Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Courtney Crumrin by Ted Naifah

One of the cool things about working in the library is you get to see what everybody else is reading.  When I was processing deliveries and saw that a coworker whose reading taste I generally agree with had requested this graphic novel series called Courtney Crumrin, I decided to read it for myself.

Courtney Crumrin is a middle school girl who moved with her social climbing parents in to the home of her elderly great-uncle Aloysius, ostensibly to care for him as he grew old, but really because the Crumrins are out of money and want to hobnob with Aloysius's rich neighbors.

To say that Courtney doesn't fit in with her new school's social elite is an understatement, but Courtney fits in very well with Uncle Aloysius, who, it turns out, is not infirm at all.  He's a practitioner of magic, and the woods around the Crumrin house are full of dark beings - goblins and worse.

In a graphic novel, the illustrations should be as much a part of telling the story as the text, and Ted Naifeh does a great job of moving his story along through both.  Courtney is a strong, beautifully written, very real teenage girl, and her social situations are identifiable to all of us who weren't part of the 'in crowd.'  That grounding in reality makes the fantasy elements of the series feel just as real.

There are six volumes of the series, so check them out at your local library.  If you like Ted Naifeh's illustration style, he collaborated with writer Holly Black to produce The Good Neighbors, which is also about the interaction between our world and the world of Faerie.

No comments: