Here is a new graphic adaptation by one of my favorite artists, P. Craig Russell of the award-winning book by Neil Gaiman. I loved every page and panel. Russell did the adaptation script and layouts, had them hand-lettered by ace veteran Rick Parker, then passed chapters on to an excellent group of artists to finish in their own styles, an approach with gives the chapters a little stylistic variety without drifting too far from Craig’s vision. Colorist Lovern Kindzierski pulls it all together nicely, and the result is a treat in all respects.
The story begins with a gruesome murder of an entire family in small-town England, all but the baby, who has a tendency to wander off. The toddler wanders into a nearby graveyard where the ghosts in residence (and a few others) agree to take him in and raise him. Bod (short for Nobody) Owens has perhaps the most unusual upbringing in modern literature since Mowgli and Tarzan, and there’s definitely a nod by Gaiman to the former Kipling stories here, but with lots of unique magic and wonder.
I have to admit I feel a little left out. I lettered the last such adaptation (of Gaiman’s Coraline), but at the time Craig wanted the pages lettered on the art, and I wasn’t able to do that. Too time consuming for me now that I’m no longer hand-lettering regularly, and out of practice. Rick Parker has done an excellent job for them, and I’m sure everyone who eventually buys a page of original art from this project will also be happy to have the lettering on it.
Volume 2 is just out in shops now, I believe, and I’m looking forward to that, too. I would have preferred the effort in one volume, but publishing full-color comics is an expensive business, and I understand the need of the publisher to go the two volume route. I imagine there will be a one-volume version later.