Comics/Graphic Novels

Courtney Crumrin

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Courtney Crumrin is an independent comic book series written and illustrated by Ted Naifeh and released through Oni Press. I was lurking around in the shop which is the closest thing to heaven on earth for comic/manga/anime fans and collectors here in Belfast known none other than the glorious ‘Forbidden Planet,’ and it is where I first came across the Courtney Crumrin series by pure luck.

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They tell you not to judge a book by its cover but it was the cover hands down that really caught my eye. It was dark, gothic and screamed my style! Unfortunately it was the tenth issue, but luckily I looked up Oni Press and found all the released works of the series which can be found here at; http://onipress.com/series/courtneycrumrin

For poor folks such as myself, we can’t splurge and buy every issue no matter how beautifully priced they are, but I have to tell you the art and plot are amazing! While flicking through the tenth issue for a taste of Ted Naifeh’s work I made a lot of references in my head such as Courtney’s mother who gave off a real Tim Burton’s ‘Coraline’ feel…or is that only me? A friend even told me Courtney herself resembles Rose from the famous webcomic known as ‘Homestuck’ and I totally agree! The Homestuck webcomic is a definite must read and can be found here; www.mspaintadventures.com

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 It may be better to buy the special edition volumes such as ‘Courtney Crumrin and The Night Things” as the 12 comics are compiled into 3 special edition volumes. Two shorter books entitled ‘Courtney Crumrin and the Fire-Thief’s Tale’ and ‘Courtney Crumrin & the Prince of Nowhere’ followed, then compiled into a fourth volume ‘Courtney Crumrin’s Monstrous Holiday.’ They pick up from the end of book 12 where Courtney is invited to join her uncle on a trip to Prague.

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The synopsis for the story goes as follows; “Welcome to a world where magic and Night Things lurk behind every corner and nothing is as it seems. This is the world introduced to Courtney by her dear Uncle Aloysius—a master mage of unknown age and even more mysterious motivations. What started the Crumrin clan down the dark path, and is Courtney strong enough to follow it all the way down? Courtney is an odd little girl who doesn’t quite fit in. When she is shipped off to her uncle’s, she must adjust to a whole new school in a neighbourhood she isn’t entirely comfortable with; however, things quickly take a turn for the better, as she meets the strange and interesting individuals that live in and around her uncle’s house. Soon it’s clear that she’s better off hanging with the Night Things than she is with the stuck-up kids at her school. It’s adolescent angst vs. scary spooks, adding up to excellent entertainment.

It is rated for all ages, the art is fantastic and the story is intriguing! I do not regret picking this up randomly at the comic book store at all and I look forward to eventually collecting the whole series for myself and really getting into it! I highly recommend you take a look and I’m sure Ted Naifeh would appreciate it too!

The comic has even sparked off some really great cosplay that I stumbled across on www.deviantart.com such as these;

As a finishing note, a little drawing I did myself of Courtney using the Promarkers outling pen for the first time ever. It was a lot of fun to do and thank you all who took the time to read about such a wonderful recommendation!

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