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Courtney Crumrin Volume 1: The Night Things Special Edition Hardcover – April 24, 2012

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ted Naifeh is the Eisner award winning writer and artists behind such hit comics as "Gloomcookie, Polly and the Pirates," and "Courtney Crumrin."

Ted Naifeh is the Eisner award winning writer and artists behind such hit comics as "Gloomcookie, Polly and the Pirates," and "Courtney Crumrin."
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Product Details

  • Series: Courtney Crumrin
  • Hardcover: 144 pages
  • Publisher: ONI PRESS INC.; Special ed edition (April 24, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1934964778
  • ISBN-13: 978-1934964774
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 6 x 9.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #292,560 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As an adult reader familiar with urban fantasy, Ted Naifeh's tale of an awkward young girl moving into an old uncle's creepy house may seem typical, if not downright cliche. The usual elements come into play within the first volume alone: the forbidden library full of spell books, the goblin market, the nemesis.

Thankfully, Courtney Crumrin is a plucky female lead. She's completely no-nonsense, and she's a twenty-first century child, despite feeling older than her years. She makes the older fantasy elements of her story seem fresh again. Disenchanted with her parents' stupidities and bullied by her peers, Courtney embarks on a tentative friendship with her mysterious granduncle, who occasionally saves her from her own mistakes.

Appropriate for younger readers, Courtney is probably a character many children can relate to and appreciate. She's not a Hermione Granger. She doesn't have the answers to anything beforehand. Yet she emerges from each scrape a wiser person, with each chapter seemingly a cautionary tale on messing what one does not comprehend. Courtney doesn't fully understand the magic she's dabbling in, and her uncle is not going to spoon-feed her any answers. Thus, her own solutions to her problems are amusing and imaginative. This volume is a solid start to a series that one should read to the kids.

(This review previously appeared in the San Francisco/Sacramento Book Reviews.)
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Format: Hardcover
Right from page one the graphic work impresses. Moody, with a nice attention to detail. Very expressive characters. Good set pieces, but also a nice sense of action in some of the panels.

I started out much less impressed by the story. Grumpy girl, with foolish parents, makes wisecrack comments, has trouble fitting in and just spreads gloomy sourness around. Her creepy uncle is a "type"; the rich girls at school are all mean; the oblivious parents are dopes, and the wisecracks were all clever, but still sort of predictable. I kept reading though, because I just got the feeling that there was another, better book right around the corner.

Then, a quarter of the way through the novel just takes off and one's patience is rewarded. (And I've read all of the later volumes; the quality remains sustained throughout the series.) SPOILER ALERT. Once Courtney starts to interact with her great-Uncle the narrative begins to perk up. The trip to the Goblin market really fills out and sells the fantasy side of what was, up to then, just a grumpy teen grumble fest. This is where the best and most detailed graphic work really shines. And best of all, once that episode wraps up and it feels like the tale is winding down, a whole new chapter starts up. This second independent tale very slyly turns the tables on the whole sour Courtney angle, wakes up the Courtney character, and builds momentum for and interest in the next Crumrin volume.

So, while I can't pretend to be a graphic novel connoisseur, it certainly seems like this effort is toward the high end of the genre, and would be a very nice place to start if you are in the mood to sample or experiment.

Please note that I received a free electronic copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a frank review.
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Format: Hardcover
I hadn't read any of the Courtney Crumrin stories previously, but when I saw this new edition I jumped at the chance. Courtney's parents are so awesome - in that oh-my-god-they-are-clueless-butt-kissing-money-grubbing-idiots kind of way. So basically they are just a lot of fun to watch and read the things that come out of their mouths. However Courtney and her sass steal the show. This new house has its secrets, which are creepy and fantastic to read about, but it's more than the house that's got the paranormal aspect working for it. Courtney encounters weirdness in the forest between her new home and school and at another family's house while she is babysitting. There is more than just one type of paranormal creature in this story, which makes it even more entertaining. The only drawback for me is that I wish there was more character development with Courtney and that more interacting with her Great Uncle Aloysius had taken place.

Reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.
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Format: Hardcover
I've been a fan of Ted Naifeh's works for quite a few years now. I was really happy to see that the Courtney Crumrin books were being reissued in special hardcover editions in full color. The book looked great in black and white and looks great in color as well. Naifeh has a fairly distinctive art style that works very well for his stories.

The new ongoing Courtney Crumrin also looks very nice and should provide more material for future collections once the current line of reprints is completed.
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Format: Hardcover
While the name doesn't roll of the tongue, there's something I particularly like about Courtney, she's a typical child who has rich parents, but wants to be normal. They move in with her creepy great, great, great uncle or something like that. The first issue seems pretty average and you start thinking about putting it down until strange things start happening. She discovers a spell book and things under her bed at night. A little gremlin creature steals the baby boy she is supposed to baby sit. She gets sent off to another world and her uncle saves her. It's what she sees and how she deals with it all that makes her such a unique character.

The art style is fantastic. I highly recommend the color versions because the black and white doesn't do it justice. The creatures are drawn very strangely and they are like nothing else, not gory and horror like, yet still childish in a way. The spidery art style is similar to maybe Lemony Snicket's Series of Unfortunate Events, but with its own twist. Towards the end Courtney sees what kind of powers she has and also how dangerous they are. It's nice to see her want to go back to being her normal self instead of being power hungry, but you get to go deep into her head because the whole narrative is her thoughts. That's something very different and unique about this comic compared to most.

The 4 part series feels like a mini-adventure and it will have you hooked and coming back for more. Courtney may be the only main character, but the writers made Uncle Aloycius so mysterious that you really want to know more about him. He seems like the cool and mysterious old uncle that everyone wants, but you're not quite sure. The only issue with this series is that it seemed to hit a few dry spots here and there, but at least they didn't last long. Night Things is an amazing comic for people who want something that's not full of scantily clad women and super heroes.
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