Courtney Crumrin and The Night Things

Writer/Artist: Ted Naifeh
Publisher: Oni Press

The Crumrin house is the oldest house in the sleepy, gentrified town of Hillsborough, and mysteries and rumors surround it and Aloysius Crumrin, the man who owns it. When Courtney Crumrin’s parents move into the Crumrin house to look after Aloysius in his old age, Courtney discovers a world of magic and strange creatures called the Night Things. Now she has to balance her parent’s pressure to fit in and make friends with the rich kids, as well as her adventures into the world of the Night Things.

Courtney Crumrin: The Night Things creates a unique world of magic and strange creatures that walks the line between charming and nightmarish, with interesting characters and situations introduced in each new chapter. Ted Naifeh’s art work is cute and each character has clear and interesting designs. He manages to create a clear distinction between the normal and supernatural world, and gives each a unique look and feel.

Unlike the previous Courtney Crumrin story I reviewed, plot doesn’t overshadow story or characters. The narration is still present, but it supports the story rather than skipping over it. Time is taken to explore the world and the characters, and while neither have very much depth, they’re still very interesting. The characters aren’t complex and don’t seem to have arcs, but that’s okay as it seems like a purposeful decision in order to fit the episodic structure of the story. The exception to this is the overarching story of Courtney discovering the world of the Night Things, and Aloysius warming to Courtney, though the latter is severely underdeveloped. The only real complaint I have about the characters is that there ideally should have been a stronger cast of supporting characters to have recurring appearances, but instead all of the supporting cast with the exception of Butterworm are completely one-note and forgettable.

The book is separated into self-contained chapters that each tell a story usually dealing with Courtney getting up to some magical antics and having to be saved by Uncle Aloysius. This structure works for the most part, but there’s no hint of an over-arching plot aside from Butterworm’s intro and outro to the book.

The only element of the story that stands out as a weak point is that Aloysius’s relationship with Courtney is mostly told through narration rather than seen, but this can mostly be forgiven. Overall, Courtney Crumrin: The Night Things is an enjoyable story within a unique world of interesting characters.

Rating: 4/5

More Info: For more information on Courtney Crumrin and Oni Press, check out their website, twitter, and facebook page.

Geek-o-Rama received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts, comments and opinions are those of the individual reviewer.

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