GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ Sheep Comic Review: House of Night (Hardback Collection) | I Smell Sheep

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Sheep Comic Review: House of Night (Hardback Collection)

Writer: P.C. Cast, Kristin Cast, Kent Dalian
Penciller: Joƫlle Jones, Karl Kerschl, Joshua Covey, Daniel Krall, Jonathan Case, Eric Canete
Colorist: Daniel Krall, Jonathan Case, Eric Canete, Ryan Hill, Dan Jackson
Cover Artist: Steve Morris
Genre: Horror
Publication Date: June 27, 2012
Format: FC,128 pages; HC, 6" x 9"
Price: $14.99
Age range: 14

Until recently, Zoey Redbird was an average high-school student worrying about grades, boys, and breakouts. But priorities have a way of changing when you’re Marked as a vampyre, enroll in the vampyre academy House of Night, and have to figure out a whole new social hierarchy, affinities for elemental magic, and physiological changes that make you crave blood! Collects issues #1-#5 of the series.

Follow Zoey, and her group of devoted friends, as they turn to The Fledgling Handbook, a historical vampyre tome, in hopes of better understanding this big, new world of vampyrism.

I read the first four novels in the young adult House of Night series a while back, so I was thrilled to see it become a graphic novel and even more thrilled that Dark Horse was involved. The first five issues are being released in a beautiful hard back edition at the end of this month.

The House of Night is a school where teens who have been marked can safely go through the four year change into a vampyre and learn how to use the element (air, fire, water, earth, spirit) power they will develop. Becoming a vampyre isn’t a choice and not everyone survives the change. These vampyres drink blood, but only with permission from the donor and only after their change. In addition they are peaceful and follow their goddess, Nix, in a female based society with roots in the Wiccan religion. Most normal humans are fearful, and the vampyres are discriminated against and have been the target of religious zealots throughout history. Zoey Redbird is the main character and for reasons we don’t know yet, she has been given special powers by the goddess Nix. The first five issues of the graphic novel introduce you to background world building as well as Zoey and her friends at The House of Night.

I have discovered I am a big fan of graphic novel adaptations and this one doesn’t disappoint. If you have read the novels you will be a little surprised because issue #1 begins with the events at the end of book one and we learn what happened before that through well-done flash backs; hats off to the writing team on this one. There is the right balance of familiar storylines and new material to keep it fresh for old fans, as well as appealing to new readers.

I was a little surprised to see that Zoey Redbird’s grandmother not mentioned at all, but all our favorite House of Night students are there. The first five issues in this omnibus  address how the goddess Nix bestowed each of the five elements to her vampire children. These back stories are my favorite part of the story. Cast took strong females from history, like Cleopatra, Freyda, and the Amazon warriors and wove them into her vampyre mythology, giving you five interesting and complete stories alongside the main story arc.

The presence of LGBT characters in comics has been building momentum; there is a gay student, Damien, who is part of Zoey’s inner circle of friends in the novels. The graphic novel does a great job of bringing attention to the bullying of Damien and how he and his friends deal with it in a positive manner. As a matter of fact bullying in general is a big theme of this story as well as grief.

The artwork is beautifully done and the use of color to enhance the tone of different scenes was well placed. The panel lay out isn’t anything original but it gets the job done. I would call it old school drawing instead of the trendy anime style that is so popular right now.

I honestly can’t find anything negative to say about this graphic novel adaptation and look forward to checking out future issues. I would heed the age warning on this one. There is a pretty brutal rape scene that happens off screen, and while necessary for the story it could be disturbing to some. There is a fair amount of violence, but nothing you won’t find in most graphic novels. House of Night is classified as horror, but it crosses many genre lines.

Comic Shop locator 
*you can pre order this collection from amazon for $8.27, check link below
5 Sheep

SharonS (edited by BAK)