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Wonderland Hardcover – March 17, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This wonderful graphic novel offshoot from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland need not worry those concerned about some crass Disney effort to strip-mine yet more revenue out of a beloved children's classic. Author Kovac and artist Liew's six-chapter novel is a droll and urbane imagining of the story behind a very minor character from Carroll's tale: Mary Ann, the White Rabbit's maid, who was mistaken for Alice. In Kovac's telling, dark-haired Mary Ann is a compulsive cleaner and follower of rules, who cares not a whit for the legendary Alice monster, as everyone terms the rebellious blonde, whom Mary Ann sees as little more than a back-talking, stuck-up little prat. Mary Ann tromps through Liew's lusciously colored landscapes, encountering all the expected characters (Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, Jabberwock) and getting into trouble with most of them. Although the mood is correctly tea party surreal, Kovac manages to add in unexpected elements, from courtly intrigue to fanaticism (Alice even has her own cult, known as the Curious), while never losing track of Carroll's hyperactive gamesmanship. It's a rare piece of literature that's been inspired by another yet deserves its own prideful place on the bookshelf. (Mar.)
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From School Library Journal

Grade 4 Up–Ever wonder what happened in Wonderland after Alice left? Follow the quirky tale of Mary Ann, the meticulous and dutiful housekeeper for the White Rabbit, as she continues the tale. Her boss is now wanted for treason by the Queen of Hearts for allowing the Alice Monster to enter the kingdom–off with his head! On the run and fearing for their lives, Mary Ann and White Rabbit encounter the meddlesome Cheshire Cat, the ever-contentious troublemaker, sending the White Rabbit straight into the clutches of the queen and poor Mary Ann tumbling into the Treacle Well. When she discovers the Queen of Spades, an escape plan is hatched along with a meeting between the two queens. Chaos ensues, as it should in Wonderland, complete with a regime change and a happy ending for Mary Ann and her furry friends. This is a terrific look at a great classic. The energetic, action-packed illustrations complement the story in Disney-cartoon style, making for a great read for all ages.–Ann Bailey, Wilde Lake High School, Columbia, MD
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 13 years
  • Grade Level: 4 - 8
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Disney Press; 1st edition (March 17, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 142310451X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423104513
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 1 x 10.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #970,606 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Silas Sparkhammer on March 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
There seems to be a fad recently for "Alice in Wonderland" spin-off comics that are in the "horror" genre. Hideous, ghoulish, and ugly. But "Wonderland" by Kovac and Liew is charming, gentle, witty, and -- as were Carroll's original books -- "Highly Illogical" -- in the best possible way! The choice of protagonist -- Mary Ann, the White Rabbit's young housemaid -- is a stroke of purest genius. As a native of Wonderland, she is "at home" with the zany leaps of linguistic nonsense which were so perplexing to Alice.
The art is obviously dependent on the Disney version of "Alice in Wonderland," with recognizeably the same Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, Mad Hatter, etc. But the story veers away from the lurid, "cuckoo for cocoa puffs" inanity of the movie, and is of a more genteel, more thoughtful, and far more literate style. It is a romp, to be sure, but more truly dreamlike and less garishly nightmarish than the Disney classic.
At first the art seems sketchy, loose, unfinished, as if the inks and pencils hadn't quite been finalized. After a very short time, this looseness will endear itself to you, and you will begin to see Liew's mastery, a style that is suggestive more than declarative.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Parka TOP 50 REVIEWER on July 7, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Length: 0:10 Mins
Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew present a different take on Alice's Wonderland with a story told from the point of Mary Ann, housemaid of White Rabbit.

The adventure starts when Mary Ann goes on the run after hitting the Queen of Spades (accidentally) for dirtying her apron. We then follow the adventures of Mary Ann and White Rabbit as they journey through the magical world, interacting with the very other amusing characters.

The story is light-hearted and reads fast. Sonny Liew's sketchy and colourful style work very well here. Wonderland is always changing, nothing is certain, just as implied by the sketchy hurried lines, spotted backgrounds. There's also a certain manga element into Mary Ann's character, such as using multiple dots to simulate running and the nose-less portrait. The set and other characters are also very well designed. There's a good sense of personality in all the characters.

Overall, it's a very nice comic worth checking out, especially so when all the single issues are now collected in one volume.

(More pictures are available on my blog. Just visit my Amazon profile for the link.)
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Bird HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover
It's amazing how many artists, authors, filmmakers, poets, and creative personalities feel a need to put their own distinctive stamp on Alice's Wonderland. From creative stage productions to creepy films to horrible television shows, there's just something about Alice. She casts a spell over us. Lewis Carroll knew not what he wrought when he brought Wonderland into our world, and various Wonderland-related permutations have continued unabated ever since. The newest addition to the Alice oeuvre, however, doesn't feature that white pinafored girl at all. Author Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew had an entirely new spin in mind when they produced six single-issue comics simply entitled Wonderland. I ask you this: Who is the one character in the original story that is alluded to and but never seen? If you'll cast your mind back it will come to you. Mary Ann. The White Rabbit at one point mistakes Alice for his own maid. So without further ado Kovac and Liew decided to tell her story, now collected in a single handsome volume for public consumption. Wonderland has its own missteps and shortcomings, but by and large it comes off as a pleasant ode to Carroll's vision, with a fun storyline and art that stands up to its material.

Cast your mind back to the story of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. This is the tale of the maid, Mary Ann. Returning to the White Rabbit's home, Mary Ann hears conflicting reports of an "Alice monster" that wreaked havoc throughout the kingdom in her absence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brent R. Swanson on June 19, 2009
Format: Hardcover
I was a bit uneasy when cracking open this book. Sequels by other authors are a risky business, particularly with something like Carroll's "Wonderland" books, which hold a self-contained story that doesn't lend itself to sequels, or even to adaptations (the memory of John Tenniel's Queen of Hearts has returned to behead many a successor in movies and on the page). Even the staff of Western Publications, who mixed and matched dozens of Disneyfied characters from children's literature, did very little with the Disneyfied "Wonderland" stable.

So it's something of a minor miracle that Tommy Kovac and Sonny Liew pull off this sort-of sequel with so much success. This is due in large part to the hitherto unseen character of Mary Ann, the White Rabbit's housekeeper. When Mary Ann rescues the White Rabbit from the Queen's wrath and axe, she finds herself meeting many of the familiar Wonderland residents as well as the fearsome Jabberwocky and the imprisoned Queen (and King) of Spades. Mary Ann has pluck and resourcefulness to match Alice, but she is her own character and not a repetition of Carroll's. Similarly, the art recalls both Tenniel's and the Disney Studio's (Alice's brief reappearance provides the biggest debt to Disney), but it is distinctively Liew's.

And the story reads much better collected than it would in installments, where the convoluted thread could easly be lost from month to month. This tale is nearly as good a way to revisit Wonderland as rereading the original adventures.
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