on 31st July 2014
An irresistibly-brilliant graphic novel adaptation of The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman, adapted by award-winning illustrator P. Craig Russell. This is the first of two volumes.
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 dangers and adventures for Bod in the graveyard. But it's in the land of the living that the real danger lurks, for it is there that the man Jack lives, and he has already killed Bod's family.
Each chapter is illustrated by a different artist, with contributions from P. Craig Russell, Kevin Nowlan, Tony Harris and Scott Hamptom, Galen Showman, Jill Thompson and Stephen B. Scott.
I’ve not read the Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman and was excited to read the first volume of the graphic novel. I’ve read a few graphic novels but those have all been for books I’d read before and I wanted to see what it was like going in without any idea of what was going to happen next.
Over the course of the novel we get to know Bod, a boy who after a terrible incident came to live in a graveyard. The ghosts took him under their wing and raised them as one of them. With a vampire as a guardian tasked with bringing Bod human necessities like food, Bod has an upbringing not like that of most other children. Each chapter tells a story of its own being independent of the others but at the same time drawing upon similar elements and all tie together nicely. From ghosts to ghouls, witches and the Macabre – this book covers a lot of supernatural beings whilst brings it all together in one lovely, easy to read graphic novel.
This book is wonderfully illustrated. The drawings are all eerily beautiful and I can see why the original book was turned into a graphic novel. There are seven different illustrators contributing to this volume and whilst each has their own distinct style, each one works so well with the others. There is a sense of cohesion between the chapters and their illustrations. The stories are very easy to follow and you do get an extra something by being able to visually follow the plot.
After finishing this book I was eager to find out what happens next – just why Bod’s family was targeted and how everything was going to play out – so I borrowed a copy of the novel which this graphic novel was based. I was surprised by just how faithfully this book followed the original.
I recommend this graphic novel for fans of the original story and anyone who enjoys beautifully gothic illustrations. It’s a great adaptation and an interesting interpretation of the novel. I also think people who aren’t traditionally comic/graphic novel readers (like myself) will enjoy it for the story and the gorgeous way it was translated into a visual medium.
Thanks to Bloomsbury Australia for the review copy.