Neil Gaiman has let me down. I am slightly heartbroken, but finally will acquiesce… he really isn’t perfect after all. Therefore I submit an open letter to my beloved author: (please note, the following may contain spoiler information for those who have not yet seen the movie, though I am entirely unsure what those people are waiting for exactly)
Dear Mr. Gaiman:
Ok, now that the movie is out and anyone who loves you has had the chance to see it, can we please talk about the addition of a boy character, Wybie Lovat??? Please, please, tell me you fought with Mr. Selick, though otherwise absolutely brilliant, over this point. Or at the very least hemmed and hawed a bit for several long awkward minutes.
It just really strikes me as odd that we needed a boy character who would serve as a kind of literary foil or sidekick. Or maybe, as I read in one review, the addition was to try to draw in a “boy audience” because boys generally wouldn’t dig a girl lead? Your female characters are usually quite strong and fierce on their own, one of the very many reasons I love your work.
As a female, and formerly a young girl, I wanted more than anything to have a Coraline who kept her wits about her, fought off the scaries, and saved the day with the help of a cat and a keen mind. While a visually appealling and certainly award garnishing film, I would be lying to say I wasn’t overall slightly disappointed. Then again, maybe it was a secret ploy of yours to get people to appreciate the book more, especially people with female parts.
Still a big fan,
ps. The Graveyard Book does better represent the gender treatments of your main characters. Bod is a bright well-meaning adventurous boy, a perfect complement to Coraline, a bright well-meaning adventurous girl. If Mr. Selick wanted to create a stop action boy, he could have done Nobody Owens.