A while ago, I had gone through the whole entire YA catalog (around 400 books) on Netgalley and requested all the books that I thought were interesting (around 15?). I really don’t recommend doing so because a huge TBR (To Be Read) pile is created. It’s really, really messy. Good thing all the galleys are digital or else I would’ve felt a lot worse about it. (Still working on the TBR pile).
(The actual art doesn't resemble the cover art.)
Among the books that I requested was the House of Night comic, published by Dark Horse Comics. I recalled seeing House of Night in the YA section of Barnes and Noble and a comic version of anything is always appealing.
The thing with the House of Night comic is that the first ten pages confused me because I haven’t read the actual books. This is a problem because comic versions of books are supposed to be another way to attract readers to read the actual books. I was confused and I had absolutely no idea what was going on.
Basically, the synopsis of the book is that the main character, Zoey Redbird is a fledging vampire (the book/comic spells it as “vampyre”). She has the problems of adjusting to her new body and the typical teenage problems (cliques, high school, hormones etc.). The comic centers around Zoey’s attempts to find herself-as a fledging vampire and her troubles at school.
After the first ten pages, there was more introduction to the world of House of Night, which demystified some of the haze, however it wasn’t enough. It was only around halfway through the book (50-60 pages in) that I had some grasp of the story. It’s way too late.
Though the back of the book says, “writer Kent Dalian and artist Joelle Jones (with Karl Kerschl, Joshua Coey, Daniel Kroll, Jonathan Case, and Eric Canete) delve deep into the House of Night mythos” I disagree. The whole comic felt like it was just skimming the surface of the story. Too much was crammed in (more than 5 short stories that are interrelated) and it would’ve been much better if less stories were crammed in but delve deeper. Words were said about how the characters felt, but to me, it felt empty. As the saying goes, “Show not tell”. Emotions weren’t really felt (I neither sympathized nor empathized with the characters) and characters weren’t really “real”. They felt too 2-D to me.
On the art side of things, there was interesting art. However, I felt like there could’ve been more line weight variation and better uniformity. In some panels, Zoey looked like a teenager and in other panels she looked about forty. Of course, this can be partially attributed to the multiple artists that were used for producing the comic, but still, it could’ve been better.
I have a hard time with proportions, but, whoa, the characters’ heads were obviously too big for the characters’ bodies. It was obvious even to me. This could just be a stylized choice, but if it was, then the whole proportions should’ve been exaggerated. It was just awkward how it was exaggerated only a little bit, since the whole art seemed to be giving off a realistic vibe.
In all, the comic felt like a side story. Unlike the OEL comics published by Yen Press, House of the Night comic is just a collection of supplemental stories. The stories enrich the reader’s knowledge about the universe of House of Night and I definitely feel that if I had read the story, I would’ve enjoyed the comic more. It’s not really a comic that invites you to learn more about the story, rather it’s more of a comic for the fans of the actual series.
However, it was an interesting way to tell the story of Zoey- through elements of nature (fire, earth, water, air) and history. House of Night comic retells classic stories through the eyes of vampires (Odysseus and Circes, Cleopatra and Mark Anthony, etc.)
Reading House of Night comic was interesting however, I think for this, the con is a little more than the pro.