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Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland continues to provide inspiration for everything from comics to video games to music. In this reimagining, Alice and the Nightmare, the titular Alice is a young university student studying dreams while hiding a secret.
Alice Heart has always lived within the Heart Church, training under Queen Rougina Kralovna to be an oneironaut. Accepted to Phantasmagoria University, she is nervous and excited about finally have freedom and independence, and finds a friend in her roommate, Edith Diamant. But Alice is hiding a secret, a mysterious illness connected to a strange figure that appears in her dreams. But Wonderlandians don’t dream… or so they say.
Created by Michelle Krivanek, or Misha, Alice and the Nightmare is a fresh take on the Wonderland mythos. This rendition of Alice is just as curious as her namesake, but channels that energy into learning. She is less assertive, but loyal to her friends. In Misha’s interpretation, all Wonderlandians belong to a Suit, determining their place in society. Edith (counterpoint unknown), is shy, being of the lowest Suit, a Diamond, but has a creative streak she enjoys sharing with Alice. Unlike other versions of Carroll’s magnum opus, this Wonderland is normal. The landscape and architecture could be any town with a historical section and modern attachments. Computers and technology are present, and the strangest creatures are the oversized anthropomorphic dogs and rabbits serving the Queen. The Wonderlandians are identical to humans, the only difference being the Traumen Marks, indications of their Suit. Though a fantasy story, there is science fiction present, such as the holodeck-like area for dream training. Magic is also present, though not in wand-waving classes but rather in sync with the dream-training, a blend of sci-fi and fantasy, though more heavily on the fantasy side.
Misha’s art is light on the linework and uses natural colors for the Wonderlandians. The surreal elements appear in the Dreamscape, where the oneironauts work. The only difference between humans and Wonderlandians is the Traumen Marks, the mark that identifies a character’s Suit. Most personal color schemes are coordinated to the Marks. For example, Diamonds are usually dressed in blue or will have features, such as blue eyes, that match.
A story of dreams and secrets, Alice and the Nightmare is a new take on an old story. Read it at AliceandtheNightmare.com.