Graphic Novel/Comics Review

Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere

(2007) Mike Carey and Glenn Fabry, Titan Books, 10.99, trdbk, 240pp, ISBN 1-84576-353-X

This is a collection of the 9-part comic adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel, based on the TV series. Both the novel and this are a bit more gritty than the tv show was, so this is 'suggested for mature readers' (as they call us old farts who never gave up reading comics). Having Mike Carey do the adaptation was an inspired (if somewhat obvious) choice, and Glenn Fabry's art is excellent throughout, as are the covers by him and Tony Luke (each printed twice, once as chapter heading, then all again at the back of the book so you can just drool over them without words and overlays).

The story is probably familiar by now, but here is a quick resume: Richard Mayhew is a perfectly ordinary bloke whose girlfriend is a bit domineering. One day he helps out what appears to be a wounded homeless girl, little knowing that she is the Lady Door, who comes from London Below (which is practically an alternate world existing alongside our own). Her entire family has been wiped out and she's next on the list, but she doesn't know who has attacked her or why. As a result of helping her, Richard is being 'forgotten' in the real world and all his old friends and acquaintances act as if they cannot see him. Having no other choice, he tries to catch up with the Lady Door to see if he can get his old life back, and so enters the world of London Below. Here he has to endure various trials and tribulations, not to mention staying ahead of Door's would-be murderers, Croup and Vandemar, cross Night's Bridge, meet the angel Islington and fight the Beast of London, all so he can return to London Above.

I never much enjoyed this on TV, but I thought the novel was excellent and this graphic novel adaptation is nothing short of brilliant. If you are already familiar with this material, then you probably do not need me to recommend this to you. If you are not, then it is my delight to point you in its direction. It does not get much better than Gaiman-Carey-Fabry, so treat yourself to this very reasonably priced collection.

Tony Chester

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