Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things

Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things by Ted Naifeh (amazon) 4 stars
I’ve been meaning to try out Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things for quite some time, so when Oni Press reissued it, I snapped it up.

Courtney Crumrin moves with her social-climbing parents to the town of Hillsborough. They are going to live with her uncle, the mysterious Professor Aloysius Crumrin. Her parents think that living rent free in Uncle Aloysious’ old Victorian home is a great deal, because they’ve maxed out their credit cards. Courtney finds her new home unwelcoming due to the dusty old furniture and the mysterious creature that she glimpses perched at the foot of her bed. She has a hard time fitting in at school because she stands out in contrast to her rich classmates. Courtney finds a book in her uncle’s strange library that explains how to deal with the creepy things she’s been noticing in her new home. She immediately starts to apply her new knowledge in solving some of the problems she encounters at school

The art is very expressive, the black and white tones made me think that Courney was surrounded by shadows and unseen creepy things. She deals with all of the changes in her life with an air of weary skepticism that doesn’t stop her from finding innovative ways of wrangling night things. The publisher’s age rating on the book is youth (7+), and I think it’s about right although it might be better for slightly older kids. I think anyone who enjoys books like A Series of Unfortunate Events will appreciate Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things.

You can read the first chapter here.