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Another excellent graphic adaptation from Dark Horse Comics of a Neil Gaiman tale, this time adapting "The Price" and "The Daughter of Owls", both originally published in Smoke and Mirrors, with both stories illustrated and adapted by Michael Zulli.
I’ve heard these stories before on various audiobook collections of Neil Gaiman short stories, but reading them with the illustrations makes them even creepier than before. Totally worth buying again in another format.
Reviewed in the United States on November 30, 2017
This brief graphic novel, written by one of the world's premier fantasy authors, Neil Gaiman, features two short stories: "The Price" and "The Daughter of Owls."
Michael Zulli's illustrations really enhance these already powerful stories. The art here does what art should do in a graphic novel ... it helps tell the story. I noted that Gaiman rewrote the works to fit the graphic novel format. I haven't read the works prior to this, so I don't know what changes were made, but I suspect it had a lot to do with allowing the images tell some of the story.
"The Price" was easily my favorite of the two stories here. Gaiman keeps the reader in much suspense, slowly revealing the 'truth' of the story which is both heart-warming and frightening at the same time. It is Gaiman's skill to give us these contradicting emotions that really makes me appreciate him.
Though extremely brief, I struggled with "The Daughter of Owls." The story is interesting (it's Neil Gaiman - of course the story is interesting!) but the decision to have the lettering in a flowing, artistic script is strange. I understand the motivation for it, and how, artistically, it fits within the story, but it made it very difficult for this reader. It slowed me down. It took me out of the flow of the story in order to read the story.
(See the review on my website for an example of this lettering.)
At least on my computer I could enlarge the page a number of times so that I could read the words, but that made it more difficult to scroll through the book.
The art was also not as up to par in this story as it was with the first story. This art felt more like colored sketches than a stylized, finished work.
If this were only the last story, with this art and lettering, I'd struggle to recommend the book even though it's a Neil Gaiman story. But with the powerful story "The Price" leading this off, this is easily a book to recommend.
Looking for a good book? <em>Creatures of the Night</em> is a graphic novel with two stories by Neil Gaiman and art by Michael Zulli. If you have a collection of Gaiman books, you will definitely want to include this book. If you do not have a collection of Neil Gaiman books, you should start one and do so with this book.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.
Creatures of the Night collects two short stories - The Price and The Daughter of Owls. The artwork in this graphic novel is certainly the highlight - it is detailed, and the coloring is more elaborate than the flat color scheme we are used to. But it is also a very short book - 50 pages with both stories, so I think it was easier to go into so much detail when it came to artwork.
The Price is the story about a man who adopts stray cats left near his house. One such cat, the Black Cat seems to be always hurt or wounded in some way. Day after day, the cat seems worse in the morning. But when the cat is kept inside and not allowed to go out, terrible things happen to the people of the house. When the man tries to find out where the cat goes at night, he learns how thankful he needs to be to the cat. It is heartbreaking, the story, and something that subverts the superstition around black cats; I loved it for that part.
The next, The Daughter of Owls was probably too simplistic in storyline to really grab my attention. An orphan girl, with an owl pellet in her hand, is ostracized by the members of her village and is placed in the care of a retired nun. Later on, she grows to be an inhumanly beautiful girl who is in danger because of her beauty. The story was too linear and lacked the twist like The Price, which is why I was not so invested in it.
Overall, it is a beautiful bit of artwork to see, as well as a quick read.
This slim volume has two short stories of the supernatural. The art is very appealing. The story is told with no word balloons, but instead uses the style of the classic Hal Foster Prince Valiant Sunday strips, which does create more of an illustrated tale than it does sequential story telling. This is fitting because these stories read like a modern tale told by a friend and a gathered folk tale. If you are a "cat person", you won't want to miss the first tale, "The Price".