The Ghoul Next Door
Author: Cullen Bunn
Illustrator: Cat Farris
Imprint: HarperAlley (Harper Collins Publishing
On Sale: July 13, 2021
Trimsize: 6″ X 9″
Ages: 8 to 12
A Revenge of Spooky Sunday Post
I’ve been following the work of writer Cullen Bunn since encountering the Dark Horse Comics’ Harrow County tales several years ago. That story cycle ticked all the boxes for my tastes in supernatural fiction, and has been featured here on the SkeletonPete site in the past. So, I’m excited to share the news of the New York Times best selling author’s newest creepy chronicle called The Ghoul Next Door.
A stand-alone graphic novel, The Ghoul Next Door will be released by the HarperAlley imprint of Harper Collins Publishing in hardcover, paperback, and e-Book editions, this Tuesday, July 13, 2021.
Pre-release pages reveal illustrator Cat Farris’s style as what I’d coin “cartoon realism.” The characters are depicted in a young audience friendly style, (for kids who have likely grown up on a steady diet of Cartoon Network), while objects and surroundings cling closely to the look of their real world counterparts. The fluid variations of Farris’s watercolor washes offer a dreamlike effect, while deep contrasts are reminiscent of the monochromatic palette of silent films like Murnau‘s Nosferatu (1922). It’s a unique look that perfectly compliments the artist’s otherwise delicate line work
Based on these renditions, I can easily imagine The Ghoul Next Door being translated to an animated feature on the order of The Secret of Kells (2009).
Subterranean Homesick Chews…
The narrative revolves around Grey, an 11 year old living in Anders Landing, New England. He soon discovers that strange artifacts left in his room during the night are actually gifts from Lavinia, an admiring ghoul, or “eater of the dead,” living below the surface of the local cemetery.
Fans of H.P. Lovecraft will recognize the extrapolation of themes envisioned in his short story “Pickman’s Model“. That story was first published in the October 1927 issue of Weird Tales and also deals with subterranean denizens of New England. “Pickman’s Model” gained wider attention when it was produced as an episode of Rod Serling’s Night Gallery television show.
In his most recent personal update (Vicious Shivers #87) author Bunn describes the genesis of the upcoming release. “This book is over 2 years in the making (even longer, really, if you consider how many years this idea has been in my head), so I hope you’ll check out what Cat Farris and I have put together for you and your kids! […] It’s an almost 200-page graphic novel of horror, adventure, friendship, monsters, and fun.
[…] if you have kids… if you know someone who does… if you are a kid at heart… or if you just like spooky and fun stories full of folklore and ghoulish antics, please support this title”.
Skeleton Pete Says…
Putting my money where my mouth is, I’ve placed an order for the hardcover version and I’m looking forward to posting a full review of the book in the near future.
In the meantime I suggest you check out Cullen and Cat’s previous works for yourself.
Farris’s imaginings of pop culture icons, as well as fantastic fancies of her own creation, can be viewed on her homepage. Bunn not only produces a prodigious amount of written work, but has informed us of the ups and downs of his vocation via the weekly email communique he calls Vicious Shivers.
Here are links to their respective websites.