Summary: The Weirding Willows is the ultimate literature pop culture mash-up featuring classic characters such as Alice from Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Caroll, Damon Frankenstein from Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, Mole, Ratty, Mr Toad and Mr Badger from The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame, The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, Dr. Henry Jekyll from Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson, and many more!
Review: Alice was the daughter of Dr. Moreau. The white rabbit she followed to Wonderland as a girl was the sole animal that didn’t fall to his experiments. Needing money to buy an island, Moreau agreed to engineer flying monkeys for a certain wicked witch in exchange for gold bricks. The first volume of The Weirding Willows is subtitled “What The Wild Things Are.” As that play on Sendak suggests, Volume 1 is, by necessity, an exposition fest.
Writer Dave Elliott handled much of the exposition through text digressions in which he literally just told his readers everything instead of showing them. I honestly can’t decide whether these digressions were an homage to the narrative structures of some of the classic literature he clearly loves or an expedient in dealing with inexperienced modern readers. I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and assume the former. As someone who loves classic literature, I appreciated that Elliott designed his universe specifically to inspire his readers to explore the original stories for themselves. Throughout the volume, he referenced the titles of the novels from which various characters came. He crafted an extremely effective learning guide with very evocative art.
Written by Dave Elliott
Art by Barnaby Bagenda and Sami Basri
Colors by Sakti Yuwono, Jessica Kholinne, and Gloria Caeli
Letters by Imam E. Wibowo
I give The Weirding Willows, Volume 1, four out of five. It’s available July 1st.