cover image The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume I

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume I

Neil Gaiman, adapted by P. Craig Russell, illus. by Scott Hampton, Tony Harris, et al. Harper, $17.99 (192p) ISBN 978-0-06-219481-7

As he did with Coraline, Russell makes the recasting of Gaiman’s Newbery-winning novel into graphic form look easy with this vastly entertaining adaptation, first in a two-book set (the second volume is due in late September). Russell conceives the look and layout of the graveyard world inhabited by Bod (short for “Nobody”), the infant who has escaped his family’s murderer; six artists, including Kevin Nowlan, Stephen B. Scott, Galen Showman, and Jill Thompson, contribute a chapter apiece. The overall effect is remarkably unified, and the thread of the narrative is always crystal-clear. Bod’s devoted adoptive parents, the ghosts Mr. and Mrs. Owens, and the other graveyard inhabitants are dressed in evocative period costumes and drawn in ethereal blue, while Bod’s teacher and mentor Silas, about whose status the book was coy, is revealed as a vampire, with a splendid cape and a chiseled jawline. The artwork sets out to entertain rather than to horrify; even the initial murder scene has a certain tranquility. It’s a treasure worth having even if the novel is already on the shelf. Ages 8–12. (Aug.)