“I sense there’s something in the wind, that feels like tragedy’s at hand.”Sally, Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas
Considering how much I write about The Nightmare Before Christmas, it might sound odd that I’m glad this latest addition to the fandom isn’t a graphic novel. If you’ve visited my blog for a while, you might know that I tend to read webcomics and graphic novels, because the illustrations do half of the work for me. My mind doesn’t need the full capacity of my imagination to understand what’s going on. Considering how important Sally was to The Nightmare Before Christmas and how little the audience knew about her, I’m thankful my interpretation of her story wasn’t restricted by an illustrator. In Shea Ernshaw‘s interpretation of Sally’s ability to sense danger and tragedy comes to life in vivid detail.
Sally seems to suffer from Social Anxiety, which makes her hyper aware of others non-verbal ques. She uses that unwanted feedback to shape how she internalizes their reaction to her new role in Halloween Town. Considering, the Jack and Sally wed two weeks before Halloween, Sally didn’t have time to decide what being The Pumpkin Queen meant to her. Plus, she’s the very first queen. Dr. Finkelstein tried everything he could to ensure Sally had little to no interaction prepping for Halloween night and participating. She’s really a fish out of water surrounded by residents that have their own perception of what a Halloween Queen should be.
At this point, Sally feels like she’s traded a filthy bird cage for a fancier one. The title Pumpkin Queen feels like a prison of her own making. She married Jack Skellington. Not Jack the Pumpkin King. To Sally, they are not one in the same. Its not that she doesn’t admire Jack for his role. It’s safe to assume, she thought she’d have more of a passive role in this aspect of his life. After a delightful Honeymoon in Valentine’s Town, Sally wishes she could get away from it all. Her need to escape and find solace in silence will unleash a curse. One that will require her to leave a pretty cage that has suddenly become bearable.
Lost in Thought
Long Live The Pumpkin Queen was publish by Disney Press an imprint of Buena Vista Books Inc. The book consist of a prologue, twenty chapters, and an epilogue. The chapter graphic looks like a new moon with thin clouds and a small speck of light. Is it hope? Who knows. These little touches add a layer of gloom and terror to the story [Soyoung Kim designed it].
Although Long Live The Pumpkin Queen is a Young Adult Novel, Jack and Sally’s interaction are Rated G. This is not an explicit romance novel. Shea Ernshaw put more of an emphasis on the thriller aspect of the story with snippets of Jack and Sally’s relationship. Aside from kisses, the couple shows affection through compliments, touch (holding hands), and loving glances. These details are needed to justify Sally’s need to right her wrong, and return to her husband.
Sally’s story gave the reader more information about the holiday trees than The Nightmare Before Christmas. This is one of the reasons, I believed a novel was a better fit than a graphic novel. That’s a lot of worlds to illustrate. Given the classic claymation and children’s books, it would put a lot of pressure on an illustrator to create multiple settings that live upto the Tim Burton’s imagination. Whereas, a reader can use the source material to paint Sally’s thriller. Literature is a written form of art. Words are capable painting pivital moments and landscapes on their own.
Are you gifting Long Live The Pumpkin Queen this year?
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