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Emily Carroll Books In Order

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Publication Order of Graphic Novels

A Guest in the House (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

When I Arrived at the Castle (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

Through the Woods (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Explorer Books

The Mystery Boxes (With: Raina Telgemeier,Dave Roman,Kazu Kibuishi,Rad Sechrist,Jason Caffoe,Stuart Livingston) (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Lost Islands (By: Braden Lamb,Michel Gagné,Jake Parker,Raina Telgemeier,Dave Roman,Kazu Kibuishi,Christina Garland,Jason Caffoe,EricKim,Selena Dizazzo,Katie Shanahan,Steven Shanahan) (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Hidden Doors (By: Douglas Holgate,Steve Hamaker,Faith Erin Hicks,Jen Wang,Kazu Kibuishi,Johane Matte,Jason Caffoe,Noreen Rana,Mary Cagle,Jen Breach) (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

The Mystery Boxes(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fairy Tale Comics: Classic Tales Told by Extraordinary Cartoonists(2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Nonrequired Reading 2015(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon

Emily Carroll is an artist and writer of numerous award-winning comics that have been published in both the print and online world.

She made her debut writing comics collection titled “Through the Woods,” which she published in 2014. This was the work that was the winner of the British Fantasy Award and the Eisner Award in 2014.
Aside from her online and print works, she has also been known for posting short comics on her website and she has become known for writing simple lined works that belie the many layers in her storytelling.
Carroll has also developed a reputation for coming up with fairytale-like stories that often turn into horror fiction works.

The same can be said about her first standalone print work “Through the Woods” which she published after she spent years posting just comics to her website.

Going back to her childhood, Emily Carroll always loved fairy tales as they were the first thing in the creative world that she found very fascinating and sometimes scary.

She still remembers reading the original fairy tales before they were edited by Disney and reading “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” and being shocked by all the stories in it.

There was a lot of surreal malice and murder in these works, and this was very different from just about any other children’s fiction novel that she had ever read.

Carroll was so drawn to the stories in “Grimm’s Fairy Tales” in particular given how much of a visceral emotional reaction they produced, even though she still cannot say why she found them so unsettling.
It was from these readings in her childhood that she learned of the strange logic of fairy tales and just could not get over them, as she sometimes dove into the same stories over and over again.

What she really loved was how the themes and sometimes the plots of a fairy tale changed according to the region in which it was transplanted.

While Emily Carroll was in high school, she loved to engage in tabletop role-playing games. She believes that this was part of her getting to explore a different aspect of storytelling since she used to do a lot of writing for these games.
Carroll used to run players through the stories and improvised and adapted them based on what they did. During this time, she used to pen short stories but similar to her prose, she never had the confidence to show them to anybody.
Making up stories and drawing was something that she did for a long time but she never had the confidence to write a comic as it seemed like a lot of work and something whose rules she did not understand.

Nonetheless, she went to college to study animation and had many friends who were cartoonists who went on to become illustrators and comic artists.

Meanwhile, she was doing one-off cartoons and things like that from time to time until she decided that all she wanted to do was comics.

She had been drawing terrible comics about five pages long while she was in high school and thought how hard could it be?

It was in 2010 that Emily Carroll vowed to finish a comic within a fortnight by making use of a fairy tale since she did not want to come up with an original story idea.

Once she was done, she realized that she was creative enough and this gave her the confidence to do it again and again. Things would come to a head in 2010 when her comic “His Face All Red” went viral during Halloween.
She is now known for her fairytale-inspired comics that evoke a feeling of isolation that soon becomes suspense and ultimately horror.

Emily Carroll’s “Through the Woods” is a collection of five gorgeous stories that include her most popular comic work “His Face All Red.”

These are fairytales in which things go wrong as you can head out to visit a neighbor’s house and find that coming back is a problem.

A young bride may find herself in a house that has a terrible secret. Another character might learn that their brother’s fiance is the farthest thing from what they believed she was.
Carroll writes her work with impeccable pacing and stunning visual style to make for an entrancing anthology.

She is one of the best at telling gothic stories but also a better writer of short stories. She has mastered the art of building to a climax and packing a lot into just a few sentences.
Reading this collection, there is a feeling that they do not fit into either the urban legend or folktale spectrum, even as they hark back to something akin to the medieval era.
For instance, the short story “A Lady’s Hands are Cold” has echoes of “Bluebeard,” the French folktale while “The Nesting Place” feels like an urban tale.

Emily Carroll’s work “When I Arrived at the Castle” can best be described as a horror fairy tale with lesbian underpinnings.

The whole of it is that a cat-eared human visits the castle, which is the home of the Countess intending to kill her. Given that she is not the first one to try such a thing, the countess is waiting for her.
The would-be killer finds herself enticed through several red dors, each with a fairy tale she must navigate to remain sane and survive.

The countess is a femme fatale and a vampire who is creepy, dangerous, alluring, and like a flame which draws the moth to its death.

She also happens to be a shapeshifter and in the course of the story, we are treated to some amazing and sometimes alarming sequences at her dressing table.
It makes for an erotic and very dark fantasy penned in the author’s bloody red, black, and white.

It is also complicated just like the best fantasies usually are which leaves room for some imagination, even as we are often left at a loss trying to guess what comes next.

“A Guest in the House” tells the story of Abby, who is settling into a new life and house with a new stepdaughter and new husband.

She lives a drab dull and sad existence as a housewife, even as she dreams of being a knight in shining armor, dragons, and the rescue of Lady Grey the gorgeous woman in a tower.
Emily Carroll writes in gory detail, even though this work does not have so much shocking gore but more about domestic dread, social thriller, and quiet creeping psychological horror.
Above everything, this work comes with echoes of Daphne Du Maurier’s “Rebecca.’

It is all about a mousy woman who unearths ghosts from the past, trying to fit in a new environment and not being very successful at it, marrying an older widower, and struggling to follow in the footsteps of the first wife who was larger than life.
However, the novel also goes into some unexpected places with buried repressed sexuality and closeted queerness in Canada during the 1980s.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Emily Carroll

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