Post by Mark T. Locker.
The Graveyard Book, vols. 1&2 by Neil Gaiman. Illustrated by P. Craig Russel. The Graveyard Book is a fantastic, if creepy, children’s book by world-renowned author Neil Gaiman, known for such cult classics as The Sandman comics and Coraline. His stories are so full of fun images and notions that it’s only natural they be reimagined as graphic novels. The Graveyard Book translates beautifully into a visual genre, illustrated by P. Craig Russell who has done graphic versions on Neil Gaiman’s work in the past. The beginning of the story is awfully dark, but don’t let it put you off; the premise leads to a wonderful, magical story. A killer on the loose takes the lives of a family but misses the baby who has escaped his crib and is exploring. The baby ends up in an old abandoned graveyard. The ghosts who inhabit the graveyard convene and decide to care for the boy and raise him. He is granted “freedom of the graveyard” which allows him to pass through solid objects in the cemetary. Mr. and Mrs. Owens adopt him and name him Nobody Owens. The only non-ghost entity in the graveyard is Silas, who agrees to be his guardian. As the only one who can leave the premises, he is the only one who can fetch food and supplies for Nobody.
So that is how this story begins. Nobody Owens is a human, living child who is raised by kindly ghosts and Silas, who may or may not be a vampire. It’s technically a young adult book but it will appeal to older readers as well. And, alluring as it is to younger readers, the visuals on the opening pages of what happens to Nobody’s family are disturbing. But after that grim premise, a truly fun, creepy and lovely story emerges in a way that only Neil Gaiman could pull off. It’s divided into two volumes to keep you from reading it all in one go.