Writer: Dan Panosian
Art: Giorgio Spalletta, Dan Panosian, and Fabiana Mascolo
Letterer: Jeff Eckleberry
Publisher: Boom! Studios
Release Date: April 6th, 2022
Alice of “Alice in Wonderland”, now in her early 20’s, lives a seedy life of stealing and drug addiction in Alice Ever After #1. Set in the apex of the Victorian era, Alice struggles to live life on her terms within the constraints of Victorian society, periodically “escaping” to Wonderland for solace. How can Alice survive when the real world has become more twisted and insane than Wonderland?
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We immediately see how far Alice has fallen as Alice Ever After #1 opens, with Alice attempting to shoplift, as her lecherous “friend” Morton waits for her outside. It’s not her first theft attempt, and as the issue unfolds, we get glimpses into her last few years, where she’s become an outcast of sorts, even within her family.
Morton is a stereotypical scumbag, right down to his Snidely Whiplash-style handlebar mustache, and it’s painful to see the abusive relationship he and Alice have, which takes a startling turn towards the end of the issue.
The scenes with Alice’s family are painted in broad strokes. There’s no subtlety there, with Alice’s father being quick-tempered and abusive, and her mother being as cold as the arctic. It’s easy to see why Alice has lost her way, with so little familial support and stability, but it would have been better if her parents had ONE good trait, at least, but they’re both written to be totally awful.
No one’s that horrible 24 hours a day!
Alice’s younger sister is written with a bit more depth. We don’t see much of her in this issue, but she has the youthful exuberance Alice once had, and she seems genuinely interested in what Alice has to say. I hope we see more of her in future issues, she’s a wonderful contrast to Alice’s loathsome parents.
Yes, we also briefly get to see Wonderland too this issue, and it’s drawn in a completely different style from the “real world” scenes. It’s an interesting contrast, as here, Alice is drawn in that perfect Disney-style way, not one hair out of place and glamorous, much different from how she’s drawn outside of Wonderland.
I enjoyed the Wonderland section of the book and I wish it had gone longer. Despite the cutesy art and characters popping up in this part of the issue, there’s a sinister sub-current throughout it. I feel that in future issues, Alice will be spending more time there than in the “real world”.
As mentioned above, the art on Alice Ever After #1 is divided into two sections: the stark (yet still lovely) traditional art for the “real world” scenes and the more animation-inspired art for the Wonderland section.
I loved both styles. The non-Wonderland art has an angular style and the characters and architecture are drawn in a classic style that fits the Victorian age.
In the Wonderland section, all the characters from the book are captured perfectly, with over-the-top expressions and physical attributes. Reading this section was like looking through one of those old Viewmaster lenses, the pages seeming like 3-dimensional animation cels. Beautiful work.
Alice Ever After #1 is hampered by the two-dimensional supporting characters, but Alice is, as always, a fascinating character, and the contrasting art styles elevate the book, making this a slightly above average continuation of Alice’s story.