ALICE IN WONDERLAND

This too-ambitious graphic adaptation of the beloved childhood tale falls extremely short of the mark. In this reworking of Carroll’s great tale of whimsy and imagination, readers will be transported to a very clumsy, wonder-less Wonderland. Though Helfand hits most of the memorable points in the original story—the White Rabbit, the Queen of Hearts, the caterpillar, the Cheshire cat—the combination of the awkward art with text proves to be distracting. Nagulakonda’s maladroit art is ultimately this adaptation’s weakest spot; the strained, rough-hewn faces are nothing short of disconcerting. Alice’s face, in particular, is troubling in many panels, looking pained or vacant instead of possessing a look of wonder at her curious surroundings. The clunky adaptation and clumsier art will leave its readers cold. Given these flaws and comparing it to the development and sophistication of many of the graphic novels currently available, this feels like an amateurish work in desperate need of refinement. (Graphic classic. 9-12)

Pub Date: July 20, 2010

ISBN: 978-93-80028-23-1

Page Count: 72

Publisher: Campfire

Review Posted Online: June 2, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2010

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Though classified as a graphic novelist, Delisle has claimed territory all his own as a graphic-travel memoirist.

BURMA CHRONICLES

Insightful, illuminating memoir of a year under a totalitarian regime.

In 2005-06, Delisle (Shenzhen: A Travelogue from China, 2006, etc.) accompanied his wife, who works as an administrator for Doctors Without Borders, to the country recognized by the United Nations as Myanmar. The United States and other democratic countries, however, still call it Burma, refusing to recognize the legitimacy of the military junta that seized power in 1989. As in the illustrator’s previous adventures in China and North Korea (Pyongyang, 2005), the focus is less on politics and more on the lives of the people he encounters—though such lives are profoundly shaped by politics. He comes to accept checkpoints and censorship as routine, and he does his best to find a suitable home, survive with intermittent electricity and Internet access and take care of his toddler son Louis, whose charm transcends cultural borders. The author also fears malaria, bird flu and poisonous snakes, though the DWB medical community provides more comfort than much of the Burmese citizenry enjoys. Delisle writes and illustrates a children’s booklet on HIV, an important contribution to a country in which heroin and prostitution are rampant. As in previous volumes, his eye for everyday detail combined with droll, matter-of-fact narration humanizes his 14-month experience in a country that might seem traumatic, even intolerable, in other hands. “There were no demands and no uprisings either,” he writes. “Things are always very calm here, thanks to a regime that creates paralysis by fomenting fear on a daily basis.” The undercurrents of Buddhism throughout the book culminate in his visit to a temple, where his meditation proves transformative.

Though classified as a graphic novelist, Delisle has claimed territory all his own as a graphic-travel memoirist.

Pub Date: Sept. 16, 2008

ISBN: 978-1-897299-50-0

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Drawn & Quarterly

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2008

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