The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel: Volume 1

4.5 4
by Neil Gaiman, P. Craig Russell
     
 

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It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.

There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned

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Overview

It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completely normal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.

There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family.

Each chapter in this adaptation by P. Craig Russell is illustrated by a different luminary from the comic book world, showcasing a variety of styles from a breadth of talent. Together, they bring Neil Gaiman's award-winning, nationally bestselling novel The Graveyard Book to new life in this gorgeously illustrated two-volume graphic novel adaptation.

Volume One contains Chapter One through the Interlude, while Volume Two includes Chapter Six to the end.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 05/19/2014
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.)
VOYA, December 2014 (Vol. 37, No. 5) - Amanda Foust
A newly orphaned toddler wanders into the safety of a graveyard in the dead of night, where he is adopted by two childless ghosts and given the name Nobody Owens. Nicknamed Bod, he is given the freedom of the graveyard, where he grows and thrives under the care of the ghostly inhabitants and his guardian, the mysterious Silas. But danger awaits Bod, as his family’s killer, the man Jack, relentlessly searches for Bod in order to complete his assignment to murder the toddler. Volume 1 of a planned two-volume, full-color set covers chapters 1—5 and the interlude from Gaiman’s original 2008 Newbery Medal—winning title of the same name (HarperCollins, 2008/Voya August 2008). Each chapter is drawn by a different artist in a unique and effective way. The novel’s scenes of violence are front and center in the opening pages, leaving little to the reader’s imagination as to how Bod’s entire family is killed. In a lovely touch, unique to comic adaption, the living characters are clearly depicted in a variety of different ethnicities, most notably, Bod’s friend Scarlett Perkins as a biracial child. While most libraries will already have copies of Gaiman’s original title, the graphic novel captures and enhances the magic and horror in new and unexpected ways. Libraries will want to offer both the original prose and the graphic novel to their patrons. Reviewer: Amanda Foust; Ages 11 to 14.
School Library Journal
07/01/2014
Gr 5 Up—The award-winning tale about an orphaned boy raised in a graveyard by ghosts is successfully adapted for the graphic novel format by Russell and his cadre of artists. The arresting opening image of a bloody knife sets the tone for this sometimes gory, but often playful, illustrated version. A toddler's family is murdered by a mysterious stranger, and the denizens of the neighboring cemetery (ie. ghosts, vampires, and even a werewolf-type creature) take on the responsibility of being his caretakers. Renamed Nobody "Bod" Owens, the inquisitive boy grows up among the specters, making friends with a human girl, and escaping from several brushes with death. The panel's dark blues, grays, and purples are punctuated with vibrant greens, yellows, and crimson red. Each chapter is illustrated by an artist or two, who in turn infuse the entry with their own technique, while reflecting the story's original heart and atmosphere. Especially successful is the "The Hounds of God" section, illustrated by Tony Harris and Scott Hampton, which observant readers will note undergoes subtle shifts between the graveyard and the Ghoul kingdom. While some of the original's subtlety is lost, this adaptation still celebrates friendship, loyalty, and family with similar humor and aplomb. The concluding interlude segues eerily into the next volume, for which middle graders will anxiously be waiting.—Shelley Diaz, School Library Journal
Kirkus Reviews
2014-03-31
Russell is a brave man. He was willing to cut the very first sentence of Gaiman's Newbery-winning novel, even though it's one of the most memorable lines in children's literature: "There was a hand in the darkness, and it held a knife." By cutting out most of the descriptive text in this first of a two-part adaptation, Russell calls attention to the drama and wit of the language in each sentence. His graphic storytelling is faster-paced than the original book, but it's always faithful, and a few readers may even prefer this version. Though he shares illustration duties with a team of graphic-novel luminaries—every artist gets a favorite monster or creature to draw—Russell's fans will recognize his elegant, distinctive layouts even in the chapters he didn't illustrate himself. The pictures also clarify one plot point. The original book was amusingly coy about whether a character named Silas was a vampire, but here he's given the full Bela Lugosi treatment, and it's beautiful. In Kevin Nowlan's drawings, he has impossibly high cheekbones and a face like pale stone. One scene has even more impact than in the original: Ghosts join hands with the living and begin to dance, and readers see every dancer in the square. The real achievement of this adaptation is that readers will want to jump back to the novel and then leap back again, time after time. (Graphic adaptation. 8-12)
Booklist (starred review)
” [A] lovely, lyrical adaptation...Fans of Gaiman’s delightfully macabre sensibilities will be elated.”
NPR
“The delights here are many.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780062194817
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
07/29/2014
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
91,063
Product dimensions:
6.20(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.80(d)
Lexile:
GN550L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, and is the recipient of numerous literary honors. 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.

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.

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Brief Biography

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

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