Coraline (Graphic Novel)

( 14 )

Overview

Coraline discovered the door a little after they moved into the house.

When Coraline steps through a door in her family's new house, she finds another house strangely similar to her own (only better). But there's another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Acclaimed artist P. Craig Russell brings Neil Gaiman's enchanting, nationally bestselling ...

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Overview

Coraline discovered the door a little after they moved into the house.

When Coraline steps through a door in her family's new house, she finds another house strangely similar to her own (only better). But there's another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go.

Acclaimed artist P. Craig Russell brings Neil Gaiman's enchanting, nationally bestselling children's book Coraline to new life in this gorgeously illustrated graphic novel adaptation.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Booklist (starred review)
“A virtuoso adaptation…a master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening the horror, even as Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness.”
Chicago Tribune
“This graphic novel is as dark, creepy, and brilliant as anything out there.”
Booklist (starred review)
“A virtuoso adaptation…a master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening the horror, even as Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness.”
Chicago Tribune
“This graphic novel is as dark, creepy, and brilliant as anything out there.”
KLIATT - George Galuschak
Coraline Jones lives in an old house with her parents. She's bored—it's raining, her mother is grouchy and school doesn't start till next week—so when she opens the bricked-up door that goes nowhere and sees a dark passage, she follows it. Her other mother waits for her on the other side, with her long red fingernails and black button eyes. There are others living in this world: an old man made of rats and a pair of conjoined performers who do tricks with knives. When Coraline returns to her own world her parents are gone; the other mother has taken them because she wants Coraline all to herself—to love or to eat, maybe both. Coraline must return to the other mother's world to find her parents' souls; her allies are a black cat and three dead children who live in a mirror. If she succeeds, all will be well; if she fails, she will join the children in the mirror. Coraline is a terrific graphic novel; this adaptation of the Neil Gaiman story is very well done. The full-color art is creepy and atmospheric, a nice blend of dark fantasy and horror, and does not feel forced or awkward. The plot is fast-paced and exciting, and full of nasty surprises. Coraline contains scary imagery and is highly recommended for graphic novel collections where horror and dark fantasy are popular; Gaiman's many adult fans (you know who you are) will also enjoy this. Reviewer: George Galuschak
Children's Literature - Melissa Hower
This graphic novel is an adaptation of the modern classic. When Coraline and her family move into an old house, she goes exploring. She finds a locked door in the drawing room. When she finally opens the door, it appears to hide a brick wall. Then, one day she opens the door again and finds a passageway to another world. This other world is similar to her world but somehow oddly different and creepy. In this other world, she has a mother and father that look like her real parents except they have black button eyes, yellow teeth, and long fingers with sharp, scary nails. At first this new place seems fun and her "other parents" seem nice, but things start to unravel and Coraline realizes these new people have taken her real parents. Coraline must devise a plan to escape so that she can rescue her parents and leave this bizarre world. Kids will find it easy to identify with Coraline, and the illustrations capture every emotion she experiences. The details in each picture add to this eerie and strange tale. Kids that enjoy scary stories will really enjoy this book. Reviewer: Melissa Hower
Library Journal

Master fantasist Gaiman's creepy and wonderful 2002 all-ages novel Coraline won Hugo, Nebula, and Bram Stoker awards. Acclaimed illustrator Russell-who previously collaborated with Gaiman on the beautiful "Ramadan" issue of Sandman, the Eisner Award-winning "Death" from Sandman: Endless Nights, and a superb comics version of Gaiman's prose story "Murder Mysteries"-here presents an excellent graphic novel adaptation of Coraline's story. When she and her parents move into an old house, the imaginative, adventurous, precocious, and neglected young Coraline discovers a door that leads only to a brick wall. But when she opens the door one night, the wall has disappeared. When she goes through, Coraline finds a home just like her own, only better, where her other mother and father (who look like the real ones, except for the big black buttons they have for eyes) want her to stay forever. When Coraline decides against this, her other mother kidnaps her real parents, and Coraline must brave unknown dangers to save them. Russell appropriately mutes the bright colors he's known for and faithfully preserves much of Gaiman's text and his tone of understated horror (and humor). Because a Coraline film is scheduled for early 2009, expect much interest. Highly recommended.
—Steve Raiteri

School Library Journal

Gr 6-8- This adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel (HarperCollins, 2002) reads as though it were intended for the graphic novel format in the first place. Insatiably curious Coraline is an explorer dedicated to discovering everything she can about the area around her family's new home. When she comes upon a door in their flat that seems to go nowhere, enters an alternate world that at first is full of interesting things and delicious foods-everything that she has longed for. However, the dangerous creature there-called the "other mother"- intends to keep her forever. After Coraline's parents are kidnapped into the other world, she sets off on a mission to rescue them. Russell's illustrations suit the tone of the story perfectly, from the horrific black button eyes of the people in the other world to Coraline's very telling facial expressions. The style is realistic, which makes the moments when the other world loses its solidity even more eerie. The pacing never lags, and Coraline's transformation into a girl who understands that having everything you want is the least interesting thing of all is natural. For readers who enjoyed the novel, Coraline is sure to complement their reading experience. Those who come to the book first as a graphic novel will be just as captivated.-Alana Abbott, James Blackstone Memorial Library, Branford, CT

Kirkus Reviews
A deliciously dark graphic adaptation of Gaiman's modern classic is delivered with pitch-perfect accuracy and presented in a striking palette. Staying true to the original text, Russell's adaptation follows young Coraline Jones as she discovers a strange door in her otherwise boring flat. Once over the door's mysterious threshold, she meets her ghastly "Other Mother," a horrid-looking beldam with sinister, button eyes, long, yellowed teeth, spindly, tapered fingers with sharp, brown nails and a wry, baleful smile. Coraline's Other Mother intends to keep her in this horrible new world forever, and captures her real parents, prompting young Coraline to seek them out in this strange dimension. Russell, a veteran illustrator and collaborator with Gaiman, makes the novel positively jump off the page, sending shivers down its readers' spines. Colorist Lovern Kindzierski deserves special kudos for utilizing a masterful array of hues, working in smart synchronicity with the nuances of the tale. A stellar reworking of the original text, this is sure to delight established fans and to mesmerize newcomers. (Graphic fiction. 10 & up)
Booklist
"A virtuoso adaptation…a master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening the horror, even as Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060825454
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 106,997
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains." Originally from England, he now lives in America.

P. Craig Russell lives in Kent, Ohio, and has spent forty years producing graphic novels, comic books, and illustrations. He is well-known for his graphic novel adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Sandman: The Dream Hunters, as well as his Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde series. His work ranges from such mainstream titles as Batman, Star Wars, and Conan to adaptations of classic operas and a Jungle Book series. He has won several Harvey and Eisner Awards.

Biography

Neil Gaiman thought he wrote comic books. But a newspaper editor, of course, set him straight.

Back when he was riding the diabolical headwinds of his popular series of graphic novels, The Sandman, the author attended a party where he introduced himself as a comic-book writer to a newspaper's literary editor. But when the editor quickly realized who this actually was -- and the glaze melted from his eyes -- he offered Gaiman a correction tinged with astonishment: "My God, man, you don't write comics, you write graphic novels." Relating the story to theLos Angeles Times in 1995, Gaiman said, "I suddenly felt like someone who had been informed that she wasn't a hooker, that in fact she was a lady of the evening."

Gaiman's done much more, of course, than simply write graphic novels, having coauthored, with Terry Pratchett, Good Omens, a comic novel about the Apocalypse; adapted into hardcover the BBC miniseries Neverwhere about the dark underworld beneath the streets of London; and, inspired by his young daughter, put a horrifying spin on C.S. Lewis' wardrobe doors for Coraline, a children's book about a passageway into a magical, yet malevolent, land.

But it is The Sandman that is Gaiman's magnum opus.

Though he had told a career counselor in high school that he wanted to pen comic books, he had a career as a freelance journalist before his first graphic novel, Violent Cases, was published in England in 1987. DC Comics discovered him and The Sandman was born. Or reborn, actually. The comic debuted back in 1939 with a regular-Joe crime fighter in the lead. But in Gaiman's hands the tale had a more otherworldly spin, slowing introducing readers to the seven siblings Endless: Dream, Death, Desire, Destiny, Destruction, Despair and Delirium (once Delight). They all have their roles in shaping the fates of man. In fact, when Death was imprisoned for decades, the results were devastating. Richard Nixon reached The White House and Michael Jackson the Billboard charts.

Direction from newspaper editors notwithstanding, to Gaiman, these stories are still comic books. The man who shuttled back and forth between comics and classics in his formative years and can pepper his writing with references to Norse mythology as well as the vaudevillian rock group Queen, never cottoned to such highbrow/lowbrow distinctions. Comparing notes on a yachting excursion with members of the Irish rock band U2, the writer who looks like a rock star and Delirium and the rock stars who gave themselves comic-worthy names such as Bono and The Edge came to a realization: Whether the medium is pop music or comic books, not being taken seriously can be a plus. "It's safer to be in the gutter," he told The Washington Post in 1995.

In 1995, Gaiman brought The Sandman to a close and began spending more time on his nongraphic fiction, including a couple of short-story collections. A few years later he released Stardust, an adult fairy tale that has young Tristan Thorn searching for a fallen star to woo the lovely but cold Victoria Forester. In 2001, he placed an ex-con named Shadow in the middle of a war between the ancient and modern dieties in American Gods. Coming in October 2002 is another departure: an audio recording of Two Plays for Voices, which stars Bebe Neuwirth as a wise queen doing battle with a bloodthirsty child and Brian Dennehy as the Angel of Vengeance investigating the first crime in history in heaven's City of Angels.

Gaiman need not worry about defining his artistic relevance, since so many other seem to do it for him. Stephen King, Roger Zelazny and Harlan Ellison are among those who have contributed introductions to his works. William Gibson, the man who coined the term "cyberspace," called him a "a writer of rare perception and endless imagination" as well as "an American treasure." (Even though he's, technically, a British treasure transplanted to the American Midwest.) Even Norman Mailer has weighed in: "Along with all else, Sandman is a comic strip for intellectuals, and I say it's about time."

The gushiest praise, however, may come from Frank McConnell, who barely contained himself in the pages of the political and artistic journal Commonweal. Saying Gaiman "may just be the most gifted and important storyteller in English," McConnell crowned Sandman as the most important act of fiction of the day. "And that, not just because of the brilliance and intricacy of its storytelling -- and I know few stories, outside the best of Joyce, Faulkner, and Pynchon, that are more intricate," he wrote in October 1995, " but also because it tells its wonderful and humanizing tale in a medium, comic books, still largely considered demimonde by the tenured zombies of the academic establishment."

"If Sandman is a 'comic,'" he concluded, "then The Magic Flute is a 'musical' and A Midsummer Night's Dream is a skit. Read the damn thing: it's important."

Good To Know

Some fascinating factoids from our interview with Gaiman:

"One of the most enjoyable bits of writing Sandman was getting authors whose work I love to write the introductions for the collected graphic novels -- people like Steve Erickson, Gene Wolfe, Harlan Ellison, Clive Barker, Peter Straub, Mikal Gilmore, and Samuel R. Delany."

"I have a big old Addams Family house, with -- in the summertime -- a vegetable garden, and I love growing exotic pumpkins. As a boy in England I used to dream about Ray Bradbury Hallowe'ens, and am thrilled that I get them these days. Unless I'm on the road signing people's books, of course."

"According to my daughters, my most irritating habit is asking for cups of tea."

"I love radio -- and love the availability of things like the Jack Benny radio shows in MP3 format. I'm addicted to BBC radio 7, and keep buying boxed CD sets of old UK radio programs, things like Round the Horne and Hancock's Half Hour. Every now and again I'll write a radio play."

"I love thunderstorms, old houses, and dreams."

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    1. Hometown:
      Minneapolis, Minnesota
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 10, 1960
    2. Place of Birth:
      Portchester, England
    1. Education:
      Attended Ardingly College Junior School, 1970-74, and Whitgift School, 1974-77
    2. Website:

Interviews & Essays

How I Came to Write Coraline
More than ten years ago, I started to write a children's book. It was for my daughter, Holly, who was five years old. I wanted it to have a girl as a heroine, and I wanted it to be refreshingly creepy.

When I was a boy, I lived in a house that had been made when a larger house had been divided up. The irregular shape of the house meant that one door of the house opened onto a stark brick wall. I would open it from time to time, always suspicious that one day the brick wall would be gone, and a corridor would be there instead.

I started to write a story about a girl named Coraline. I thought that the story would be five or ten pages long. The story itself had other plans.

We moved to America. The story, which I had been writing in my own time, between things that people were waiting for, ground to a halt.

Years passed. One day I looked up and noticed that Holly was now in her teens, and her younger sister, Maddy, was the same age Holly had been when I had started the book for her. I sent the story so far to Jennifer Hershey, my editor at Harper Collins. She read it. "I love it," she said. "What happens next?"

I suggested she give me a contract, and we would both find out. She agreed enthusiastically.

I bought a notebook and started to write in it. It sat on my bedside table, and for the next couple of years I would scrawl 50 words, sometimes 100 words, every night, before I went to sleep. A three-day train journey across America was an opportunity to work, uninterrupted on Coraline. Getting stuck on American Gods, a long novel I was working on, gave me the opportunity I needed to finish Coraline's story. A year later, I wrote a chapter I had meant to write but had never gotten around to, and Coraline was finished.

Where it all came from -- the Other Mother with her button eyes, the Rats, the Hand, the sad voices of the ghost-children -- I have no real idea. It built itself and told itself, a word at a time.

A decade before, I had begun to write the story of Coraline, who was small for her age, and would find herself in darkest danger. By the time I finished writing, Coraline had seen what lay behind mirrors, and had a close call with a bad hand, and had come face to face with her other mother; she had rescued her true parents from a fate worse than death and triumphed against overwhelming odds.

It was a story, I learned when people began to read it, that children experienced as an adventure, but which gave adults nightmares. It's the strangest book I've written, and, I like to think, the one of which I am most proud.

--Neil Gaiman

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 14 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 14 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 21, 2009

    BEST THRILLER EVER!

    This book is about a girl named Coraline who just moved into a new creepy condo with her mother and father. Coraline thought her life was boring, so one day she asked her mum what the odd door in the parlor was. Her mum showed her it was just a brick wall because the condo used to only one big house. The next day there was no brick wall, so Coraline walked in and entered a new world. After that Coraline's mother and father mysteriously went missing. Will Coraline ever get her parents back? Where have they gone? Read the book to find out.
    I would highly recommend this book, Coraline by Neil Gaiman, to a third to fifth grader who likes graphic novels, comics, and edge of your seat mysteries. ~KATIE

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2013

    The art was pretty well done, and almost had the same feel as th

    The art was pretty well done, and almost had the same feel as the original book itself.

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  • Posted October 24, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Entertainingly Creepy

    Coraline is about a little girl who travels to another plane of existence. It is identical to her own home except much better. It is a world where her "other" mother and father are more loving and attentive to her and she has everything that she could want. However Coraline feels an underlying sense of evil in the other mother and decide to leave, intending never to return again. However when her parents are kidnapped by the other mother, Coraline must return to the other home to rescue them and make sure they all get out alive. I enjoyed this story. Coraline is a likeable, courageous and resourceful little girl. And even when she goes against advice and what she should do, she does so with bravery. Her habit of doing things when others advise against it is what causes her troubles, however that same quality helps her solve the problem. The only thing I had trouble with were long sentences separated by several commas that had me re-reading them. The story is a little scary for younger readers in that there is a closet-like door Coraline goes through to enter the other world which will remind readers of monsters in their closets. It is an entertainly creepy story.This was a quick read and I recommend it to ages 8 and older. Reviewed by Cherese Vines

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  • Posted March 15, 2010

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    I Also Recommend:

    Wonderful Book! Great Graphic Novel!

    I used this book in my ESOL class. The students loved it! We took different parts of the book and acted out the different voices. The students are mainly boys but they didn't care about taking the part of Coraline or the mother, they loved it. The allowed me to have a very satisfying reading experience with my students.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2010

    Good story, but a little scary for younger kids.

    I bought this graphic novel for my daughter, who loves the movie "Coraline". It's a little more realistic than the movie, but still very creepy. My daughter loved it. I wouldn't recommend it for young kids and/or people afraid of rats or spiders though. It might give them nightmares. Adults would enjoy this, too, since it's very mature for a children's book, especially if they like horror stories and/or graphic novels. The illustrations are nicely done. I'd recommend this for anyone who liked the movie "Coraline".

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  • Posted October 27, 2008

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    Reviewed by Breia "The Brain" Brickey for TeensReadToo.com

    This version of CORALINE is a graphic novel adaptation of the novel penned by Neil Gaiman. <BR/><BR/>The story follows a common theme in his works of the naive, yet determined, everyman who stumbles into an alternate reality. <BR/><BR/>The protagonist in this story arises in the form of a young girl named Coraline. <BR/><BR/>I found the dialogue to be smartly written and the narrative engaging. The artwork, while typical comic fare, set the visual mood quite well. <BR/><BR/>I greatly enjoyed this story. I found the characters likeable and believable in the context of the story, which in and of itself seemed to me to be an odd metaphor for "growing up." <BR/><BR/>I cannot recommend this enough to fans of Neil Gaiman's work or to someone looking for something just a little bit different.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2008

    Perfect for Reading Aloud

    For the past six years, I have started out the school year by reading Coraline for teacher read-aloud. Every year I have not been disappointed by the children's reactions: anxious, eager, in-tuned, totally enraptured by Coraline's journey. What more could you ask for?

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