The project which would ultimately become known as ALICE AND THE INVADERS FROM WONDERLAND simply started out as sketches I did for a Steampunk inspired show my wife Syd and I were taking part in. Syd innocently mentioned that I had never done any Steampunk versions of Alice in Wonderland.
Which prompted me to do two illustrations of Alice and her Wonderland cohorts in decidedly retro futuristic Victorian Garb. The one you see above is the color version of one of those illustrations.
As I worked on the illustrations I begun to toy with the idea of a story that would go along with the images. A story which would begin where Alice's adventures down the rabbit hole and through the looking glass left off. Re-imagining her as a swashbuckling adventuress fighting back against a decidedly transformed version of The Queen of Hearts. Mixing the best bits of what I love about Doctor Who as well as Harry Potter...
...and with a dash of Buffy the Vampire Slayer tossed in there for just good measure.
It was around that same time I got to know illustrator Paul Loudon. I felt like the project needed to go in a different direction as far as the look and the feel of the artwork is concerned. And I felt my style just didn't have that right feel for the story I had created. And Paul's did.
I initially asked him if he would be interested and sent him a copy of the script. Which at that point I had written as a graphic novel.
He said yes and from there I began to work on character sketches in my notebook for him to go by.
He took my initial sketch of Alice in a slightly different direction which I absolutely loved.
THIS Alice fit the story. My only instructions was that Alice was not to be "oversexed". She's a sixteen year old girl in this story and not a pin-up. I had seen so many cheesecake versions of Alice, especially in comics, and I wanted a version of her that reimagined her as a fun swashbuckling action adventuress.
It amazes me how many oversexed versions of Alice there are out there. Especially considering she's a six year old girl in the original story.
While I had these stipulations for Alice. The Queen of Hearts on the other hand...
Paul's artwork has really set the tone as far as the story is concerned. The plot itself when I was developing it as a graphic novel was originally supposed to be one self-contained story. However, the more I looked at it, the more I realized I could break the story itself down into a season of episodes for a potential animated series.
This is where Ainsley Rivers Waller comes in. An old chum for college, she has helped me to rewrite a lot of the script as well as groom the scripts of each episode.
It's become a real team effort as we have worked on getting Alice off the ground from just merely being Steampunk to being a proper swashbuckling girls action-adventure series.
And we're just getting started...