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Title
Through the Woods
Author
Emily Carroll
Genre
Graphica
Publisher
Margaret K. McElderry Books
Pages
208
Price
$26.50

Horror fans, rejoice: Canadian cartoonist Emily Carroll's debut book of stories tingles the spine and wows the eyes, without ever numbing the brain with slasher-film shocks. Well-known on the web, Carroll's comics occur in a netherworld of chateaux and forests, where unseen terrors prowl the dark. While these stories retain the macabre preoccupations of Old World folklore – hacked-up spouses, kidnapped siblings, wolves in the night – they approach those age-old scares with modern flare. The artist's style borrows its sinuous swoops from vintage animation and children's books, while each story goads those simple sources into serving mature, troubling themes. The feminist fables of Angela Carter are an obvious touchstone for Carroll's tales, which mostly star young women who learn the strange customs that govern the world outside their homes. But Carroll makes the woods of the title entirely her own, a metaphor for the danger that lurks and snarls outside the door, but which entices us outside, nevertheless.

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