Through the Woods by Emily Carroll
Think you don’t like graphic novels? Take a look at Emily Carroll’s collection of short stories Through the Woods and think again. As the queen of horror comics, Carroll’s splendidly rich illustrations and poetic writing mesh seamlessly, immersing the reader in the kind of uncanny, half-magic world she excels at building.
If the word “horror” makes you hesitate – don’t. The stories all have an eerie fairy-tale flavor, but are mostly understated and psychological. The squeamish need not fret either; the simple style and minimalistic text rely on atmosphere for effect, not gore.
Unlike many visual artists, Carroll doesn’t seem to struggle with the stories she tells – nothing is pretentious, pointless, or made just as an excuse to showcase her dazzling illustrations. Standout stories include Our Neighbor’s House, A Lady’s Hands are Cold, and His Face All Red.
Through the Woods is highly recommended for fans of Neil Gaiman, Doctor Who, Eowyn Ivey’s book The Snow Child, and internet artist and writer Kris Straub (if you haven’t read them yet, his short horror stories and webcomic Broodhollow are highly recommended, and can be found at studios.chainsawsuit.com).
Be sure to request Emily Carroll’s Through the Woods at Alamance County Public Libraries. If you enjoy Carroll’s work, there’s plenty more available for free on her website, emcarroll.com, including the magnificent story The Prince and the Sea.
Sara J. Ingle is a Circulation Assistant at Mebane Public Library. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at 919-563-6431.