This book, now in softcover, features all of Lewis Carroll’s Alice, including a forgotten chapter of Through the Looking Glass: “The Wasp in a Wig.”
When I was offered a peek into this wonderful graphic novel, the first thing I wanted was to read the lost chapter. A new discovery or addition to a classical work is always a treat in itself, and it was definitely worth it, for two reasons: First, it is genuine Carroll, straight from the oven as it were. Two, it provides a bit of an insight about the editorial process of a work that is now considered untouchable. It was Sir John Tenniel himself who asked to remove it from Through the Looking Glass, because he couldn’t figure a way to draw a wasp, in a wig, in the middle of the forest, looking quite sad and bewildered. The fact that this lost chapter was inserted just about when Alice is going to be queen may have weighed in the author’s mind as well, as it loses momentum. You can choose your own explanation after reading it… did I mention it’s a poem? A pretty funny one, too.
Leah Moore and John Reppion have adapted Dracula and Sherlock Holmes to comic form, and they have done a very good job with this book as well. Erika Awano is a great artist, she respects the classical image of Alice but brings a twist to the drawings as well. I think that the first part, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is a bit plain; we have too much imagery going through our heads with that one.
However, my favorite part, Through the Looking Glass, is really great. The dialogues are pure Carroll, and they follow Alice around exactly as the book does. There are no twists or additions, except to clarify plot points. That in itself is wonderful, because there is a huge chance that kids everywhere (big kids, mind you, the real Alice is terrifying) will enjoy the complete works in graphic form, reading the real Carroll lines on the way! That is a feat in itself, and all the poems, interviews and inside-job pics are a wonderful addition.
The Complete Alice by Lewis Carroll (Author), Leah Moore (Author), John Reppion (Author), Erica Awano (Author)
Rating: All Ages
Cover: John Cassaday, Erica Awano
Writer: Lewis Carroll, Leah Moore, John Reppion
Art: Erica Awano
Publication Date: April 2016
Page Count: 184 pages
Featured image by Erica Awano