The medium of comic books is much richer and more diverse than people give it credit for. Spend a decent amount of time browsing around a quality comic book store and you’ll see there’s much more out there than flashy superhero stuff. If you’re into Lovecraftian horror, there’s Witchfinder. If you’re a hipster, there’s Wilson. If you’re looking for touching human dramas, there’s Jimmy Corrigan, The Smartest Boy on Earth. If you’re looking for books for a child, there’s Carl Barks Disney books. If you’re into high-concept shows like Fringe or Lost, there’s RASL. If you’re a person who loves cats, there’s Creatures of the Night.
Creatures of the Night is a short graphic novel written by the popular fantasy writer Neil Gaiman, with lush artwork provided by Michael Zulli. It’s printed in a handsome hardcover by Dark Horse Books.* It contains two short stories. One is about a mysterious group of stray cats that seem to migrate to the front door of a writer who greatly resembles Gaiman himself, and the second is a fantasy/horror tale about a small superstitious town that believes a foundling child is cursed by owls.
I should point out that this is a very short book (46 pages). It’s taking me longer to review it than to read it. For that reason, you may want to check if the library has it before buying it. Dark Horse is selling it $12.99, which isn’t a bad price for a hardcover. It makes for a good coffee table book, or one to loan out to friends. The artwork is highly original. I’m not sure how Michael Zulli does it. It looks like a combination of several mediums: colored pencils, pastels, ink and possibly paint. One caveat: you might assume this is a kid’s book because it features cats and owls, but it’s suggested for mature readers. There’s nothing terribly explicit in it, but there’s mature themes.
*The Dark Horse HQ is located just 20 miles from my house, but I’ve never been inside it.
Read other graphic novel reviews.
If you like Creatures of the Night, you might like Death: The High Cost of Living.