I had the graphic novel adaptation if Neil Gaiman's Coraline in mind (adapted and illustrated by P. Craig Russell), and it turned out to be just the thing I needed for a reading jolt. I read the original novel a couple of years ago and really loved it, so I was excited to see how it would work in graphic novel form.
Coraline is a lonely girl who lives wither parents in a flat in a multiple-family home. Coraline gets far more attention from the odd women next door--Miss Spink and Miss Forcible--along with the upstairs neighbor, Mr. Bobo, than she does from her own parents. She loves to explore but finds herself thoroughly bored over summer vacation. She discovers a walled up door in the corner of the family drawing room, and one night when she hears noises, she discovers a gateway to another world. She meets her "Other" mother and father, and they are distinctly creepy with their black button eyes and wonky dispositions. Soon Coraline finds that her real parents have disappeared, and the other mother is out to keep her.
The story is as charming as it was the first time I read it, but I was slightly disappointed in P. Craig Russell's illustrations. They lack the quirkiness of Dave McKean's illustrations in the original novel. I found them flat, lacking originality--generally boring. However, I must say, I got just as wrapped up in this version as I did the original novel, simply for Gaiman's wonderfully spooky plot. Russell's illustrations are a bit gruesome when it comes to some of the scarier moments in the book, so this one might be best suited to juvenile readers as opposed to the young young'uns. Unless they're sort of morbid and like horror as much as I did when I was growing up.
Now that I've finished Coraline I'm eyeing Quiet Please: Dispatches from a Public Librarian, by Scott Douglas. It's a memoir from DaCapo Press, and they're one of my favorite non-fiction publishers; I loooved Louis Theroux's The Call of the Weird. And what a fitting read given my upcoming graduate studies! I hope the book doesn't talk me out of it.
The first line:
"You catch a guy on a computer jacking off, just get a librarian--don't try and handle it yourself."
Our air conditioner is on the blind, so I'm off to have a social life where it's cool. I'm getting together with two of my best girlfriends from undergrad and T. from grad school for lunch (Mexican food!) and tonight is a family gathering for a great aunt's birthday. Tomorrow: girl's night with Susan! Watch out!
Y'all behave, and I'll be back soon.