Monday, May 13, 2013
Coraline: The Graphic Novel
Coraline: The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
The Other Mother is a better version of Coraline's real mother, with one key difference: she has buttons for eyes, and she wants to make Coraline just like her.
Coraline is one of my favorite children's books: it's one of the most deliciously sinister horror stories I've ever read, and there is zero gore. Gaiman is the master of dark fantasy, and this book deserves a place with the classics. Coraline becomes a true heroine as her courage and ingenuity are tested by her attempts to outwit the Other Mother and return to her own world.
It's a short and apparently simple book, but it will haunt your dreams.
To me, the images were too bright and clean for this dark story. I kept imagining the gorgeous animation of the 3D film and wishing the art here had a little more atmosphere to convey the extremes of delight and dread that Coraline experiences.
In the book the Other Mother is at first beautiful and charming enough to gain Coraline's trust, but in these images the effect of the button eyes makes her the clear villain when she is introduced. (Though the cat was perfect.) Admittedly, I hardly came to the story fresh since I've read the book and seen the movie so many times. It's the old problem of your own imagination supplying scarier images than any movie or drawing ever could.