cover image Raven Girl

Raven Girl

Audrey Niffenegger. Abrams ComicArts, $19.95 (80p) ISBN 978-1-4197-0726-1

Niffenegger (The Night Bookmobile) blends art and prose in this eerie picture book for adults. The modern world takes on a fairy-tale cast as a postman falls in love with a raven; their daughter, stuck in a human body but able to speak only in the raven language, yearns to fly. As a college student, the raven girl learns of the possibility that she may surgically be given wings, thus transforming her body to better reflect her true nature. The tale takes a dark turn when a boy who harbors an unhealthy obsession for the raven girl—believing himself to be saving her—commits a murder. Niffenegger’s images are not as polished as her prose; her humans have a slightly cartoonish feel, but her ravens are beautifully detailed, with feathers that seem as though they could fly off the page. The muted color choices suit the surreal tone of the novella. The unsettling nature of the tale is reminiscent of Swan Lake, and it is fitting that this story will also be debuting as a London Royal Ballet performance. (May)