Comic Review: Coraline The Graphic Novel by Neil Gaiman

Illustrated by P. Craig Russell

Coraline is not the kind of girl to be put off by a sign of danger read in some tea-leaves or indeed a message sent to her by some very talented mice!

No, she is the kind of girl who faces a challenge with bravery, intelligence and a lot of determination. Which is just as well because she is going to need all those skills, and more, in this wonderful, spooky tale of a girl caught on the wrong side of a door, with counterfeit parents who have buttons for eyes and who clearly do not intend to set her free.


I’ve only read one of Neil Gaiman’s books before, The Graveyard Book, which I found to be a delightful book and yet it didn’t exactly rope me in. I haven’t read Coraline the novel, but after reading the graphic adaptation of it I’d like to read it now.  I’m getting the sense that Gaiman has a bit of a darker sense of imagination that is more of a subtle sort and not overwhelming. That’s something a little Goth at heart like myself can appreciate and enjoy.

Coraline: The Graphic Novel is a very entertaining read that I had trouble putting down. I think Gaiman has a wonderful imagination and it’s nice to see that transformed visually. I find Russell’s artwork to be clean and slightly abstract at the same time, helping to push the story along, and portray the feelings of the characters. The expressions on their faces for instance are captured quite well and I always appreciate that in a graphic novel.

I’m not an artist in the graphic novel/comic sense, I’m not even a great drawer when it comes to people, but I’ve read enough graphic novels to know that not all artists are good at capturing faces and that always mars the story for me because I think that’s something that is very important, especially if the story centres around emotions and living beings.

The only thing I have to say in the negative is this – you can’t taste a colour, maybe if you’re on drugs or something, but I still highly doubt it even then.

I’d highly recommend Coraline for a young audience too. I know its demographic is already a younger audience (when I say young, I mean pre-pubescent to later teens), but there’s a lot out there geared towards a certain age that I don’t think really fits in with that. As it is there are books, movies, and games that I wouldn’t recommend for their age demographic and I wonder why they are in the first place. I don’t find the graphic adaptation of Coraline to be like that and in actual fact believe it would not only be enjoyed by a younger audience (as much as an older audience), but it has some great lessons and morals to the tale.

  • Genre: YA Mystery
  • Demographic: 10ish and Up
  • Rating Out of Five: 4 ½
  • Format: Graphic Novel
  • Challenges: Comic Challenge

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