Creatures of the Night

Creatures of the Night is a graphicalisation of two of Neil Gaiman’s short stories by Michael Zulli, who has worked with Gaiman on previous occasions, most notably The Wake, the final volume in the Sandman series.

Both stories were originally published in Smoke and Mirrors, a rather excellent collection by Gaiman (who knows exactly what a short story can do).  The Price tells the tale of a mysterious black cat who adopts a family.  Every morning the family wakes to find it suffering from more, and more serious, injuries.  The narrator and paterfamilias (Gaiman basically, who briefly moans of the difficulty in getting an adaptation of Lud-in-the-Mist [great book by the way] green lit by the BBC) knows that the cat is protecting them from some nightly intruder.  His fear and unease grow as he comes to consider what might happen when the cat can fight no more.

Not as good as The Price (which, to be fair, is very good), is The Daughter of Owls. A mysterious baby arrives at a village (so many mysterious arrivals).  As the fearful villagers fearfully fear that she might be owlspawn (or something), she’s raised outside of town and brought food by just an old maid.  She’s basically a wild thing, but a beautiful one.  When the men of the village hear of this, they creep out and assault her.  Owl-based comeuppance is delivered unto them shortly thereafter.

The stories are worth reading, but they can be found in Smoke and Mirrors. What makes this particular volume worth reading (slim though it may be), is the artwork by Zulli, which is just really lovely, and creepy, and colourful and magical.  They make a good team.

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