Alice in Wonderland: Special Collector’s Manga by Jun Abe

Alice in Wonderland: Special Collector’s Manga by Jun Abe

Publication: June 7th 2016 by Diamond Book Distributers

Format: eBook Pags: 352

ISBN13: 9781427856562

‘Manga publishing pioneer TOKYOPOP is back bringing readers Disney Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, a retelling of the film in manga style, as buzz builds for the Alice Through the Looking Glass May film release. Hardcover collectible [sic] with exclusive bonus features and illustrations from renowned artist Jun Abe! Alice Kingsleigh was a young girl when she visited the magical world of Underland for the first time. Now a teenager, she spots a white rabbit at a garden party and tumbles down a hole after him where she is reunited with her old friends. Alice soon learns it is her destiny to end the Red Queen’s reign of terror.’ – Goodreads. 

I received a copy of Alice in Wonderland from Netgalley for an honest review.

I have never read a manga before, so this was my first step into a whole new world. Being a complete noob, I wanted to start somewhere nice and easy, so Alice in Wonderland was my ‘safe’ choice.

My initial reaction was confusion because I didn’t realise manga is almost always in black and white, and that it’s read right to left (I told you I was a noob ). I was apprehensive about an insanely colourful and vivid world such as Wonderland depicted in black and white. However, I got over it and learnt to accept the B&W qualities of manga; I even started to appreciate how beautifully drawn most of the illustrations were.

The story itself begins with little Alice having dreams in which she visits Wonderland; she’s told they’re just dreams and then we jump ten years to Alice’s engagement party. At the party, Alice spots a fluffy white rabbit in a waistcoat and eventually follows him down a rabbit hole to Wonderland, where weird and wonderful adventures await. This edition is not the complete story; it ends with the Queen of Hearts asking Ilosovic (the Knave of Hearts) if he’s with her after lamenting over how everyone loves the White Queen.

As this is a manga, I wasn’t expecting long, detailed prose. The text is short and to-the-point, the illustrations do all the talking and they are clearly based off the Tim Burton adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.

I particularly loved the illustrations of the Chessur and the Queen of Hearts but felt like Alice and the Mad Hatter were a little… lacking. I wasn’t fond of Alice’s fringe; I know it’s a small quip but it made me feel meeeh.  The Mad Hatter reminded me of a giant spider, I wasn’t impressed by his character in this either. I love Tim Burton’s adaptation and the Mad Hatter is such an exquisite character, I felt like the manga didn’t do him any justice. He was rather boring. I will probably give the second instalment a try to see if the Mad Hatter’s character improves.