The Weirding Willows Vol 1: What The Wild Things Are (A1 / Titan Books – Elliot / Bagenda / Basri)
When she was nine, Alice discovered a portal to another world… a world called Wonderland. But Wonderland isn’t the only world connected to the Wild Woods, a dimensional nexus that Alice spent her childhood exploring. It’s a strange, magical place where Earth, Wonderland, OZ, Neverland, Mars, Pellucidar and Elysium collide – and where anything can happen!
From talking rabbits to winged monkeys, from Frankenstein’s Monster to a rampaging purple T-Rex, from a kidnapped Mowgli to a werewolf with a deadly secret – there’s never a quiet day! Now a young woman, Alice and her amazing friends are all that stand between the gateways in the ”Weir”– and those who would exploit them.
Step into the Weirding Willows… and be transported to worlds beyond your imagination
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!
The short version – The Weirding Willows is awesome fun!
Dave Elliot does a masterful job of creating this literary mash-up of fantasy / adventure classics. This is a text-heavy, detail-rich tale that has the reader pause and breathe in every small detail rather than pulling you along on a break-neck adventure. With this thoughtful well-intentioned pacing, it is a very refreshing read. I promise you, you won’t catch all the nuances the first or even the second read-though.
As it relates to the care that when into the design and structure, it very much has the feel of The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen (except that Weirding Willows is appropriate for a much younger audience than LXG). The opening scene of having Alice’s dad (Dr. Moreau) creating Winged Monkeys for the Woman in Green from Oz while the Farmer McGregor is trying to find out who stole his sheep will keep you hooked for the rest the Volume
The framing and visual structure of this collection is creative and complex yet still fairly easy to navigate. While the style of art varies slightly from “chapter” to “chapter”, the visuals are very solid from cover to cover. This volume is also filled with all sorts of great extras (maps, character sketches, field guides, etc.) that enhance the overall story scaffolding.
Another great volume from Titan Books!
The Bottom Line: An excellent read! This would make a brilliant read-aloud and well worth the cover price.