Review Blog

Aug 18 2014

The Graveyard Book volume 1 by Neil Gaiman

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Graphic adaptation by P. Craig Russell. Ill. by Kevin Nowlan, P. Craig Russell, Tony Harris, Scott Hampton, Galen Showman, Jill Thompson, Stephen B. Scott. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN: 9781408858998.
This graphic version of the very popular Graveyard Book covers the first half of the story with different illustrators for each chapter. The story opens with the murder of a family in their home by a mysterious intruder. The sole survivor, the youngest child, wanders out of the house and into a nearby graveyard where the resident ghosts take him in and name him Nobody, Bod for short. They keep him safe with the help of Silas, who inhabits the space between life and death and can bring the boy food from the outside world. Bod explores his world within the graveyard and has adventures involving Ghouls, ancient Sleers and a young witch but in the background there is always the sinister 'Jack' whose task of annihilating the family is unfinished. The story has adapted very well to a graphic novel format as each chapter finds the boy two years older and the episodic adventures are complete in themselves. The dramatic supernatural beings lend themselves to vivid images and the graveyard environment is well imagined and consistent. Fans of Manga will find the supernatural beings owe something to this style, especially the Indigo Man, and the different graphic styles add another dimension to the story. Sometimes the text on dark backgrounds and near the book's gutter is hard to read but it is mostly clear and easy to follow. Fans of Neil Gaiman's work will not be disappointed and this graphic adaptation will make the story accessible to a wide audience.
Sue Speck

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