Friday, June 12, 2009

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh

I've had this series recommended to me by several people, a friend of mine who's recommended a lot of my now-favorite books, a review by Darla D from Books and Other Thoughts (who also recommends a lot of books I end up loving), and several other people I can't remember. It took me a while to get around to reading it, but I loved it when I did!

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things is a kids' graphic novel. It has a classic plot--girl moves to creepy old uncle's house and creepy stuff happens--but this is a model example of Tropes Are Not Bad.

There are three main things that keep this book amazing:

A) It knows its tropes, loves them, and uses them well. This is the kind of story kids like.

B) It's funny, in a biting way. It's SMART humor. The characters and dialoge are just off-beat enough to make everything seem shiny and new.

C) It's a graphic novel with gorgeous, quirky, dark art that sets the mood and lets us create a little more of the story in our own heads while giving us something pretty to look at. I love fantasy art in general, and this art adds humor to dark scenes and a sense of creepy to the funny scenes.

I will warn that the characters are not paragons, and this is not a morality play. The characters are good, but they aren't above being vindictive and conniving. It's a little creepy sometimes because it's unexpected, but it's realistic and would promote discussion.

I highly recommend this series to kids (of all ages ;) ) who like this sort of quirky fantasy/gothic horror trend that's happening right now in fiction. Fans of Lemony Snicket, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Skulduggery Pleasant, Zorgamazoo, that whole vein.
Buy Courtney Crumrin & The Night Things


  1. Looks like fun, love the cover!

  2. Love the cover, and your review makes me want to read it!


Hi guys, made some changes to the comments... You don't have to go to the separate page anymore, and I had to start requiring word verification because of a bunch of spam comments.