Courtney Crumrin Volume 1: The Night Things Special Editionby Ted Naifeh. Oni Press, 2012.
Young Courtney Crumrin is new to the town of Hillsborough, forced to move into her Great Uncle Aloysius' monstrosity of a house by her parents who "ran out of credit cards" and wanted to live the easy life for a while. At school, Courtney, dubbed "Q-Tip," realizes that she doesn't fit in with the rich kids and is lucky enough to make one friend in the form of much-picked-on, Axel. At night, Courtney hears things moving around the house, and when she goes to investigate her great uncle tells her not to worry. Things just don't seem to be getting better as the bullying continues and her parents are in total denial of her claims and insist that she gets along with the local kids. It is only after Axel gets eaten by something in the woods and Courtney stumbles upon a book, The Bestiary of Night Things Great and Small, in her great uncle's library, that Courtney decides to take her future in this town into her own hands. With the books in her great uncle's library as her guides, she captures the goblin from the woods and sets out to turn the town upside-down... but be careful what you wish for, for magic has a price.
This graphic novel by Ted Naifeh combines the story of a misfit girl and a slew of dark and fantastical characters. The artwork draws the reader in as you cheer for Courtney and wonder what will happen to her next. Courtney is a character that must solve her own problems and often manages to do so in creative ways. The story keeps you guessing about what sorts of characters will show up next and what sort of magical things she will find in her great uncle's house and surrounding woods. This was a pretty quick read, only 144 pages, and is suitable for ages 10+.