Monday, August 25, 2008
Alice as you have never seen her (and a graphic novel must read even if you hate Wonderland)
If you haven't seen Bryan Talbott's Alice in Sunderland, you are missing the graphic novel experience of a lifetime. To say it is gorgeous is an understatement and the art is only part of it anyway. This historical look at where Lewis Carroll was from and how the story of Alice in Wonderland came together and ten thousand other things that seem to have nothing to do with it but are really all interconnected is just flat out stupendous. I wrote about it earlier this year at my site. Here's a bit:
When I first saw it, I thought Alice in Sunderland was a variation on the traditional Alice story; not an adaption or retelling but some kind of visual twist on the classic. Okay I was wrong - I was really really wrong. I have never read anything like this book and I can't imagine the kind of creative mind that put it together. It's a history of England, focusing on one specific section (Sunderland - in the northeast section of the country) and then folding into that the story of Charles Dodgson and the Liddell family and how they converged resulting the Alice in Wonderland. But none of that explains how sumptuous this novel is. The visuals are stunning - STUNNING - and the way author Bryan Talbot moves between drawing styles and back and forth from illustration to photography to collage is so inspiring.
He makes you want to create beautiful and interesting things.