When I hear about a publisher selling out of their first printings of a new issue I’m excited to hear that for the creative team and the publisher. The way I look at first printings is that a publisher says “We think we will be able to sell ‘X’ amount of copies of this issue” – right? In an economy where printing more books than you think you can sell is not a good business decision. Printing costs money, especially for a smaller publisher or self-published creator. You cannot afford to print more than you think you can sell. So, when I hear that they have sold out of their first printing I’m excited for them. The question now is… do we print more?
Zenescope Entertainment is reporting that the #1 issue of new comic book title Alice in Wonderland has sold out through Diamond Comic Distributors. Further, the #1 issue has sold through the 19,000 initial printing on the first day of its release. At this time there are no plans to do a second printing of the book but Zenescope has made the comic book available for digital download immediately through the Comixology and Zenescope Apps and can be purchased there.
Zenescope Entertainment has announced plans to release a follow up to their hit comic book series, The Waking, first published by the company in 2010. The new series, entitled The Waking: Dreams End, is written by Raven Gregory (FLY, Return To Wonderland) with interior art by Novo Malgapo (Grimm Fairy Tales).
Through my almost thirty years of reading comic books I have read a lot of comics from various publishers and genres. It would be hard to pinpoint which ones are my favorites because my tastes and interest change over time. As a kid I read a lot of Teen Titans and Dreadstar as well as Transformers and Elfquest. Throw in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Amazing Spider-Man and Sable and Whisper and you’ll see that there was little that I didn’t read. Why? Because I love comics even at an early age because I got a lot of enjoyment out of reading those comics. And while I enjoyed as many of the “indie” titles as I did Marvel and DC titles, I got a lot of flak because I was reading titles my friends had never heard about or just thought I was trying to be “better” than them since they only read Marvel and DC books. I got a lot of ridicule, but it really didn’t bother me because I was reading the books I liked and if those kids didn’t like those books (or had even heard of them) than that was their loss, not mine. I wasn’t about the change my pull list because of their narrow minded view of what comic books people should and should not read.
Writer: Raven Gregory
Penciler: Vic Drujiniu
Colorist: Mark Roberts
Producer: David Seidman
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
The David Finch cover to this first issue really sets up a tone for the reader prior to even looking inside. You know things are going to be creepy and disturbing, and as you open up to the first couple of pages you continue down that road. What you don’t expect is what you find as you continue to go through the book. There’s drama, suspense, violence, but there’s also a good bit of humor. I think there’s a solid combination that makes this book one to check out.
The writing by Raven Gregory is really good. I’ve read some of Gregory’s previous work with The Gift and the Wonderland Trilogy so I felt I had an idea of what to expect from his writing with this book, and I got that in this first issue. Gregory is a solid writer and “gets” what’s necessary to put together a good horror story, but he does a bit more than that and offers readers a very balanced first issue. I say “balanced” because this is not a straight up horror story right off the bat. There’s a mixture of a cop drama, a sitcom, and then straight up horror and I think that’s such a great combination. Gregory manages to put all of that together in one issue and make it to where the reader is not overwhelmed.
The art in this issue provided by Vic Drujiniu is really good. Drujiniu does some really good page layouts and some of his panel structuring really packs a lot into a page. I feel the storytelling in the art is just as strong as the storytelling in the writing at times. Zenescope sometimes goes for more of the cheese cake factory, even in the more suspenseful stories and I feared there may be a lot of that going on in this book, but I was pleasantly surprised. Drujiniu does get to have some fun with narrator’s wife, but that can be expected. Overall I’m really impressed with Drujiniu’s work and cannot wait to see how it progresses as this book moves forward.
I think The Waking is that book Raven Gregory has been waiting to tell and now he has his moment. From cover to cover this issue kept me going and wanting to see where things would go next, and I’m really looking forward to reading the next issue. If you’ve not had a chance to pick up this issue or if you’re avoiding it because of some preconceived idea of all Zenescope books then you need to get over yourself and pick up The Waking.
Story: Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha, and Ralph Tadesco
Writer: Raven Gregory
Pencils: Anthony Spay
Colors: Neil Ruffino
Production: David Seidman
Editor: Ralph Tedesco
Published by Zenescope Entertainment
It’s hard to believe that in just one more issue and the Wonderland Trilogy will be over. While I’ll have to admit I had a tough time really getting in to the first couple of issues of Return to Wonderland, once I got in I was finding me having a good time with this amazing world that Raven Gregory, Joe Brusha, and Ralph Tadesco had created. And now, here we are, closing in on the conclusion of it all.
If you have not been reading this series up to this point, I’m sorry, but this is not a jumping on point for you. This issue is as much a final climb to the conclusion of all of the characters’ stories as you can get and to come on now would be painfully hard to grasp. Now, keep in mind, this issue is a good issue, but I think so much of its relativity would be lost on new readers. While that’s true, Gregory really knows how to build up some crazy tension in a situation that was already engulfed with tension.
I cannot say there are a lot of surprises in this issue having read the entire story, but it’s the execution of the story that makes me really enjoy what’s happening. Again, Gregory can tell a solid story in the confines of a 22-page comic. The one thing I can say I didn’t see coming was how the Jabberwocky was handled as the issue came closer to the end. It’s one of those moments that make sense in hindsight, but I didn’t put the pieces together until it actually happens.
Now, if there’s a disappointment in this issue it’s the lack of Daniel Leister’s artwork. I think Anthony Spay did a good job, and it’s similar to Leister’s style in some ways, but at the end of the day it’s not Leister. I don’t know why Leister was unable to do this issue because I know he does the art chores on the last issue of the series.
In the end, I think this issue is a good build up to the series, and the overall story’s, conclusion. The art really is what hurt it for me, and I hate saying that because it’s not bad artwork. I’m looking forward to seeing how all of this wraps up in the final issue.