Monday, August 18, 2008

Coraline by Neil Gaiman (adapted by P. Craig Russel)

This graphic novel follows the storyline of Gaiman's previously published novel of the same title. I really enjoyed the novel and I was greatly disappointed by the graphic novel. Too much show and not enough tell - which was doubly disconcerting considering the format. I know that Gaiman has published successful graphic novels so I'm not sure what happened here. The plot is basically this: Coraline (not Caroline) goes through a door (that is bricked up) to her other-mother and other-father's house and where they want Coraline to join them forever - all she has to do is let the other-mother sew buttons into her eyes to match that of the other-mother and other-father. Other-mother is in fact some dark creature who steals and eats children's souls and Coraline has to outwit the other-mother to save herself, her parents, and three ghost children. For this format there was just too, too much telling – for example, we shouldn't need to have the narrator tell us that the other-mother has button eyes, the pictures should be sufficient. I vote nay.

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