Dorothy #1 Review

Reviewer: James Hatton
Story Title: Chapter One: The Cyclone

Starring: Catie Fisher
Photography by: Greg Mannino & Theo Panousopoulos
Computer Visualization by: Greg Mannino
Special 3D Visual Effects by: Theo Panousopoulos
Story by: Greg Mannino & Mark Masterson
Written by: Mark Masterson
Directed & Produced by: Greg Mannino
Publisher: Illusive Productions

We live in a time where old themes are constantly replayed around us. It’s not to say that something original doesn’t come down the pike ever, but it is a bit rare these days. Just because we keep retelling our favorite stories in different ways, doesn’t mean, though, that we are doing the world a disservice. It’s the retelling of these stories that is inherent in our nature, as it is how stories were passed through generations. Read the original Grimm’s Fairytales for some prime examples of what we’ve done to tales as they’ve been passed down through the years.

Well, in this independant book, published by “Illusive” – we are getting a popular legendary story retold to us. Wicked does it with a musical. Clive Barker does it with horror and unadulterated sex. Dorothy does it with a nod to today’s rebel youth and alternative culture.

STORY!

Something happened to Dorothy Gale 5 years ago. Whatever it is, it’s probably bad relating to her family – as she now lives in the middle of Kansas with her friends Chloe, Lois, and Clark… no, not really. Honestly, she’s a teenage girl who is angsty and hates her little black and white world of Kansas. It seems she’s grounded for getting drunk, and there she sits – alone in her room.. wishing to run away. It’s kind of like Freebird that way.

Well, our little Dorothy does what she needs to do and bails. Her voice is one of this desperate need to find freedom away from the chains of being a youth under the roof of family – but it’s little things like her talking about how if she hurts her Uncle’s van he’ll kill her. It’s legit on the sixteen year old mindset. I want freedom, so I run, but while running if I happen to hurt my Uncle’s van he’ll get mad. It’s that great duality that sells me on this book. Dorothy is a living breathing embodiment of the want for teenage freedom. Plus she’s pretty hot.

Well, there is a tornado warning in effect that she happens to stumble upon – the tornado, not the warning. As can be expected, she’s hurled into the air in her Uncle’s truck. (Which is where that worry about the truck comes from) In an act of desperation she leaps from the truck, surfing it in one beautifully executed shot and landing feet away from the ball of fire that it once was. Her face reflecting the color that now seems to have invaded her life.

Can you tell I really dug this book?

Art!

I didn’t mention this up til this spot because I didn’t want it to turn anyone off. This book isn’t photo-realistic. It’s photos. Take David Mack’s collage work and the book Paparazzi and you have Dorothy. The girl they’ve gotten is a hip young looking chick with streaks in her hair and a labrette piercing. The backgrounds and special effects have all been obviously added in, as well as highlighting the drabness of Kansas. It’s a neat look. A perfect example is her in Kansas – it’s obviously black and white, as a nod to the movie, but her piercing green eyes, magenta-ish hair streaks, and red lips are colored. That’s it. Oh, and once again – Dorothy is completely drop dead ‘I have daddy issues’ hot.

Yes, that is a special qualification.

Now, the photo comic isn’t completely uncharted territory, Greg Horn tried it with JUDGE (a long time ago) and Sam Gaffard did it with “I, Paparazzi” – overall though, Illusive Entertainment seems to do it the best. Each panel has been hand touched and it’s a great look.

Overall!

Dorothy is doing something old and something new. Wizard of Oz is old – Photo comics are, maybe not new, but certainly unperfected. They have the obvious storytelling ability to be able to pull it off. Add in their BEAUTIFUL website Dorothy Of Oz – and these guys are going to slide underneath the radar and could possibly have an underground success.

Now, I’m aware that this 1st issue has been out for a bit, but with issue #2 on the way – it’s deserving of note.

Check them out, support your indy books. This book may not be YOUR cup o’ tea, but these guys deserve at least the applause for trying something new.

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