz, Neverland, Wonderland and more have been merged into an intricate world that shows great care and attention to detail. If this was a Hollywood mash-up we’d have the “reimagined” tagline thrown at it and we’d get some sort of garish, twisted tale but this is as far away from that as you could possibly get.
Alice is our central character and following her previous adventures in Wonderland she’s now living with her father, Dr Moreau who’s working with the wicked witch of the west to help create the flying monkey’s she needs with the help of his assistant/delivery man Dr Doolittle’s son, Monty. Meanwhile we have Frankenstein’s monster on the search for his dinosaur and Mowgli trying to save himself, Baloo and Bagheera from the clutches of Moreau. Add to that the talking animals from the surrounding area with Badger, Toady, Mole, Peter Rabbit, The Cheshire Cat and many more making an appearance and there’s a who’s who of characters we think we know……but Dave makes sure we get a fresh perspective on them.
The multi-layered tale and the way the worlds are weaved together is just brilliant and while this may not have been what I expected it’s eased into my “must-read” list of suggestions. The level of care Dave takes with the characters is infectious as he keeps their core elements in place while tweaking some of the finer details to make things work. Adding portals between the worlds as the characters mix is a master stroke in making the landscape combine and let each element shine in it’s own way. Then there’s the artwork with Barnaby Bagenda & Sami Basri on line work as a colourist team of Sunny Gho, Jessica Kholinne, Ifansyah Noor, Fahriza Kamaputra & Gloria Caeli team-up to create the stunning, highly detailed visuals. Capturing every twist in the tale, the highs, the lows and everything in between from a range of characters and landscapes that light up every page.
I’m not sure if this is something I could wait on month after month as I got lost in this title so easily…..and the thought of it ending abruptly and making me wait would be some cruel test that I’m not sure I could get through. Smart, intricate connections between all the recognizable characters help build a new world with elements I recognize and some I don’t and that makes this volume feel like a discovery as much as it does an adventure. Vibrant artwork for the team involved only helps bolster the entire world as the fantastic landscape is created anew in front of us.
Keep an eye out for this over at the Titan Comics website – due for release on the 1st July 2014
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