A comic with a message. A comic for kids with a message, at that. Malice in Ovenland by Micheline Hess is a trip down the rabbit hole, or rather, the oven hole, into a world of grease. In this new comic the main character, Lilly, is unhappy with her world. Her mom has stopped making all the fatty foods she loved and has gone on a health kick, something Lilly is firmly against. Rather than eat eggplant puree, Lilly dreams of fried chicken and bbq ribs.
With summer upon her, Lilly is stuck at home doing a list of chores for her mom, rather than out enjoying the beautiful weather. With the last chore glaring at her, the dirty oven, Lilly gets to it, not knowing that cleaning the oven will change her world forever. When she loses an earring Lilly climbs into the oven and falls into the Ovenland. A world ruled by the Mad Queen of the Frites, Ovenland is where all the grease from her mom’s fatty foods had gone, and now that she is cooking healthy food, Ovenland was in trouble. With the help of Crumb, a friendly Frite, and Chef Gristle, a ghost, Lilly must go on an adventure to find her way back home.
While the parallels to Alice in Wonderland are obvious, this story is a whole new thing. Girl power and healthy eating are the main themes, and they are handled very well. Overall the story is sweet and kids will definitely enjoy it. The illustrations are fun, though a bit gross at times (do we really want to see a cockroach eat puke?) and Lilly is a great character to cheer for.
Malice in Ovenland Vol #1 is available now and can be found at your local bookstore/comic shop as well as on Amazon