COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE FIRE THIEF’S TALE

COURTNEY CRUMRIN AND THE FIRE THIEF’S TALE
Written and Drawn By Ted Naifeh
Published by
Oni Press

Courtney and her Uncle Aloysius have traveled to Romania to visit an old family friend, but where our intrepid young heroine travels, trouble is sure to follow, and this is no exception. There’s a werewolf (or a few) on the loose, and the locals are doing their best to exterminate it. Unfortunately, the mistress of the house where they’re staying happens to be in love with the human half of that wolf, leading Courtney to try and use her budding magicks to try and save the day. But what good is love in the face of bullets? Better yet, what good is love in the face of cowardice?

As he’s proven with earlier volumes of COURTNEY and the superior POLLY AND THE PIRATES, Ted Naifeh has a genuine gift for making American comics and graphic novels that are perfect for the young and teen girl demographic. Courtney is a terrific character, full of the real-life curiosity that a child her age would have and with a heart as big as the outdoors. She also has the sense of moral absolutism that children her age possess and lacks a concept of the shades of gray that color most adult lives. In short, she’s quite easy for the reader to identify with.

And what a lesson she learns in this nifty tale. FIRE THIEF is actually quite a dark little tale, with an ending that doesn’t back off on delivering the emotional impact. Indeed, the whole story is a bit on the grim side, but nothing so black that it risks becoming inappropriate for its audience. Listed as the first installment of a European adventure for Courtney and Aloysius, this is a strong start to what should be a satisfying read all the way through.

Marc Mason