Tag Archives: wonderland

Preview: Wonderland #32

Wonderland #32: The Forest of Grinning Teeth

Written by Erica J Heflin
Art by Vincenzo Riccardi
Colrs by Ben Sawyer
Letters by Christy Sawyer
Edited by Pat Shand
Price #3.99
Release Date: 2/11/15

Callie Liddle is the White Queen. Now she cares for the realm that once existed to torment her family.  With the White Rabbit and a newly reformed Cheshire Cat by her side, she seeks to transform the tainted realm back to its original glory…but it will not be an easy task.


The Dark Cheshire was once a ruthless killer, corrupted by the madness of the Wonderland.  But now, under the rule of the White Queen, he attempts to atone for his past evil actions.  When judgment approaches, all Cheshires must answer the call of their kind.

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Review: The White Queen #1

WhiteQueen_AOD_01_cover AReaders of Zenescope main focus will know that the main universe involving Sela Mathers has a tendency to push its way into all the other series in one way or another.  Those series that stand alone are best able to deal with their own storylines without being bogged down by the stories about the five realms and Myst and all the other stuff that goes hand in hand with the main series and its spin-offs.  The stories of Wonderland have manged to stay mostly free of the confusion, even if they occasionally get dragged in by way of association to the company wide events.  The titular White Queen in this series is Calie Liddle from Wonderland, which bodes well for this series, but this is an Age of Darkness tie-in miniseries, which does not bode well for the series.

The story follows Calie as she is given a task by the Dark Queen.  Calie doesn’t have the option of refusing, because her evil counterpart controls the locket which can end Violet’s life.  She is bound by certain obligations as a Queen and by certain obligations as a mother.  She is to murder a group of refugees seeking passage across Wonderland, but she tries her best to figure a way out of the deal, to satisfy the conditions but not to murder and to keep Violet safe.

The duality of the series and even the company as a whole is shown as a microcosm in this series.  The parts where Calie is forced to deal with the Dark Queen are laborious, but when she is allowed to cut loose on her own the story picks up a lot of momentum.  For those who enjoy comics for their action sequences, they are unlikely to find a more interesting fight sequence this week than when Calie takes on the killer mushrooms, which is noteworthy for both its whimsy and its brutality, even if it is a bit short on length.  In the end the story ends up slightly bogged down again by the Dark Queen, but the overall result is still enjoyable, and more so for fans of the Wonderland series.

Story: Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco, Troy Brownfield Art: Luca Claretti
Story: 7.8 Art: 7.8 Overall: 7.8 Recommendation: Read

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Review: Wonderland #31

wonderland31Although this issue looks like it was going to be a hero vs. hero/mother vs. daughter fight, it did not turn out that way.  Instead it paid homage to one of the better moments and stories of the series as was told in the second miniseries in the Wonderland saga, Beyond Wonderland.  This story finds Violet in a situation similar to her mother, acting as a waitress while simultaneously trying to figure out the madness which Wonderland tries to infect her with, all the more present here as she knows that the power of the Mad Hatter would like to overtake her.  In so doing, this is a rare issue of this series which focuses more on Violet than on Calie, leaving the latter almost completely out of the story here.  In this case the series without its main heroine works out fine, as Violet has been more than fleshed out enough as a character to be able to handle a story on her own.

As Violet struggles to make it through the hours at her job, she is also fighting the incursion of an unseen foe, one that visits her first in her sleep, but one which she soon realizes is following her wherever she goes.  In this way, the story acts almost as a microcosm for the Beyond Wonderland series, as Violet first confronts her tormentor and then fights back, in what is first full of characterizations and then becomes full of gory action.  If there is one drawback to the entire issue it is that Violet and by association Calie will be more closely associated with the main Grimm Fairy Tales universe, an association which generally doesn’t work well for any series.  What is perhaps most impressive about this is the writing work of Erica Heflin.  While the entirety of the stories and the characters had previously been in the hands of Raven Gregory, here she proves that she is able to seamlessly transition to her own storytelling style without losing the core of the characters.

This issue stands as a bit of an aside for the series as a whole, cleaning up a bit of loose ends from the Wonderland miniseries, but still does so in an entertaining manner.  It is less common to see with this series a standalone self contained story, but it works here, and did not feel constrained by the space limitation.  This series remains one of the bright spots under the Grimm Fairy Tales imprint, and as it stands doesn’t need much to keep up its general high standard.

Story: Erica J. Heflin Art: Manuel Preitano
Story: 8.7 Art: 8.7 Overall: 8.7 Recommendation: Buy

Review: Wonderland #29

wonderland - covThe stories from Wonderland, as they fit into the larger Grimm Fairy Tales Universe, remain the hallmark for Zenescope about how the shared universe should be handled.  While Sela deals with a wide range of influences in her own adventures in the main Grimm Fairy Tales series, the stories surrounding the equally powerful Calie as Queen of Wonderland continue to be miles ahead in terms of quality.  In this issue Calie continues her journey through Wonderland searching for some unknown evil, while in the company of the White Rabbit and the Cheshire Cat, and also tying more closely into the sub-plot involving the deranged surgeon from Earth.

Drawing upon a wide range of material, this issue manages to weave it together in a presentable fashion without losing sight of the end goal.  There are influences from real history (the deranged experimentations of Nazi doctors) as well as though from legend (fairies) and those from literature (a child not unlike Mowgli.)  While the main series of Grimm Fairy Tales seems to always bite off more than it can chew in terms of its outlook, this series is still managing to hold together different elements without allowing them to either overwhelm of confuse the story being told.  In terms of the story, this is very different from the fifty-ish issues that got Calie through her mental anguish and to be the Queen of Wonderland, but series writer Erica J. Heflin clearly has an ongoing story in mind for the hero and has a way to accomplish it.  It is still mixing a bit of gore into the realm of Wonderland, but also doing so in a more organic way, sort of like cleaning up the house after a crazy party.

The end result is a solid well-put-together issue.  Fans of the series and characters thus far in the Wonderland saga will notice something definitely different in the previous few issues, but the end result is the same quality if slightly different in outlook.  Wonderland still remains one of the most intriguing ongoing series outside of the major publishers and deserves a look from any comic fan willing or eager to expand their reading interests.

Story: Erica J. Heflin Art: Vincenzo Riccardi
Story: 8.3 Art: 8.2 Overall: 8.3 Recommendation: Buy

We Talk Wonderland with Erica J Heflin

calieAfter a few years working with GreyHaven Comics, Erica J Heflin was given the reins for Zenescope’s ongoing Wonderland series.  Turning the psychotic stories a bit on their side, she is now taking the title in a new direction.  She chatted with us for a bit and told us what it is like to go down the rabbit hole.

Graphic PolicyHow did you cross paths into Zenescope and Wonderland?  Was there a magical looking glass involved?

Erica J Heflin:  No looking glasses! My general history of disliking what I see reflected means that I avoid mirrors handily.

In this case it was the perfect combination of luck and hard work put me behind a table slinging my own books when the delightful Pat Shand happened upon the table. This was several years ago, and while he introduced himself as a writer I didn’t recognize his name. We had a pleasant conversation where I both told him about my books and tried to get him involved in an anthology project that I was working on with GrayHaven Comics. We exchanged some books and continued to share books at different cons. When the opening for Wonderland occurred, I was invited to pitch!

calieGPYou picked up writing duties on the series after Calie had managed to finally conquer Wonderland and take over as its queen.  Do you foresee a change in tone to the overall series now that she has “won”?

EH:  Oh, yes. Her victory and conquering of Wonderland really changes the entire landscape of the book. While it’s still a fantasy-horror series, the madness and claustrophobic lack of control isn’t as pervasive. These were some fundamental motifs in the earlier books and the ongoing, so it’s a pretty substantial change.

But in addition to Wonderland’s changes, Calie changes a lot too. She’s no longer in a position where her survival – and her daughter’s – is threatened in each moment. Though she has enough paranoia and experience to know that Wonderland is still a VERY dangerous place, her own relationship with it has changed. Moreover, Calie’s experiencing a life event that is both very normal and very emotional for a parent. Violet’s grown and is stepping out into the world as her own woman. So at the most basic level the dynamics of Calie’s life are changing.

calieGPThe Grimm Fairy Tales version of Wonderland is a combination of fantasy and wonder with horror and terror.  Which one do you think defines the realm more?

EH:  I’d say that in its natural state Wonderland holds to a combination of fantasy and wonder. Through the last several years it’s leaned heavily away from this whimsical charm and into the dark horror and now Calie is struggling to return the balance to Wonderland. Calie’s life hasn’t made her a particularly whimsical person, so watching her struggle to embrace the fantasy and wonder of the Realm she commands is a lot of fun.

GPMental health has been an ongoing theme in the collected series thus far.  Is that an important aspect to continue with, or do you think that Calie has kind of moved past this?

EH:  It will continue, but manifest in different ways. We’ll see a bit of it with Violet as she struggles with the spirit of the Hatter as well as her own demons. But overall there’s a shift away from featuring these concerns, simply because many of the characters of focus are now either birthed of Wonderland or have been fully absorbed into Wonderland. Though now that the creatures of Wonderland have free will – and free control of their destinies – there’s bound to be a lot more questioning of who and why they exist.

GP Did you read the novel as a youngster or just watch the movie?

calieEH:  I watched the movie when I was very young, but started reading Lewis Caroll in my teen years. It was assigned reading, I believe, but fantastical or horror stories were easy enough for me to get fully engrossed in.

I ended up reading Caroll’s work several more times – on my own, in college, etc. I love the way he built such an immersive universe and still managed a sharp commentary on historical events. I’m also a nerd for linguistics, and Caroll’s works offer such a rich breadth of word play that I love to revisit.

GPDo you have a favorite character?

EH:   I love Calie, but I have to admit that my favorite character to write at the moment is Dark Cheshire. He comes from such a unique background, and is continuing to struggle with the questions of who and why he is. He also has a history of not just doing terrible things, but taking joy from many of them. There’s a gleeful sense of affection for his own history even as he struggles to rise above the horror of what he was. It makes a very interesting dynamic to write.

GPDoes having a favorite affect how you see the series going forward?

EH:   My concept of Wonderland is very Calie-centric, but her relationship with the Dark Cheshire is deeply important. Through Dark Cheshire we get a deeper understanding of Calie and her relationship with Wonderland and its people. He’s a great gateway for both her and the reader. His presence doesn’t change the story’s direction, but allows for a deeper understanding of all the characters involved.

GPAre there any elements of the original Wonderland that you feel that the series has been missing so far that you would like to introduce?

EH:   Because of the nature of the stories, Wonderland has focuses on a tiny corner of the Realm, coupled with a lot of overlay of Earth life. Going forward I’m going to show how vast Wonderland is. This is a land with a long history – history that isn’t interlinked to Earth’s – and I’m very excited to pull away that curtain and reveal the rest of Wonderland.

GPLastly and most importantly, why is a raven like a writing desk?

EH:  You know, I have a strong desire to undermine the nature of this question and ramble about the talented Mr. (Raven) Gregory.

Review: Grimm Fairy Tales versus Wonderland #4

gftvwlWhen it comes to comics series involving the word “versus” and any combination of heroes, there is almost certainly one thing which is bound to happen.  The heroes will not really face off against each other in the long run, and will most likely being allied to each other in fast time, though probably after they have at least tested each other’s skills.  It should be no surprise therefore that the series Grimm Fairy Tales versus Wonderland turned out this way.  Really though there could be no other way, both by comic clichés and by what the company has going.  Despite some of its questionable representations of women on its covers, Zenescope and Grimm Fairy Tales does tend to have a lot of female heroes, far better than the usual proportion of male to female, so much so that Grimm Fairy Tales probably is the only comic universe that has a better than 50% ratio in favor of women.  At the head of this world are two heroines, Calie and Sela, representing Wonderland and the main world of Grimm Fairy Tales.  Here they are matched up against a character intent on taking over Wonderland, not the first time that this has happened and presumably not the last.

One of the byproducts of the meeting of heroes is often the triviality of it.  The meetup is set up as if to settle some kind of hypothetical question of who is better, but both heroes being heroes end up on the side of the righteous and end up fighting together.  What usually gets glossed over in these cases is the villain, as the combined power of the two heroes is generally enough to overcome any one bad guy.  In this series, this doesn’t seem to be the case.  The main villain looks as though he will be playing a part in the ongoing story of Wonderland, but that brings up another problem particular to the series of Wonderland.  The characters of this series have been mostly self-contained in scope to the rest of the Grimm Fairy Tales multiverse, and the popularity of the concept of Wonderland a land of madness and nightmares was presumably one that the original creators could not have foreseen.  In the meantime, there has been an explosion of Wonderland books, and reading through any one of the main ongoing series of Wonderland reveals this, as it is pockmarked by information boxes with details like “See Madness of Wonderland TPB”.  In the growing world of Wonderland, Grimm Fairy Tales versus Wonderland provides yet another reference point to the main series.

If this is going to reach some breaking point is a more relevant question.  As long as the series remains self-contained and away from the main problems of Grimm Fairy Tales, then it shouldn’t be a problem.  This was a perfect setup therefore in this series, as Sela comes to Wonderland to fight and not Calie to Earth.  The end result is pleasing enough, although perhaps a little mundane at times, but it does provide an easy access to a future problem for Calie.  Indeed this issue alone sums up the entire series effectively, and someone reading the main Wonderland series but not Grimm Fairy Tales, might like to get this issue just for a bit of context as to what is going on.

Story: Troy Brownfield  Art: Luca Claretti
Story: 7.3 Art: 7.5 Overall: 7.4 Recommendation: Read for fans of Wonderland, Pass for Everyone Else

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Review: Wonderland #28

Wonderland #28 CoverIn the twisted world of Grimm Fairy Tales, there is nothing more twisted than that of its own version of Wonderland. This separate universe within a universe was first explored in three excellent miniseries which revolved around the main character of Calie Liddle. Presumably these were first presented as somewhat standalone to the rest of the Grimm Fairy Tales Universe, but they gradually became incorporated into the mass as the stories developed both for the main characters in Grimm Fairy Tales and the main characters in Wonderland. At first the series was an engaging mix of magic versus actual psychoses, and the story balanced carefully between what were real mental illness versus the madness that was Wonderland.

The success of the series and its spin-offs were enough to give some momentum to an ongoing title for Wonderland, which ended up being Grimm Fairy Tales only second really bankable ongoing series. As this series progressed Calie and her daughter Violet first ran from then challenged Wonderland, finally overcoming it in issue #25 of the main series. Over time the quality of the book has dwindled at times, coming to rely too much on the excess that is common to other Grimm Fairy Tales or Zenescope tales.  In the case of Wonderland, it had always managed to maintain some of its positive momentum, never veering too far into the overly complicated stories of the main series feature Sela Mathers.

With the climactic victory of Calie something had to happen to continue the need for a story and this is the first story arc to show that story line. With a recently reformed Cheshire Cat and a recently mangled White Rabbit as her two allies, she has ventured into the depths of Wonderland to root out the evil and return the realm to the paradise that it once was. This new direction for the series is probably lost on someone new picking up the series, as the quick rundown of the previous plots in the introduction glosses over some excellent stories from the past. Those that have not read them might want to chase them down, to find some truly interesting entries into this sometimes gory genre. For those fans of the series and the characters, this new turn is perhaps not expected or even normal for the characters, but it is still a reliable enough reading experience from a company that tends to be all over the place in terms of quality. Wonderland is not Zenescope’s flagship but by its own merits it should be and the story here while perhaps a bit less psychotic than the normal, is still fun and engaging.

Story: Erica J Heflin Art: Vincenzo Riccardi
Story: 8.0 Art: 8.0 Overall: 8.0 Recommendation: Read

Zenescope provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Zenescope’s Age of Darkness Official Release Schedule

zenescopeZenescope Entertainment today announced the official release schedule for their Age of Darkness titles. These particular titles bring together the universes of Grimm Fairy Tales for the epic release of the Grimm Fairy Tales 100th issue. Every Universe Has An End…

Check out below where you can read this epic event.

November 2013
Quest #1 of 5
December 2013
Code Red #1 of 5
Quest #2 of 5
January 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #93
Code Red #2 of 5
Quest #3 of 5
Dark Queen: Age of Darkness One-shot
February 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #94
Wonderland Clash of Queens #1 of 5
Code Red #3 of 5
Quest #4 of 5
Robyn Hood: Age of Darkness One-shot
March 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #95
Neverland: Age of Darkness #1 of 4
Wonderland: Clash of Queens #2 of 5
Code Red #4 of 5
Quest #5 of 5
April 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #96
Neverland: Age of Darkness #2 of 4
Wonderland: Clash of Queens #3 of 5
Code Red #5 of 5
Inferno: Age of Darkness One-shot
May 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #97
Grimm Fairy Tales #0: FCBD Edition
Grimm Fairy Tales 2014 Annual
Neverland: Age of Darkness #3 of 4
Wonderland: Clash of Queens #4 of 5
Dark One: Age of Darkness One-shot
June 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #98
Neverland: Age of Darkness #4 of 4
Wonderland: Clash of Queens #5 of 5
Wonderland #24
OZ: Age of Darkness One-shot
Wonderland: Age of Darkness One-shot
Godstorm: Age of Darkness One-shot
July 2014
Grimm Fairy Tales #99
Grimm Fairy Tales Giant-Sized 2014
Realm War: Age of Darkness #1 of 12
Wonderland #25
Realm Knights: Age of Darkness One-shot
…to be continued.

Zenescope New Releases for 11/27/13 and 12/4/13

New Releases for 11/27/13

Quest #1

Written By Pat Shand
Covers By Anthony Spay, Emilio Laiso, Giuseppe Cafaro

A rogue princess named Aisling teams up with Blake, a fallen Wonderland knight, and Bolder, a dwarf banished from his home, in order to protect the realm of Myst from the dark shadows of its past. Journey with this ragtag team of disgraced warriors as they fight for redemption in a world that has forgotten them.

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Wonderland Through the Looking Glass #3

Written By Pat Shand
Covers By Abhishek Malsuni, Ivan Nunes, Vincenzo Cucca

Johnny’s descent into madness begins! Death comes for Johnny Liddle! You’ve seen her true power in Zenescope’s NO TOMORROW… so prepare for the world of Wonderland to get even more terrifying as KERES, the goddess of death, lures Johnny and Adina to her castle. Will they escape Death’s clutches, or is their fate already written in stone?

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Wonderland Down the Rabbit Hole TPB

Written By Raven Gregory, Pat Shand
Cover By Anthony Spay

A new series that brings readers back to where it all began.

Alice Liddle has escaped a dimension of horror and madness called Wonderland — but not without dire consequences. Struggling with a now shattered psyche, Alice must prevent the evil beings that inhabit Wonderland from slipping into this world and infecting everyone she holds dear. But that is easier said than done as a mysterious entity is revealed to have been manipulating events from the very beginning.
Forget everything you thought you knew and find out just how deep the rabbit hole goes in this psychological horror series from Zenescope!


New Releases for 12/04/13

Hit List #3

Written By Ralph Tedesco
Covers By Harvey Tolibao, Jamal Igle, Drew Edward Johnson, Tommy Patterson

The hit list grows as more members of the Brown House Bishops fall to a mysterious crew of assassins. But a monkey wrench is thrown into the mix as Rian continues to play with fire. The acclaimed, heart-pounding, fast-paced action/thriller series from Zenescope Entertainment continues!

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Grimm Fairy Tales Realm Knights #4

Written By Pat Shand
Cover By Harvey Tolibao, Michael Dooney, Anthony Spay, Anthony Spay

The high-octane conclusion to the greatest Grimm Fairy Tales team-up of all time! The lines are drawn as Cronus and his army of Hydra have taken control of Mount Olympus. The world’s only hope rests on the shoulders of the Realm Knights, who have been divided and conquered! Can these fairy tales and gods live up to their legend, or will they be snuffed out by the King of Titans?

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Wonderland #18

Written By Raven Gregory
Cover By Franchesco, Eric J, Nei Ruffino, Carlos Granda

Calie and Violet may finally have the upper hand in the fight against Wonderland as each begins accessing their newfound powers. But the Dark Cheshire and the new Mad Hatter don’t plan on making things easy for them.

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Grimm Fairy Tales 2013 Holiday Edition

Written By Pat Shand
Cover By Alfredo Reyes, Steven Cummings, Joe Pekar

An annual Zenescope tradition returns with the 2013 Grimm Holiday Edition. This issue includes four new stories featuring some of your favorite characters from the Grimm Universe. Fan favorite Krampus returns to reek more terror this Holiday season!

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Neverland TPB

Written By Joe Brusha

The creators of Grimm Fairy Tales and Oz bring you a dark new addition to the Grimm Universe. Pan never wanted to grow up and now he’s found the key to immortality and a way to rule the realm of Neverland forever.
Once a magical paradise, Pan has reshaped Neverland into the ultimate nightmare for any child unlucky enough to visit. Only one child has ever been able to escape. Now as an adult, Hook may be the only person who can put a stop to Pan’s madness.


Grimm Fairy Tales Different Seasons Volume 3 TPB

Written By Joe Brusha, Ralph Tedesco

For over two hundred years the powerful stories of the Brothers Grimm have enchanted millions around the world, but there has never been an adaptation as intriguing or provocative as this. Grimm Fairy Tales explores a much darker side of the infamous fables you heard as a child as these classic tales are retold and reimagined with a terrifying twist you’ll simply love as an adult. This third volume of “Different Seasons” collects six more of Zenescope’s seasonal themed issues together in one collection.


Zenescope New Releases: 9/25/13

Grimm Fairy Tales No Tomorrow #2


After surviving his near brush with death, Patrick has begun noticing peculiar appearances of the mysterious pale woman he saw before the destruction of his office building.  Appearances that defy all rules of logic and possibility.  Appearances across the world where tragic events have left an ever growing trend of death and murder.  But as he learns more about Keres past he will come to realize that if you look for death, then death will come looking for you.  From the creator and writer of the Wonderland Trilogy, FLY and THE DREAM EATER SAGA.  Once Death has chosen you there is nowhere to run, nowhere to hide, no escape and…NO TOMORROW!

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Grimm Fairy Tales Realm Knights #2


Sela…Red Riding Hood…Robyn Hood…Van Helsing…Captain Hook…Shang…the Realm Knights have assembled for the greatest team book in Zenescope history!

Chaos rules as the insidious titan CRONOS rampages through the Earth, searching for his all-powerful scythes. Meanwhile, The Realm Knights journey into the Underworld and go head to head with the fallen god…Hades! Fairy tales and Greek mythology collide in the summer blockbuster event from writer Pat Shand!

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Grimm Fairy Tales Wonderland #15


Violet and Calie have finally come home where it all began to find the only family that Violet has left. But the ghosts of the past linger in this place…Violet will finally come to understand the true nature of madness in a lesson from Wonderland that she will never forget.

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