Before I moved to New York and had access to the institution that is the New York Public Library, I didn’t really read graphic novels. I had nothing against them; I just didn’t have access to them. Since moving, and especially since I started working at PW, I’ve had the opportunity to expand my comics and graphic novel repertoire. North 40 (written by Aaron Williams and illustrated by Fiona Staples) had been in the back of my mind ever since I discovered Williams’ P.S. 238 series years ago (a fun, ongoing all-ages series about kids with super powers) and was introduced to his work. I recently started reading the Staples illustrated Saga (an amazing, ongoing ADULT series about star-crossed lovers during an alien civil war) and once I realized that it was the same Staples, I decided to finally seek out North 40. I was not disappointed.

North 40 (published by Vertigo) starts like many other stories: a small desert town, some kids find a book, kids read said book, and all heck breaks loose. The town and the townspeople both become transformed into creatures straight out of Lovecraft (reminiscent of another desert town called Night Vale). The three main characters, the sheriff and two teenagers, have to work together to stop a Cthulhu-like beast from coming through the book and destroying their town (also the world). I really enjoyed the characters and the story was great. Staples’ art is solid and the colors are fantastic. They match the setting well. The only thing that disappoints me is that this six issue limited series was never picked up for an ongoing run. It certainly sets up a number of possible adventures. North 40 might be too much for the little ones, but older readers will enjoy it.