Home > books, comics, fantasy, gothic horror > courtney crumrin and the night things

courtney crumrin and the night things

courtney and her family have moved to this rich neighbourhood to live with their uncle, professor aloysius crumrin. the good bit is that aloysius lives in a gothic mansion. the bad is everything else – courtney hates her parents, the new town she’s moved to and all the stupid rich kids at her new school. luckily for us, and for little courtney, uncle aloysius isn’t all he seems, and the gothic mansion is exactly what it seems!

this was all right. not great but not crap. the art is for the most part pretty good. the rendering of the world is quite cool and the eerie atmosphere and gothic imagery are definitely the best parts of the book. but the people could’ve been drawn differently. most of the people besides courtney have these empty pupil-less eyes, which, although it looks a bit cool at first does rob them of a lot of expression. also, the people are drawn in a slighyly manga-esque style which in this book doesn’t do much for me.

the story is where the book leaves me a bit lukewarm, and i find this a little annoying because it should be so good. the setting is cool, the premise is nice, the plots are good, it has magic and goblins, so where does it go wrong? the stories are just a bit too shallow, i think. or not engaging enough. i didn’t really care about old courtney, which is a big stumbling block in a book with so much focus on its protagonist.

still, this isn’t a bad comic. i just didn’t enjoy it as much as i wanted to, which is why i’m so critical of it. i did like reading it. its a cute little gothic story and the art is good. and if book two happened to be lying in front of me i’d certainly read it.

  1. April 22, 2009 at 6:43 pm

    I want to read this series but the library doesn’t have it. Too bad, really!

  2. Jeff S.
    April 23, 2009 at 4:37 am

    JP – I have read this series since the beginning and I have to agree with your review. While I do enjoy the series the story’s are too shallow to be great. And as much as I love Courtney’s attitude you can’t love a series just based on attitude. I do enjoy the art quite a bit though and I know that’s the main reason I keep picking up this title when it does come out which is quite infrequently. I would say many of the stories are quite similar so if you didn’t love one story I don’t think any others are really that much different.

    A newer series I love is Locke & Key by Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodeguiz. It’s a horror story with excellent art. The publisher is IDW. The writer Joe Hill is Stephen King’s son. I have also read the short story novel collection of his called 20th Century Ghosts which I liked quite a bit as well. I would recommend you check it out the next time your in your comics shop.

  3. April 25, 2009 at 10:17 pm

    I like the story more than Jeff does. I don’t think it is “FABULOUS”, but I do really enjoy it. As for the art, I am a big fan of Naifeh and his art style. Love it. He did some issues of Nocturals and of Gloom Cookie and I enjoyed his take on those stories. It is cool, of course, that it didn’t strike you the same way it did me. If we all had the same art likes there wouldn’t be much variety in the world! Glad you gave it a try though!

    Jeff is right in that Locke and Key is great! I personally am not a big fan of the art in it, however the art matches the story perfectly and as such makes for an overall excellent book, if that makes any sense. It is a must read as far as graphic novels go and I don’t think you would be disappointed in it. It is an example of a graphic novel that tells every bit as good a story as a novel can.

  4. jean pierre
    May 1, 2009 at 10:18 am




    i’m glad that you agree, jeff, ’cause i really hate being critical of something which doesn’t really have that much wrong with it.

    and you’re right, courtney’s attitute and the art are what make the book worth reading – especially the art!

    this “locke and key” sounds good!! hmmmm! and i’ve heard lots of good things about joe hill, so i’ll definitely be checking it out! my wife absolutely adored “heart-shaped box” and so i am certain he is good. i’m personally too afraid to read it still… i don’t know, i REALLY want to read it, but then i’m really scared too! 😦

    i like gothic horror – fun horror, you know (like “dracula”) and thrilling horror (like “halloween”, “dr. jeckyl & mr. hyde”, “i am legend” and most zombie films). but stuff thats truly scary, i just don’t have the balls for that. i like almost all of the stephen king films i’ve seen – and thats loads – but i think that in reading one of his books it’d get into my head much more!

    is “20th cen ghosts” as scary as “heart-shaped box”? that is, if you found “heart-shaped box” scary at all…


    you’re right, i agree totally – its very cool that we feel different about it. and i can totally see why you like it. its simply a matter of preference.

    one thing that is true, however, is that naifeh is definitely a good artist. i just love his renditions of woods and old houses!

    oooh la la, you and jeff are making “locke and key” sound irresistable! straight into my amazon wishlist it goes (literally!) and i’ll be interested to see what the art is like for myself!

  5. Anonymous
    May 2, 2009 at 4:01 am

    JP – I actually haven’t read ” The Heart Shaped Box ” by Joe Hill yet but I really want too. I have it on my Amazon wishlist and I’m so hoping someone gets it for me for my birthday later this month. I’m very glad to hear your wife liked it because I haven’t actually talked to anyone I know that has read it yet.

    I’m actualyy not a big horror novel reader yet two of my favorite comic series right now are horror books ( Locke & Key and The Walking Dead ) which I find quite funny. I enjoyed L&K so much that it drove me to pick up some of Joe Hill’s prose. I went into the book store to pick up The Heart Shaped Box but they were out of it that day last fall. All they had in stock was 20th Century Ghosts so that’s how I ended up picking it up. I really enjoyed the collection by the end of it. It collects a lot of his short story work and as the stories get more recent in the collection his writing gets a lot better. It’s like you can see his skills develop over the years as you read his short fiction. The first story in the book I guess is the scareiest. I would say he goes more for mood than scarey horror in most of the stories. I think you and your wife would enjoy the collection. Short stories are always a mixed bag. The good thing is if you don’t like one atleast you know it will be over soon and you’ll be onto the next one.

    Also I’m with you on horror stories. I don’t have the balls for the really scarey or gross stories either. 🙂 I’m turned off by the SAW movies horror but I like the creepiness of movies like I am Legend. I’m satisfied with goose pimple on your arms kind of horror were your holding your breath not the horror were it makes you sick to your stomach.

  6. Jeff S.
    May 3, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I don’t know why that last doesn’t have my name sorry. – Jeff

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