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Coraline: The Graphic Novel [Hardcover]

Neil Gaiman , P. Craig Russell
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

June 16 2008

When Coraline steps through a door in her family's new house, she finds another house, strangely similar to her own (only better). At first, things seem marvelous. The food is better than at home, and the toy box is filled with fluttering wind-up angels and dinosaur skulls that crawl and rattle their teeth.

But there's another mother there and another father, and they want her to stay and be their little girl. They want to change her and never let her go. Coraline will have to fight with all her wit and all the tools she can find if she is to save herself and return to her ordinary life.

This beloved tale has now become a visual feast. Acclaimed artist P. CraigRussell brings Neil Gaiman's enchanting nationally bestselling children's book Coraline to new life in this gorgeously illustrated graphic novel adaptation.


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Coraline: The Graphic Novel + Coraline 10th Anniversary Edition
Price For Both: CDN$ 24.91


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Review

“A virtuoso adaptation…a master of fantastical landscapes, Russell sharpens the realism of his imagery, preserving the humanity of the characters and heightening the horror, even as Gaiman’s concise storytelling ratchets up the eeriness.” (Booklist (starred review))

“A deliciously dark graphic adaptation of Gaiman’s modern classic...sure to delight established fans and to mesmerize newcomers.” (Kirkus Reviews (starred review))

“This adaptation of Neil Gaiman’s novel reads as though it were intended for the graphic novel format in the first place.… Russell’s illustrations suit the tone of the story perfectly. (School Library Journal (starred review))

“This graphic novel is as dark, creepy, and brilliant as anything out there.” (Chicago Tribune)

About the Author

Neil Gaiman is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books for readers of all ages, and the recipient of numerous literary awards, including the Shirley Jackson Award and the Locus Award for Best Novelette for his story "The Truth Is a Cave in the Black Mountains." Originally from England, he now lives in America.



P. Craig Russell lives in Kent, Ohio, and has spent forty years producing graphic novels, comic books, and illustrations. He is well-known for his graphic novel adaptations of Neil Gaiman's Coraline and Sandman: The Dream Hunters, as well as his Fairy Tales of Oscar Wilde series. His work ranges from such mainstream titles as Batman, Star Wars, and Conan to adaptations of classic operas and a Jungle Book series. He has won several Harvey and Eisner Awards.


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Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Sept. 12 2008
Format:Hardcover
This version of CORALINE is a graphic novel adaptation of the novel penned by Neil Gaiman.

The story follows a common theme in his works of the naive, yet determined, everyman who stumbles into an alternate reality.

The protagonist in this story arises in the form of a young girl named Coraline.

I found the dialogue to be smartly written and the narrative engaging. The artwork, while typical comic fare, set the visual mood quite well.

I greatly enjoyed this story. I found the characters likeable and believable in the context of the story, which in and of itself seemed to me to be an odd metaphor for "growing up."

I cannot recommend this enough to fans of Neil Gaiman's work or to someone looking for something just a little bit different.

Reviewed by: Breia "The Brain" Brickey
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4.0 out of 5 stars For ever and always May 16 2010
By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAME TOP 10 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Nobody can drench a book in creepy, dank atmosphere like Neil Gaiman -- and it doesn't matter if it's a kid's book.

And while some books are drained of their magic and mystery by being turned into graphic novels, "Coraline: The Graphic Novel" doesn't suffer from that problem. It's a haunting little dark fairy tale full of decayed apartments, dancing rats and eerie soulless doppelgangers, and P. Craig Russell graces Gaiman's story with lifelike, eerie illustrations.

Newly moved into an aged apartment, Coraline (not "Caroline" is bored. Her parents are too busy to do anything with her, and her neighbors are either insane or boring.

It's the sort of relentlessly dull world that any little girl would want to escape from -- until Coraline does. She encounters a formerly bricked-up door that leads into an apartment in another world, which looks eerily like her own. In fact, it's so similar that she has a taloned, button-eyed "other mother" and matching "other father," as well as a chorus of singing, dancing rats and magical toys.

At first Coraline is fascinated by the other world, especially since her other parents are very attentive. Then she finds her real parents sealed inside a mirror. With the help of a sarcastic cat, Coraline ventures back into the other world. But with her parents and a trio of dead children held hostage, Coraline's only hope is to gamble with her own freedom -- and she'll be trapped forever if she fails.

Neil Gaiman's writing is some of the most vivid and evocative that you'll find in literature, full of nightmarish details and creepy characters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  59 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ... for ever and always Aug. 6 2009
By E. A Solinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Nobody can drench a book in creepy, dank atmosphere like Neil Gaiman -- and it doesn't matter if it's a kid's book.

And while some books are drained of their magic and mystery by being turned into graphic novels, "Coraline: The Graphic Novel" doesn't suffer from that problem. It's a haunting little dark fairy tale full of decayed apartments, dancing rats and eerie soulless doppelgangers, and P. Craig Russell graces Gaiman's story with lifelike, eerie illustrations.

Newly moved into an aged apartment, Coraline (not "Caroline" is bored. Her parents are too busy to do anything with her, and her neighbors are either insane or boring.

It's the sort of relentlessly dull world that any little girl would want to escape from -- until Coraline does. She encounters a formerly bricked-up door that leads into an apartment in another world, which looks eerily like her own. In fact, it's so similar that she has a taloned, button-eyed "other mother" and matching "other father," as well as a chorus of singing, dancing rats and magical toys.

At first Coraline is fascinated by the other world, especially since her other parents are very attentive. Then she finds her real parents sealed inside a mirror. With the help of a sarcastic cat, Coraline ventures back into the other world. But with her parents and a trio of dead children held hostage, Coraline's only hope is to gamble with her own freedom -- and she'll be trapped forever if she fails.

Neil Gaiman's writing is some of the most vivid and evocative that you'll find in literature, full of nightmarish details and creepy characters. And he infuses this story with a dark fairy-tale vibe -- decayed apartments, dead children in a mirror, beetles, disembodied hands, monsters that cling to the wall with souls in their grip, and rats that sing about how "we were here before you rose, we will be here when you fall."

And frankly this graphic novel could have been capital-R RUINED if it had been given "cartoony" artwork, or if it had been sped up or excluded too much of Gaiman's. Fortunately P. Craig Russell doesn't do anything of the sort -- the story unfolds slowly but carefully, and he doesn't cut much out from Gaiman's original novel. And he includes just the right amount of eerie narrative ("her other mother' hand scuttled off Coraline's shoulder like a frightened spider"). Normally it bothers me when a graphic novel describes what is happening in the panels, but somehow it didn't here because of the atmosphere it creates.

And Russell's art is brilliantly suited to Gaiman's works, with a very realistic style, detailed expressions and an eye for the subtle stuff. His "other mother" is especially good -- she has a long pasty face with big teeth, with bony taloned fingers and freaky doll-like posture. She looks like a warped version of Coraline's real mom, just as she should.

And he brings to life the decayed eerieness of the old apartments, the glitzy stage, and the weird singing rats -- as well as the more colorful if mundane world that Coraline belongs to. As Coraline's journey becomes more horrific, he adds more grey tones, shadows and surreal details to the story, such as her creepy final encounter with her disintegrating other father. But there are also some haunting, lovely visuals, such as the full-page image of a rose-lined Victorian house.

"Coraline: The Graphic Novel" brings Neil Gaiman's story to life in beautiful, horrific detail, and even weaves some of his prose into the narrative. Nice work, Misters Gaiman and Russell.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter loved it!!! Sept. 11 2008
By Elisabeth Chance - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
My 10 year old daughter is not a big reader and given her age she's in the "between" stage. I read the book first and could not put it down. After I gave it to her, she could not put it down. She likes it so much she shows it to all of her friends. I definitely reccomend this.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars my first graphic novel - impressive! April 8 2009
By Michele - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book is a graphic adaptation of Gaiman's original novel. It tells the story of Coraline, a curious young girl who discovers a secret door in her house. The door takes her to what seems like a duplicate of her house, with parents that look like hers but have buttons for eyes. They want to keep Coraline and she has to use her bravery and cleverness if she wants to escape from this other world and return to her own. This was the first graphic novel that I have read and I was very impressed. The artwork was done beautifully and really grasped your attention. My only complaint is that it took me much longer to read the book than I expected because I was so interested in every detail of the artwork. The story was very good, and would appeal to older children who enjoy fantasy and horror stories. Some of the pictures are frightening, so I would not recommend it for young children. I am now very interested in going to see the movie!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Scares the socks off my kids Jan. 28 2012
By M. Heiss - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This is a graphic novel of an alternate reality and a girl who finds herself having to rescue her parents and her neighbors from the evil that is stalking her. Incredibly creepy, in that Coraline is all alone and must combat the fearsome menace by herself.

Graphics are creepy and disturbing and perfect for the story.

This book may be way too scary, suspenseful, and/or intense for some children. Parents should pre-read.

Maybe also try "The Ghosts" by Antonia Barber or "The Children of Green Knowe" by L. M. Boston -- neither one is as terrifying as Coraline.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For Kids Of All Ages That Like A Good Scare. Oct. 11 2008
By Daniel V. Reilly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Upon moving into her new home, inquisitive young Coraline finds more than just eccentric neighbors and a lot of new places to explore....She finds a mysterious door, with a bricked-up passageway to the empty apartment next door behind it.

But it's only a bricked-up passageway sometimes......

Other times, it leads to a bizarre mirror-image of her new home, complete with "Others".. ...perfect duplicates of her real parents and neighbors....except for the long, sharp fingernails, and the black buttons sewn in place of their eyes......And they don't want Coraline to leave. They want her to stay with them, forever......Forever and ever and ever.

CORALINE is the new graphic novel adaptation of the Neil Gaiman novel of the same name, adapted and illustrated by the legendary P. Craig Russell. Russell has collaborated with Gaiman on four other projects before CORALINE, and his art is a perfect fit for this story. He can do mundane details of everyday life every bit as well as he can portray the more fantastic elements of the often-disturbing tale. The thing that struck me most while reading the book was how much Coraline herself looks like a real little girl. As an avid comic-book fan, I can tell you with some degree of certainty that 99% of comic artists can't draw a realistic-looking child to save their life. They usually look like shrunken adults, or oddly-formed midgets. Coraline not only looks right, but Russel also gives her all the quirks and tics a restless young girl would have in real-life. Just check out page 49, where Coraline is standing on one leg, holding the other leg up behind her....Brilliant little touches like that are everywhere, and the story is much richer for them. Gaiman's story itself is, ostensibly, for children, but it's works equally as well for adults. It's truly a timeless, ageless piece that could be enjoyed by anyone who appreciates a nice, dark bedtime story. Highly recommended, especially for Gaiman fans who may not have dipped their feet into the world of comic-books yet.
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