Top critical review
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Not bad, but also not great.
on March 4, 2017
This graphic novel version of Alice in Wonderland arrived fast and as described. I'm glad it is available and used it as teaching material for an ESL student who is interested in art. I taught the story and the basics of graphic novel page layouts.
Although the art is generally well-done, Campfire's editing choices struck me as weak at various points.
1. Some key moments/dialogue are left out (e.g. the mouse's sad tale and twinkle twinkle little bat).
2. Characters (e.g. the Dormouse at the tea party) may appear without being acknowledged by the other characters and without any lines being included in speech bubbles.
3. The Dormouse's treacle in-joke appears in the courtroom although the it was not included in the tea party.
4. At times, image choices leave relevant plot points somewhat unclear. For example, the survival of the playing cards at the Queen's croquet match was less clear because it is the only image on the page which is monochromatic gray scale, which my student (reasonably) interpreted to represent deadness. The visual contrast was stark enough to make her disregard the dialogue which contradicts such a conclusion.
3. It tends to jump from one scene/setting to the next with little clarity/minimal attention to transitions to show how a given scene change came about.
5. The ending/wrap-up was given 3 full pages (as compared to 2.25 pages for the pepper/pig subplot). As such it seems to occupy more pages than it should merit given the lack of action and plot.
6. Occasionally, dialogue order was a challenge to unravel because of speech bubble placements.
Because of these weaknesses, I also ended up buying the complete novel to use as a reference in order to fill in the missing bits. (I alao found editing weaknesses in the only other Campfire graphic novel that I've purchased to date, the Jungle Book.)
I'm very glad Campfire produces classics as graphic novels but 0/2 that I've purchased thus far were not adequate to use as stand-alone study materials.