The looking glass Wars is written as if it is a historical book from a fictional organization known as the Hatter M Institute for Paranormal Travel. It is loosely based on the characters and settings from Lewis Caroll’s Alice in Wonderland books but Beddor’s version is a much more sinister. It has flipped the story on its head with the hatter (who is is a blade master and ex body guard of the queen) searching for Princess Alyss in the real world. In this first volume of the geo-graphic parallel adventure trilogy, Hatter finds himself in Paris, France in the year 1859.
The looking glass wars is full of all kinds of strange and evil characters. There are undercurrents of vampires, child abduction and brain washing and all of this superimposed with strange psychic goings on. It took me a while when reading “30 Days of Night” to get used to Ben Templesmith’s style of art and the same thing applied in “Hatter M”. Ben’s art is unique in its style with an almost a child like simplicity but it is also steeped with a sinister undercurrent. At times it is too abstract for its own good and it is really difficult to figure out what is going on in the frame. I am normally a fan of a more traditional style of comic art (Jacen Burrows, Carlos Ezquerra etc) but for some reason I get a lot of pleasure from reading stories illustrated by Ben. In this book there is particularly inventive use of color to convey emotions and allegiances.
I enjoyed reading this book and its pages of extras which included historical documents , letters, pictures and articles to support the story (all fictional of course). It is also nicely presented with good quality glossy paper stock and a satisfying 17th century color palette. Ben Templesmith’s art may not be to everyones taste but the writing of Frank Beddor and Liz Cavalier should win people over in the end. [ISBN-13: 978-0981873701]
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