Graphic Novel Review
The Graveyard Book Volume 1 by Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russell
Source: hardcover via my collection
My Rating: 5 of 5 stars :star :star :star :star :star
Publication Date: July 14th, 2014
Publisher / Length: HarperCollins // 188 pages
It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.
Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.
There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family.
Each chapter in this adaptation by P. Craig Russell is illustrated by a different luminary from the comic book world, showcasing a variety of styles from a breadth of talent. Together, they bring Neil Gaiman's award-winning, nationally bestselling novel The Graveyard Book to new life in this gorgeously illustrated two-volume graphic novel adaptation.
Volume One contains Chapter One through the Interlude, while Volume Two includes Chapter Six to the end.
The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman is an award winning children’s book from one of the most creative and unique authors ever. More importantly, The Graveyard Book is one of my favorite books of all time. Talk about pressure! The pressure that this graphic novel had to live up to my expectations was high, to say the least.
You all know about my love of graphic novels. If not I’ll update you: I love them. I read them continuously and usually gravitate towards non-traditional graphic novels. The more adventure and fantasy involved, the better. That being said, I am picky about this medium. It’s sometimes hit or miss trying to put into graphics a novel that is to my liking is hard enough—to actually fit those graphics with what was already in my head due to it being one of my favorite books? Well, that was what was so exciting about this.
The Verdict: The Graveyard Book Volume 1 was excellent. The drawings were spectacular. The coloring was fitting to the story. The characters were spot on. It helps that the author was involved. Yes, there are books that are made into graphic novels where the author of the original doesn’t really participate in the process. Neil Gaiman and P. Craig Russel was not one of those pairings, fortunately. I kind of knew that too, since Gaiman is a famous graphic novelist (google: Sandman series for more information).
The story seemed to flow so seamlessly and I started to forget that parts had to be a bit trimmed / it wasn’t completely in the novel format. I don’t think they took too much out of the actual novel but maybe they did and that’s my point. I have no idea. It seemed like it was just like reading the novel. I didn’t feel like there was anything missing or glazed over. I have felt like this with other graphic novel renditions of YA or Middle Grade books and it’s nice to feel like your’e reading the original and get lost in the magic of the illustrations with the story.
Oh and those illustrations were just sublime. Since this was only Part I I didn’t get to see all of what I was excited to. But, I did get to see the dance of the whole town with the old tradition thing and the Grey Lady. I don’t want to go into more detail and spoil it for any of you who haven’t read the story or graphic novel. I just have to say it was probably my favorite illustration of this volume and I am really impressed because it kind of exceeded my exectations. I also liked how dark Nobody’s guardian was portrayed. In the book it’s left a little bit open …maybe that was just my opinion but I really liked how it wasn’t sugarcoated that he is not a “human” who is “nice” he’s odd and kind of left out between worlds (much like Nobody himself is).
All in all I have to say this was a most enjoyable graphic novel read! I am so glad to see it up on my shelf and I strongly urge you to pick it up! If you have read the story you definitely need to pick it up—it’s a whole new experience! If you haven’t read The Graveyard Book you should look into it right away because it’s a beautiful classic :O