COMIC REVIEW: The Weirding Willows Vol.1

Weirding Willows is a wonderful mix of the fairy tales and classic literature that we knew as children, woven into a web of the fantastical with an added dash of the just plain bonkers.

Alice is now a young woman and she has spent her childhood discovering just some of the wonders the dimensional nexus of the Weir has to offer, a place where the worlds of Earth, Wonderland, OZ, and Elysium collide.

I’ll admit, I’ve had this sat in my ‘To Read’ pile for a few weeks now so shame on me for not having read it sooner because Weirding Willows is an absolute delight.

Remember back to all those books you used to love as a child like Alice in Wonderland, The Wind in the Willows and the stories of Beatrix Potter?  Well, Weirding Willows takes those and slathers it with a smattering of the even more fantastical.  Not only does it reference the children’s books that we all remember, but it also mixes in characters such as Frankenstein’s monster, characters from the works of H.G. Wells and even involves Oz.  And all of that against a backdrop that feels a little steampunk but also modern.

Alice is now 18 and spends her time between cleaning up after her father, Doctor Philippe Moreau and his quite gruesome experiments on animals of all kinds, and spending time with her friends such as Peter Rabbit among others. Shady characters seem to come and go from the house, people such as Montontgomery Doolittle (son of the famous Dr Doolittle), Dr Jekyll and a mysterious stranger dressed in green who harks from Oz.

Who is the stranger in green and what does she want?  And why is she asking Alice’s father to make her an army of flying monkeys?   Not only that, but can Alice keep her friends safe from not only her father, but from the mysterious woman and her companions?  And that not to mention the rather… odd looking gentleman tramping around in Willow Weir and frightening Alice’s friends.

Without giving too much away, I spent quite a lot of time squealing with delight and grinning like a maniac because of the amount of classic literature this volume references.  It’s a wonderfully intricate web of stories that we all know and love with some of the characters perhaps not being quite how you remember them.  And that is one of the fantastic things about this story – it takes characters that you know and turns them on their head a little.  OK, a lot, but in a really good way.  There is a great love for the source material in Weirding Willows and Mr Elliott is clearly no stranger to any of it.  He is clearly a man who read these stories as a child and they never left him.  Weirding Willows is so involved, so detailed and it sucked me straight in, much to my delight.  The cherry on top of the icing is the wonderful artwork and colour palette that really makes this story come alive.

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If you you like your Alice a little steampunk with a hint of Lara Croft then this one is for you.  It’s also really nice to read something that has a female protagonist but not only that, a well written one who is more than capable of taking care of herself and her friends.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to go and read this again. And probably again.  Yes, it really is that good.

Title: The Weirding Willows Vol 1: What the Wild Things Are

Publisher: Titan Comics

Story: Dave Elliott

Line Art: Barnaby Bagenda, Sami Basri

Rating: 5 /5

GS Blogger: Vix

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