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Wrapping Wednesday: Micro Reviews for the Week of 7/26/23

By | July 31st, 2023
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

There’s a lot to cover on Wednesdays. We should know, as collectively, we read an insane amount of comics. Even with a large review staff, it’s hard to get to everything. With that in mind, we’re back with Wrapping Wednesday, where we look at some of the books we missed in what was another great week of comics.

Let’s get this party started.

Alice Never After #1
Written by Dan Panosian
Illustrated by Dan Panosian and Giorgio Spalletta with Cyril Glerum
Colored by Francesco Segala with Gloria Martinelli
Lettered by Jeff Eckleberry
Reviewed by Gregory Ellner

The story of Alice in Wonderland is rather famous, with various characters remembered well outside of their original contexts. With “Alice Never After” #1, Dan Panosian creates an unusual take on the classic tale, split between the “reality” of London and the fantastical Wonderland. The characters are delightful or disturbing depending on their scenes, put together into two interwoven tales with little to say what will happen next.

The use of two illustrators helps to distinguish between the two worlds, with Panosian penciling London and Giorgio Spalletta doing the same for Wonderland, the latter with assistance from Cyril Glerum. The difference is not immediately extreme outside of character choices, but over the course of “Alice Never After” #1, both styles split apart. The angles of Panosian’s panels in London are relatively subdued, either focusing in on a particular person or wider angles to grasp a larger setting. On the other hand, Spalletta and Glerum use wild perspectives, from looking down on a creature to looking far up, along with the twisting, turning landscape itself to make clear this is not what most would call “real life,” even if one excludes an apparent Wonderland antagonist.

These different settings, as strange as they are, may not have fully come to life, revealed their extreme differences, without the colors provided by Francesco Segala with Gloria Martinelli. The subdued, almost sepia tones of London make it appear much more down to earth and, to a degree, almost “boring,” as if to indicate why Alice might escape to a more interesting world even before her mental state became what it seems to be at the start of this story. Meanwhile, the hues and shades of Wonderland are extremely lively, vibrantly so, as is best seen with the differences in Alice’s coloring. In London, she has yellow hair, for sure, but with heavy shading to make it seem darker under the trees. On the other hand, in Wonderland, it seems to be a far brighter blonde, as sunny as her disposition. Things may have gone wrong in Wonderland and London, but with colors like these, it isn’t hard to see why Alice might prefer an apparently false reality.

Final Verdict: 7.0- Alice has an intriguing start to a look at a trip to Wonderland in this new story.

Purr Evil #1
Written by Mirka Andolfo
Illustrated by Laura Braga
Colored by Bryan Valenza
Lettered by Fabio Amelia
Reviewed by Alexander Manzo

Mirka Andolfo unloads the clip with her creative ideas in the opening issue, “Purr Evil.” The story opens with a woman in a penthouse filled with corpses that feels like the hotel scene from Boondock Saints. The main difference is that instead of bodies filled with bullet holes, the woman blows up the last man’s head with her mind. If not, it certainly is presented that way for the reader. The debut issue gives the impression that it’s about the relationship between mother and daughter on the run from an ex-partner, but now the family they rent an apartment from is getting caught in the crossfire. After the father/landlord sees a tattoo similar to a missing bass player from an old-school rock band, he decides to post a question on a Reddit-like forum, which becomes the catalyst event for the mother and daughter. If it sounds a little messy and wonky, it certainly feels that way on the first read. Especially when Andolfo also throws in a blossoming teenage romance that feels less Romeo and Juliet and more like a ticking time bomb. It’s still unclear if the mother has the powers or maybe the daughters haven’t entirely manifested yet, but either way, it’s got some meat on the bone for the reader to sink their teeth into.

Laura Braga does an excellent job with her realistic style regarding this issue, with her extreme attention to detail that leaves no stone unturned. As I mentioned earlier, it starts with a bloodbath of bodies spread throughout a penthouse, but it’s not just the bodies lying in their blood that’s impressive but the number of glasses for the bar in the background as well. It’s one thing to show the moment but another to set the entire scene to show that whoever owns this suite or penthouse must be of some power or high financial status. There’s also the focus on the mother’s sleeve and back tattoos, which are vital to the catalyst event that Braga does a great job of giving individual attention. It’s one thing for a character to have one or two-off tattoos on a forearm or biceps, but shoulder, back, and arm sleeves are rare and deserve some attention. Bryan Valenza also uses solid whites and bright colors, such as the mother’s red sweater and hair, to help create a more inviting tone for an otherwise dark subject matter.

Final Verdict: 8.5 – A lot is thrown at the reader, but the good stuff ultimately sticks.

//TAGS | Wrapping Wednesday

Brian Salvatore

Brian Salvatore is an editor, podcaster, reviewer, writer at large, and general task master at Multiversity. When not writing, he can be found playing music, hanging out with his kids, or playing music with his kids. He also has a dog named Lola, a rowboat, and once met Jimmy Carter. Feel free to email him about good beer, the New York Mets, or the best way to make Chicken Parmagiana (add a thin slice of prosciutto under the cheese).


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