by Catriona Mills

Articles in “Comics”

Ted Naifeh

Posted 14 February 2008 in by Catriona

Today I fell asleep on top of my own thesis, which I thought was a bad sign. But, rather than assuming that the result of three years’ hard work is boring enough to induce catatonia, I figured I just needed coffee and a sit down. After a brief interlude of accidentally kicking my coffee mug over, fetching a paper towel and a fresh cup of coffee, sitting down, and realising that I’d forgotten to turn the fan on, I settled in to re-read Courtney Crumrin and the Night Things.

Nick and I bought this in a recent Amazon order, along with another of Naifeh’s works, Polly and the Pirates. I came across a reference to Naifeh on Chris’s Invincible Super-Blog, as part of the series of Relatively Serious Comics Reviews that also introduced me to Joann Sfar and Emmanuel Guibert’s thoroughly delightful The Professor’s Daughter, for which I will be eternally grateful.

I wasn’t entirely certain whether I’d enjoy these, since I don’t normally read goth-infused comics. That makes it sound as though I have moral objections to them, but really they just don’t come in my way much. But is it likely that anyone could resist the story of a young boarder from a school for proper gentlewomen who becomes inextricably mixed up with pirates?

Both Polly and Courtney are wonderful characters, and the fantastical, romanticised San Francisco in which they’re set is worth it simply for Polly and the Pirates‘s extraordinary fusion of pirate ships and nineteenth-century architecture. I’m also rapidly turning over plans—each more improbable than the last—for building my own version of Aloysius Crumrin’s house.

I’m only sorry that Polly is restricted to four issues. At least there are many more Courtney Crumrin tales for me to catch up on.

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