THROWBACK THURSDAY: REVIEWING A REISSUE
This brief graphic novel, written by one of the world’s premier fantasy authors, Neil Gaiman, features two short stories: “The Price” and “The Daughter of Owls.”
Michael Zulli’s illustrations really enhance these already powerful stories. The art here does what art should do in a graphic novel … it helps tell the story. I noted that Gaiman rewrote the works to fit the graphic novel format. I haven’t read the works prior to this, so I don’t know what changes were made, but I suspect it had a lot to do with allowing the images tell some of the story.
“The Price” was easily my favorite of the two stories here. Gaiman keeps the reader in much suspense, slowly revealing the ‘truth’ of the story which is both heart-warming and frightening at the same time. It is Gaiman’s skill to give us these contradicting emotions that really makes me appreciate him.
Though extremely brief, I struggled with “The Daughter of Owls.” The story is interesting (it’s Neil Gaiman – of course the story is interesting!) but the decision to have the lettering in a flowing, artistic script is strange. I understand the motivation for it, and how, artistically, it fits within the story, but it made it very difficult for this reader. It slowed me down. It took me out of the flow of the story in order to read the story. Here is one panel from one page to give you an example:
At least on my computer I could enlarge the page a number of times so that I could read the words, but that made it more difficult to scroll through the book.
The art was also not as up to par in this story as it was with the first story. This art felt more like colored sketches than a stylized, finished work.
If this were only the last story, with this art and lettering, I’d struggle to recommend the book even though it’s a Neil Gaiman story. But with the powerful story “The Price” leading this off, this is easily a book to recommend.
Looking for a good book? Creatures of the Night is a graphic novel with two stories by Neil Gaiman and art by Michael Zulli. If you have a collection of Gaiman books, you will definitely want to include this book. If you do not have a collection of Neil Gaiman books, you should start one and do so with this book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
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Creatures of the Night
author: Neil Gaiman
artist: Michael Zulli
publisher: Dark Horse Books
hardcover, 46 pages