Book Review: Hatter M, Volume 1 (Frank Beddor, Liz Cavalier, Ben Templesmith)
Publisher: Automatic Pictures
Release Date: October 16th 2008
Summary (from Goodreads):
Put to rest any delusions or disinformation you have of the tea guzzling madman of faux literary history and prepare to expand your consciousness as the saga of Hatter Madigan and his relentless search for the lost Princess of Wonderland unfolds on these pages.
In Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars, Royal Bodyguard Hatter Madigan was ordered by Queen Genevieve to take Princess Alyss and leave Wonderland after a bloody palace coup staged by the murderous Redd. But while escaping through the Pool of Tears (the portal connecting Wonderland to our world), crushing centrifugal force pulled them apart, and Alyss was lost. In this geographic parallel adventure, Hatter finds himself in Paris, France in the year 1859 shockingly separated from the child he had been sworn to protect.
Unbeknownst to Hatter, Alyss had exited a puddle in London, England. Lost and alone, she was befriended by an aspiring author to whom she told the surreal, violent, heartbreaking story of her young life only to see it published as the nonsensical children’s fairytale Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. But Carrol had got it all wrong.He even misspelled her name! Alyss had trusted Lewis Carrol to tell the truth so that Hatter would find her and bring her home. Instead, Hatter must endure a non-stop quest, crisscrossing the globe for 13 years in search of the lost Princess. While formidable with blades, a moment must be taken to introduce his signature weapon, the Hat. Woven and blocked from a material not available in any realm except the origins of wonder, the Hat, when hurled by his expert hand, instantly unfolds into a circle of blades to attack or defend.
The mad odyssey begins here…
I loved Frank Beddor’s The Looking Glass Wars books when I was a teen and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get round to reading the spin off graphic novels.
The great thing about this is that it feels like a natural spin off rather than one that’s been forced in. The graphic novels follow the missing years when Alyss grew up in Oxford and Hatter jumped through the Pool of Tears again and again to try and find her.
This is the first in the series and covers some familiar ground, as well as some new. If you’ve read the books then you’ll remember that Hatter first lands in Paris and begins his quest to find Alyss there. We see this at the beginning of the novel and then track his adventures from there.
One of my favourite parts was a flashback to the day Queen Redd stormed the palace and murdered Queen Genevieve. This was such a key moment in the books and it was great to see it drawn out. I also loved getting to know Hatter Madigan more as he’s an amazing character and doesn’t get enough limelight in the books!
I wasn’t too sure about the drawing style. Most of the time it was really beautiful, kind of ephemeral and ghostly. However, as the writing was often quite sparse and relied on the illustrations to move the story forward. This didn’t quite do it for me sometimes and I wasn’t always sure what was going on during some of the action sequences.
This is really great for fans of The Looking Glass Wars books, or for any Alice in Wonderland fans too, and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next.