Courtney Crumrin & the Fire Thief’s Tale original graphic novella
Writer/Artist/Cover artist: Ted Naifeh
Editors: Joe Nozemack & James Lucas Jones
Publisher: Oni Press
Price: $5.95 US
Creator Ted Naifeh takes his readers back into the world of a young witch with attitude and her wise uncle/mentor, and once again, he offers up an entertaining, cute and fantastic story with just a touch of a dark edge to help set it apart from other, similar fare. What allowed this particular Courtney Crumrin story to stand out is the unusual structure of the plot and how it intertwines with a story within the story. Though the title character gets involved in the plot itself at a couple of points, she’s really more of a host for a well-crafted story of love, myth and horror. While the supernatural elements bring color and flair to the tale, Naifeh’s script is ultimately about how people are petty, irrational and frightened of the unknown. Naifeh’s dark designs are simple but thoroughly effective in bringing a gothic, eerie quality into play while also maintaining a hint of youthful energy and innocence, mirroring Courtney’s personality perfectly in ever panel of the book.