A shrewd and spirited adaptation that will leave audiences hoping for another installment.

CHESHIRE CROSSING

The action of this graphic fantasy takes place Second Star to the Right, straight on through the Looking Glass, in a place that is definitely not Kansas anymore!

Novelist Weir (yes, the Weir of The Martian fame) and cartoonist/illustrator Andersen’s deliciously funny debut team-up reunites the heroines from three of the Victorian era’s most memorable children’s books and sends them on a rollicking adventure. All teenagers, Wendy Darling, Dorothy Gale, and Alice Liddell are united at a special research facility where their parents send them to be educated. Under the tutelage of the enigmatic Dr. Rutherford and the ever watchful eye of a certain nanny who flies via umbrella, each girl discovers her powers and a sense of personal agency as they team up to free their respective fantasy lands from the combined menace of the Wicked Witch of the West and Capt. Hook. Each heroine emerges as a fully three-dimensional protagonist with a distinctive personality that enables her to feel both timeless and timely. The tart-tongued Alice is not averse to dropping the occasional “#%$@,” while tomboyish Wendy is as battle savvy as Peter ever was. Andersen’s delightful cartoon drawing style meshes perfectly with Weir’s prose, allowing the work to broaden its appeal beyond middle graders to young adults and adults. In the illustrations, Alice and Wendy both present white while Dorothy has brown skin.

A shrewd and spirited adaptation that will leave audiences hoping for another installment. (Fantasy. 12-adult)

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-399-58207-3

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Ten Speed Press

Review Posted Online: April 28, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2019

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Entertaining for fans of villain backstories and Disney classics alike.

EVIL THING

A VILLAINS GRAPHIC NOVEL

From the Villains series

A chronicle of Cruella De Vil’s descent into Dalmatian destruction.

The only child of Lord and Lady De Vil, Cruella was enamored by high society life from a young age. She idolized her cold, demanding mother and loved her caring father, despite his giving her less extravagant gifts. Both parents wanted her to distinguish herself, though they intended very different meanings by that word. While young Cruella believed that servants and others from less privileged backgrounds should know their places, Anita, her less socially lofty best friend, was an exception. But as she grew up and married, she had to face the question of what it really meant to possess wealth, beauty, and happiness. Framed as a memoir, this story vividly expresses Cruella’s personality. Valentino does a solid job of establishing the cast of characters, and fans of the animated film will enjoy connecting the threads. While there are moments of softness that evoke readers’ empathy, Cruella unapologetically wields her power to behave cruelly. She is ultimately fueled by her desperation for maternal validation, jealousy, delirium, and a perhaps-cursed pair of earrings. Jovellanos’ art deftly captures a range of emotions, specifically in showing how Cruella’s face is transformed in response to her whims. Using a color palette of muted reds, blacks, grays, and whites, the illustrations express a fitting tone for a Cruella tell-all. Characters read as White.

Entertaining for fans of villain backstories and Disney classics alike. (Graphic fiction. 12-16)

Pub Date: Sept. 28, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-368-06816-1

Page Count: 128

Publisher: Disney-Hyperion

Review Posted Online: Aug. 16, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2021

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THE ODYSSEY

Hinds adds another magnificent adaptation to his oeuvre (King Lear, 2009, etc.) with this stunning graphic retelling of Homer’s epic. Following Odysseus’s journey to return home to his beloved wife, Penelope, readers are transported into a world that easily combines the realistic and the fantastic. Gods mingle with the mortals, and not heeding their warnings could lead to quick danger; being mere men, Odysseus and his crew often make hasty errors in judgment and must face challenging consequences. Lush watercolors move with fluid lines throughout this reimagining. The artist’s use of color is especially striking: His battle scenes are ample, bloodily scarlet affairs, and Polyphemus’s cave is a stifling orange; he depicts the underworld as a colorless, mirthless void, domestic spaces in warm tans, the all-encircling sea in a light Mediterranean blue and some of the far-away islands in almost tangibly growing greens. Don’t confuse this hefty, respectful adaptation with some of the other recent ones; this one holds nothing back and is proudly, grittily realistic rather than cheerfully cartoonish. Big, bold, beautiful. (notes) (Graphic classic. YA)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2010

ISBN: 978-0-7636-4266-2

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Candlewick

Review Posted Online: Sept. 15, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1, 2010

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