Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things Series: Courtney Crumrin #1
Release Date: May 2003 (rereleased March 2012)
Meet Courtney Crumrin. Uprooted from her home in the city, her parents have relocated them to a well-to-do suburb to live with their ailing & creepy Great Uncle Aloysius. Only he may not be as sickly as he claims to be. Courtney quickly learns there is more than meets the eye in her uncle home including things that go bump in the night. Told in four different chapters, Courtney slowly learns about the otherworldly things living around her such as goblins, changelings, and talking cats. (
I’m rather sad that it took me so long to discover this graphic novel series. I fell in instant love with this volume and quickly devoured the rest of the series. Courtney’s world is a great look into the darker, grimmer side of magic. The creatures/otherworldly things are not cute and cuddly in the least. While some play nice with Courtney and Uncle Aloysius, the majority have no sympathy or kindness towards the human race. Even Courtney finds herself in several sticky situations that would have led to disastrous results if not for her uncle.
Courtney, while a loner, is an overall likable character. Yes, she’s mouthy and messes around with stuff she shouldn’t, but can you really blame her? If I discovered magical books and beings, I’m pretty sure I would be seeking out more information as well. She is, however, a tad bit reckless. She has a tendency to leap without looking, something that will get her in trouble as the series progresses. Aloysius is also a great character. There’s still a lot of mystery surrounding him, but it’s obvious he cares about Courtney in his own gruff way, especially since he is always quick to come to her rescue. The only reoccurring characters I don’t like are her parents. Seriously, I wish I could stuff them in a bag and throw them in out for the trash man. They only care about themselves, money, and social standing. They way they treat Courtney is sometimes infuriating (more so as the series continues then in this first volume).
As for the artwork, Naifeh does not disappoint. I love the level of depth in the panels and could spend hours just soaking in all the little details. He not only establishes the characters, but the world around them as well. While I am a huge fan of the simplistic style, I do love how Naifeh made me feel like I was in the world. The version I read had the first part in full color done by colorist Warren Wucinich. I’ve always felt like full color brings graphic novels to a whole new level and Courtney Crumrin is no exception. While the black and white panels work fine, the color ones pop off the page for me. I will be excited to see the first volume in full color come March.
If you haven’t given the Courtney Crumrin series yet, I highly recommend it. The four volumes are fast-paced and enjoyable from start to finish. Of course, if you have be sure to leave me a comment letting me know what you thought!