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The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel Volume 2

Review

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel Volume 2

written by Neil Gaiman illustrated by P. Craig Russell

In the final chapters of the graphic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's contemporary classic, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK VOLUME 2, young Bod Owens finally defeats the evil man, Jack, whose violent acts begin the strange tale. But, just as essential as that defeat is to Bod's story, it is his coming of age and his leaving the only home he has ever known that make both the original novel and this graphic version so poignant and special. Given new life by P. Craig Russell and illustrators David Lafuente, Scott Hampton, Kevin Nowlan and Galen Showman, THE GRAVEYARD BOOK (Volume 2) not only comlements the original story but stands strong on its own.

As with Volume 1, the second volume of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is true to the spirit of the original while being both nicely condensed and finely illustrated.

After his family was murdered over a decade ago by the man known as Jack, the baby that grew to be the boy Nobody Owens crawled to an old neighborhood graveyard where he was sheltered by the ghosts who resided there. One couple, the Owenses, raised Nobody as their own and gave him their name. His guardian was Silas, not a ghost but not exactly a man, who was able to leave the graveyard at will. When he was still small, Bod became friends with a little girl named Scarlett but she left for Scotland many years ago. Now Bod is growing lonely and also curious about the world outside the graveyard gates. He convinces Silas to let him enroll in school on the condition that he stays “faded” or less than obvious to his classmates and teachers. It works well until Bod decides to stand up to the school bullies and ends up drawing attention to himself. The trouble with the school bullies results in a confrontation with the police and after Bod is saved by Silas, it is decided that it is best that Bod stays out of school. The disappointment of leaving school is, thankfully, tempered with the return of Scarlett, almost 12 years since Bod last saw her. Scarlett finds herself back in the graveyard getting reacquainted with Bod and meeting a charming gentleman named Mr. Frost who spends time in the graveyard, too. Of course, Mr. Frost is not who he seems and Bod and Scarlett again come face to face with the mysterious Sleer, who readers met in Volume 1, as well as even bigger evil forces.

As with Volume 1, the second volume of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is true to the spirit of the original while being both nicely condensed and finely illustrated. Scott Hampton's illustrations in chapter seven are particularly well done, capturing the emotional depth of the characters and the creeping danger of the story. The final chapter brightens a bit visually as the tale wraps up and Bod's early life in the graveyard comes to an end. The real poignancy of Gaiman's story, so well captured by Russell, really shines here. Indeed Bod's tale is one of supernatural wonders, horrific events and unlikely friendships, but by the conclusion we see that THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is really about growing up and growing into one's true self. And that is just what Bod Owens does.

Not as scary, despite the more overt violence, as Gaiman's other chilling children's story, CORALINE, but still not for the faint of heart or the easily spooked, the graphic adaptation of THE GRAVEYARD BOOK is just great fun to read and wonderful to look at. Russell and his team have again translated Gaiman's initial work into an irresistible version.

Reviewed by Sarah Rachel Egelman on October 1, 2014

The Graveyard Book Graphic Novel Volume 2
written by Neil Gaiman illustrated by P. Craig Russell

  • Publication Date: September 30, 2014
  • Genres: Graphic Novel, Horror, Supernatural
  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins
  • ISBN-10: 0062194836
  • ISBN-13: 9780062194831