Charlaine Harris is probably best known for her Sookie Stackhouse books, which serve as the foundation for HBO's popular True Blood television show. But another fan favorite is the Harper Connelly series that follows title character Harper Connelly and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang. Harper has the power to find the dead and see their last moments, revealing how they died. She uses that power to eek out a living by sharing the information with the living. Dynamite and Harris put out a three-volume adaptation I thought I'd talk about today.

Grave Sight: A Harper Connelly Graphic Novel Part 1

Written and adapted by Charlaine Harris and Bill Harms (Impaler, Infamous, Captain America) with art from Denis Medri (Marvel, Image) and a pair of covers from Benoit Springer and Denis Medri, Grave Sight introduces us to Harper Connelly and her stepbrother, Tolliver Lang, as they arrive in Sarne, Ark. The job is to find a kid, Teenie, who has gone missing. But one job leads to another, an apparent suicide Harper knows was a murder. Harper wants out of the town as soon as possible, and soon, she and her brother move on only to be called back when the mother of the two sisters she “found,” is murdered. The art in this book is well done, but the colors are often muted or filtered. I understand what they are trying to do given the subject matter (give it all that grave yard mood and feel), but it doesn’t always works. Washing out the colors, doing whole pages in sepia or a blue/gray tone, just makes it depressing.

Grave Sight: A Harper Connelly Graphic Novel Part 2Grave Sight, Part Two

The second volume continues the story with Harper and Tolliver remaining in Sarne, as more people die at the hands of a brutal killer.  That killer seems to be targeting people who talk with Harper about the dead. Complicating matters is Harper's growing attraction to the local deputy, and the arrival of the State Police. We also see, through flashbacks, Harper's determination to discover the truth behind her older sister’s disappearance. The cover for this one was done by Benoit Springer. Again, written/adapted by Charlaine Harris and William Harms with interior art by Denis Medri. Nothing much changed with the art or the coloring from Part 1 to Part 2 to make anything stand out in my mind. 

Continue reading >


Grave Sight: A Harper Connelly Graphic Novel Part 3

The third (and final) volume has Harper trying to clear her step-brother’s name, figure out who is killing the people of Sarne, and keep from being the next victim herself. So far, most people Harper helps (as seen through flashbacks) react poorly to her power and the truths she finds. In volume three, however, we see someone who is finally grateful for her help, and that moment stands out in this book that is otherwise fairly predictable as the plot is wrapped up. Same team here on art and writing.

I think fans of Charlaine Harris will appreciate this three-part adaptation but I don't see it bringing any new fans to her books. Maybe the rumored Grave Sight/SyFy show will.

Patrick Hester is an author, blogger and Hugo-nominated Podcast producer/host who lives in Colorado, writes science fiction and fantasy, and can usually be found hanging out on his Twitter feed. His Functional Nerds and SF Signal weekly podcasts have both been nominated for Parsec awards, and the SF Signal podcast is nominated for a 2012 Hugo Award. He writes for, SF Signal and Functional Nerds.