Title: Courtney Crumrin, Volume 1: The Night Things, Special Edition
Publisher: Oni Press
Publication Date: March 2012
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Other books in the series:
Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics, Vol. 2
Courtney Crumrin and the Twilight Kingdom, Vol. 3
Courtney Crumrin's Monstrous Holiday, Vol. 4
Courtney Crumrin Tales: Portrait of the Warlock as a Young Man #1
Courtney Crumrin Tales: The League of Ordinary Gentlemen #2
Courtney Crumrin and the Fire-Thief's Tale
Courtney Crumrin and the Prince of Nowhere
How I Got It: from NetGalley for review
Summary from galley:Fan-favorite and critical darling Courtney Crumrin is back in a series of newly remastered, full color hardcover editions!
Courtney's parents have dragged her out to a high-to-do suburb to live with her creepy Great Uncle Aloysius in his spooky old house. She's not only the new kid in school, but she also discovers strange things lurking under her bed.
I had never heard of the "fan-favorite and critical darling" Courtney Crumrin books, but I wanted to read them after they set the bar so high! I had read book one of Holly Black's Kin series (reviewed) that Naifeh had illustrated and I wasn't a fan of his work, but I was willing to give this one a try. I'm very glad I did.
Courtney Crumrin has grown up with painfully awkward social ladder climbing parents. They normally don't pay any attention to her unless she can be used to make connections for them. Despite this she's a sassy and self-sufficient though a bit cranky. She has very little patience for her family, foolish people, snobs, or those who simply sit back and take life's punches. Her parents jump at the opportunity to move in with her father's very wealthy great uncle. They've run out of credit cards and now they'll be able to live rent free in a very posh and exclusive neighborhood. Unfortunately for Courtney, her Uncle Aloysius's house has a creepy and haunted reputation. So not only is she the new "poor" girl, but she lives in a haunted house with her great uncle the ax murderer/devil worshipper/ex-hippy. Even though all of the kids at school either pick on her or ignore her, and her parents are embarrassingly awful, she does befriend Uncle Aloysious. Which is a good thing, since it always helps to have a powerful witch help you out with slavery in the goblin markets, changelings, glamours gone awry, and the occasional missing-and-presumed-eaten classmate.
Courtney Crumrin is quite possibly the world's most lovable teenage curmudgeon. She's sassy and sticks up for herself, but like most teenagers, is prone to lapses in judgement that can get her into trouble. Naifeh's story unashamedly has children eaten by goblins or switched with changelings and nothing is done about it. It's kind of a creepy world more similar to the original Grimm's tales than today's spun sugar fairytales. I liked Naifeh's art much more this time around, and felt his mix of manga and chibi styles worked well. His stories were darkly humorous and fun but there were times I wish he had added one or two more sentences to better explain what was happening. I could quickly figure things out, but a little bit of confusion could be avoided with either written or drawn explanations.
|"I must have been really rotten in a previous life. Maybe a gym teacher."|
courtesy of TedNaifeh.com
|"These your friends? Is this where you all wait for the short bus?"|
courtesy of TedNaifeh.com