Written by: Iolanda Zanfardino
Illustrated by: Elisa Romboli
After her sudden move to San Francisco in the first issue, Alice In Leatherland #2 catches up with Alice as she tries to find her place in her new home. Immediately there’s a clear sense of Alice being out of her depth that will be relatable to anyone who has ever found themself living somewhere they’re entirely new to.
While the bulk of this issue focuses on Alice settling into her new surroundings there’s also a significant amount of time dedicated to Robin. Throughout this issue we learn plenty about Robin and see the strain on her friendship with Alice as both of them have to adjust to the idea that there’s more to Robin here in San Francisco than when she was a visiting friend to Alice’s hometown in the previous issue. Again it’s something that feels very familiar, the dawning realisation of how someone you might have known for a long time can change drastically in a different environment.
Although this change is clearly a surprise to Alice, who’s used to seeing a very particular side of her friend, it opens up the floodgates to everything Alice has been struggling since moving; discovering her ex’s betrayal, not having a job and being unsure of what her future holds. It’s in this moment that her new housemates Joaquin and Kaguya really come through, in what is a legitimately sweet couple of pages, ending with the pair agreeing they should help Alice if they can. This leads to Joaquin introducing Alice to his friend Peter, the owner of Leatherland, y’know, the one from the title.
As much as I loved the first issue of Alice In Leatherland I’d say without argument that this is an even better issue. Everything comes together in a really well structured way and, while the first issue had a lot of introductions to make and setup to get through, it feels like we’re at a point now where the story can really begin. It’s not much of a well kept secret that I’m a character development kind of guy, so I really enjoyed that this issue did a lot to tell us more about everyone that has been introduced so far. It really feels like Iolanda Zanfardino has got a good grasp of who these characters are, so they all feel like their own person in each scene.
Equally Elisa Romboli’s artwork is great throughout, adorable when it wants to be and brilliant at conveying every emotion in every scene. Although I think Romboli’s influences shine through in her artwork, there’s a definite individuality to her style with the contrast between the main artwork and occasional fairytale pages showing a great range.
It might be obvious at this point, but I quite like Alice In Leatherland and I’d definitely recommend checking it out. Between Elisa Romboli’s superb artwork and Iolanda Zanfardino’s relatable character writing this is a series with a great deal of emotion and detail.
5 fireflies out of 5.