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Cheshire Crossing: 09/19/19
Cheshire Crossing by Andy Weir and Sarah Andersen is a breath of life to an old webcomic and self pub with a good concept and, as the author admits, terrible art. Andy Weir is best known for the Martian but he's been writing longer than that and Cheshire Crossing was his experiment with comics. All of this is explained in the foreword, but I'm putting it here because this story was my first introduction to Weir's work.
But credit to my knowing to this resurrection goes to Sarah Andersen. I've been a fan of Sarah Scribbles from her Tumblr days. I read and reviewed the three print collections of her comics and was curious to see what her next project was. Color me shocked and delighted when I saw she was redoing the art for a new printing of Cheshire Crossing.
The gist of this book, which contains the stories of the original four issues, is that there's an institute that is studying trans-dimensional travel. It has disguised itself as a school for troubled girls. It's first three "students" are Wendy Darling, Alice Liddel, and Dorothy Gale. It's 1910 when the three teens meet. Weir is clearly familiar with the source material, including the Oz books beyond The Wizard of Oz, even if his version of Oz is mostly inspired by the first book. I say this because he's picked the sweet period after her adventures, but just before she emigrates to Oz with her aunt and uncle in The Emerald City of Oz (1910).
Interestingly, going back to the original art, I'll say Weir and Andersen together show more knowledge of the Baum source material. The slippers have gone from ruby back to silver. The Wicked Witch has lost her green skin and she looks like a younger version of her original book self.
The Oz bits aside, the basic plot is that after the three girls discover a way into Oz, the Wicked Witch (who is back because apparently dissolving in water isn't permanent) realizes she can take their dimensional travel to her advantage.
The witch ends up teaming up with Captain Hook (a few years before Once Upon a Time and well before the Wicked Witch's appearance in the series. Meanwhile, the girls end up recruiting help, mostly from Wonderland, but from other places as well, to set things to rights.
The foreword also includes a hint of maybe future collaborations. Weir likes to write and maybe Andersen will be brought on board for something new, or maybe further adventures with the school.