Hey, I just got a review from Ain't It Cool News for Bizenghast...my very first book review! *wigglebask dance*
Comic Preview: Bizenghast
By M. Alice LeGrow
Released by TOKYOPOP
Bizenghast is close enough to manga Hawthorne to be very intriguing.
It stands more on goth appeal and goes further into Labyrinth
territory than American folklore but it does flavor the meticulously
haunting design. While there's elements to pick apart with flaws in
illustration, fact and history, it works as an immersive experience in
twists of fairy tale logic and visual imagination.
The trip opens with Dinah, an Alice with flowing black hair in updated
Victorian clothes, who was sent to a Massachusetts relic after a
family tragedy. With her friend/protector/confidant Vincent she
stumbles into a spirit world of riddle locked traps.
Out of a location that's old by European-american standards Bizenghast
establishes a very unreal place. Crumbling, ivy entombed, almost more
villages than building complexes, it starts with a place that despite
cell phones is out of time, and slips into something that's further
out time with cathedrals, Poe-like shattered manors, and mixes of
European mythic and religious imagery.
It has the right warped logic and warning cadence. As a dark fantasy,
it's chilling. If you're trying to fit it over American folklore, it's
problematic. Elements of local lore aren't absent, but they are in the
shadow of larger sights. Many of the pieces and influences ring more
continental than colonial or specifically puritan. The author takes
the story in her own direction, and the results are peppered with
enough turn-back-to pages of 'break the mold' frightening oddity, but the
setup seems an odd feint. Given that the series is staged someplace
very specific, and someplace with a comparatively long history of folk
lore and horrors, the choice of where to ground the series seems a bit
Much thanks to Brandon for sending this item in
My stock photo gallery for Alice in Wonderland/American McGee's Alice/Cosplay costumes is