Grimm Fairy Tales 10th Anniversary Special #3 Alice
My look at the six 10th Anniversary one shots from ZeneScope Entertainment continues. This time it’s Alice’s turn. Let’s see what kinda adventures we’ll have in Wonderland.
Once again another creative team I’m new to. I have to say I dug what Donald Joh is doing with the writing here. Then there’s the art team of Gregbo Watson and Erick Arciniega. These artists just blew me away with everything in this issue. Zenescope’s Grimm Fairy Tales books brings us classic fairy tales, but with horror inspired twists and turns. I’ve not read any of the Wonderland titles yet in Zenescope’s library. I just haven’t gotten around to them yet. So this was my first exposure to these characters. I’ll say this right now this was one whacked out weird ass story. The ending is just a MIND BLOWN moment! I will not be spoiling the ending, you fans and readers of mine need to read the issue for yourselves.
OK right off the bat as I’m reading this, it seems that in Wonderland Alice doesn’t age. Or at least that’s what I think is going on. Because as J.W. her friend that originally dropped into Wonderland when he was younger… he ages fast. Every time he goes back he’s older and older. I really dig how Donald Joh is writing this. It’s a VERY DARK tale. What is so interesting about this one shot is the combination of being in Wonderland and the Real World. We don’t see the white rabbit, Cheshire cat, mad hatter, March Hare, queen of hearts, or any of the other characters people might know from the Disney version of Alice in Wonderland. What we do get is the Big Green Ugly as the “villain”. Now I put quotes around the word villain, because the Jabberwocky here is and isn’t the villain of the story. He’s more like the story’s own puppeteer. Joh crafts these characters so well. Alice is lonely and lost in Wonderland. It seems like she has no adventures at all, she just waits in her treehouse for J.W. to come see her. As he comes and visits every few years, we see that his life drastically changes as time passes, however with Alice it seems time has stood still. I never knew Wonderland worked like Neverland. I’m not complaining with that last statement, just observing that Joh seems to be using the Neverland adage of “never grow up” There is one more time when J.W. goes to Wonderland, but Alice is gone. This sets him on a path, a path that will forever change his life. Even though this is a very dark story, it’s also kinda sad. I can’t even believe I’m saying that, because we should not feel any sympathy for the J.W. character. Because of who is revealed to be at the end of the issue. Once again the creative teams at Zenescope have me hooked. While in my Red Riding Hood review, I suggested that I wanted a NEW ongoing series… Here I’m not going to suggest that. In Donald Joh’s writing he has mastered the idea of these one shots. Tell a stand alone story, that can be followed from beginning to end. SURE people might wonder who the big green ugly is, but that’s a minor gripe for me.
The art team of Gregbo Watson and Erick Arciniega KILL IT on the colors, backgrounds, and overall tone of the book. Their drawings and colorings really add something to Joh’s story. Out of the three 10th Anniversary one shots so far… this might be the most dark art I’ve seen in this six issue series. The big green ugly looks impressively scary, and when J.W goes on his spree the character designs are so fragile looking at first, until the man strikes. Alice as a young girl looks fragile and ready to crack, yet when she’s all grown up she looks as if she’s ready to fight an army. my favorite page from the entire issue is the final page, when we get the reveal of who J.W. is. One this page it exudes nothing but sadness for these people who were best friends. Arciniega’s colors pop of the page so well. I love his dark and light blues throughout. Watson’s art is equally fitting, these guys work very well together. I’d be very interested to see what they do next.
This third 10th Anniversary comic issue was good. I do want to read more Zenescope stuff with Alice after reading this issue, but I don’t think I’d want a new ongoing. This was a very well done self-contained story, and I’m not sure where Donald Joh could take Alice from here. You can get this issue from Comixology or your local comic shop. Wonderland is waiting.