Saturday, September 14, 2013

By Its Cover: Coraline

I mentioned that the novel was illustrated by Dave McKean, and that I really like McKean's take on Gaiman's work. But - and I'm in direct contrast with Cassy's review yesterday with this - I prefer P. Craig Russell's version this time around.

Part of the reason I think I didn't much care for the novel version is that I'm bad at remembering visual details when they're... not visual. I have a good visual imagination, I think, but only when I'm in charge of what I'm imagining. When someone else tells me "so the Other Mother looks like this" and I keep reading, I forget important visual details almost immediately. Russell's illustrations remove that issue for me. McKean's were suggestions; Russell's are the story. (Which is what each illustrator's job was; I'm not saying McKean did a bad job... he did what he was supposed to do.)

As Alex mentioned, we're in direct contrast with this story (which, let's face it, is why you read the blog.)  I don't really like Russell's cover.  Mainly because I'm not a fan of his Coraline, but it just doesn't scream scary to me.  McKean's cover I think really gets the other worldly-ness of the story.  It's this world that's a copy of ours... but not quite.  I just think that the Coraline novel is a much better portrayal of that idea.

(She looks like a person... but not quite like a person.  Also, the hands on the book cover?  WAY creepier than the bats on the GN cover.)

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