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Evil Thing: The Graphic Novel: A Villains Graphic Novel

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“Sure, you know the story of those wretched Dalmatians. But don’t I deserve a chance to tell my own side of the story? It is fabulous, after all.” You may think you know the tale: a happy young couple, one hundred and one Dalmatians, and the woman determined to turn them into a perfectly spotted fur coat. But who is that monster, that scene-stealer, that evil thing? Who is t “Sure, you know the story of those wretched Dalmatians. But don’t I deserve a chance to tell my own side of the story? It is fabulous, after all.” You may think you know the tale: a happy young couple, one hundred and one Dalmatians, and the woman determined to turn them into a perfectly spotted fur coat. But who is that monster, that scene-stealer, that evil thing? Who is the woman behind it all? Before the car crash, before the dognapping, before furs became her only true love, there was another story. This is the story of Cruella De Vil—in her own words. Even the cruelest villains have best friends, true loves, and daring dreams. After all, nothing is as simple as black and white. In this first graphic novel adaptation of the New York Times best-selling Villains series, Arielle Jovellanos brings Serena Valentino’s darkly captivating world to life with beautiful and haunting illustrations in a stunning new visual format.


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“Sure, you know the story of those wretched Dalmatians. But don’t I deserve a chance to tell my own side of the story? It is fabulous, after all.” You may think you know the tale: a happy young couple, one hundred and one Dalmatians, and the woman determined to turn them into a perfectly spotted fur coat. But who is that monster, that scene-stealer, that evil thing? Who is t “Sure, you know the story of those wretched Dalmatians. But don’t I deserve a chance to tell my own side of the story? It is fabulous, after all.” You may think you know the tale: a happy young couple, one hundred and one Dalmatians, and the woman determined to turn them into a perfectly spotted fur coat. But who is that monster, that scene-stealer, that evil thing? Who is the woman behind it all? Before the car crash, before the dognapping, before furs became her only true love, there was another story. This is the story of Cruella De Vil—in her own words. Even the cruelest villains have best friends, true loves, and daring dreams. After all, nothing is as simple as black and white. In this first graphic novel adaptation of the New York Times best-selling Villains series, Arielle Jovellanos brings Serena Valentino’s darkly captivating world to life with beautiful and haunting illustrations in a stunning new visual format.

30 review for Evil Thing: The Graphic Novel: A Villains Graphic Novel

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rod Brown

    A dreary and dull origin story for Cruella drags on and on in this graphic novel adaptation of a novel I have not read. Is she a victim of her cold and withholding mother's psychological manipulation, cursed, having a mental health crisis, or struggling with internalized homophobia due to a queerbaiting relationship that is teased? If the author had picked a direction and went with it, I might have been interested, but there is just endless yammering as everything stays firmly in the land of mud A dreary and dull origin story for Cruella drags on and on in this graphic novel adaptation of a novel I have not read. Is she a victim of her cold and withholding mother's psychological manipulation, cursed, having a mental health crisis, or struggling with internalized homophobia due to a queerbaiting relationship that is teased? If the author had picked a direction and went with it, I might have been interested, but there is just endless yammering as everything stays firmly in the land of muddle. I wasn't a fan of the recent Emma Stone movie, but it was better than this frustrating mess.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MissBecka Gee

    3.5⭐ Rounded up. Lady Valentino has created this fabulous series showing the hearts (and sometime lack there of) in our most precious Disney villains. This time I tried out the graphic novel version of her latest installment. She still ties this into the series with some Tulip references, but this one has more sweet moments with a character, that really has no soft side in the movie. I love the back stories she creates in this dimension and this one was no exception. If you have not read anything in 3.5⭐ Rounded up. Lady Valentino has created this fabulous series showing the hearts (and sometime lack there of) in our most precious Disney villains. This time I tried out the graphic novel version of her latest installment. She still ties this into the series with some Tulip references, but this one has more sweet moments with a character, that really has no soft side in the movie. I love the back stories she creates in this dimension and this one was no exception. If you have not read anything in this series... GET CAUGHT UP, because there is a Peter Pan and Hook one coming soon!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jon Nakapalau

    I have a confession: I love reading about villains! Particularly what made them take that initial turn for the worse. This GN adaptation of Evil Thing by Serena Valentino really is fantastic. I can still remember how horrible I thought Cruella De Vil was when I first saw 101 Dalmatians as a little boy; she really scared me! This is a great backstory to this iconic charater! Art by Arielle Jovellanos is wonderful!

  4. 5 out of 5

    kate

    Loved the art style and the story itself was interesting enough but found my attention waning towards the end as it became a little dreary.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Marsha

    Cruella De Vil’s descent into dog-fur obsession starts with a loving father and an emotionally and physically withdrawn mother. Lord De Vil loves his daughter and shows it with humor, smiles, attention, stories and affection. Lady De Vil, however, is a different kettle of fish. Exalting money, status and possession above all things, she has little time for an emotionally needy daughter or her husband. Thus the stage is set. At a very young age, Cruella has absorbed her mother’s maxims about who m Cruella De Vil’s descent into dog-fur obsession starts with a loving father and an emotionally and physically withdrawn mother. Lord De Vil loves his daughter and shows it with humor, smiles, attention, stories and affection. Lady De Vil, however, is a different kettle of fish. Exalting money, status and possession above all things, she has little time for an emotionally needy daughter or her husband. Thus the stage is set. At a very young age, Cruella has absorbed her mother’s maxims about who matters in the world and who doesn’t. Servants are things not people. The poor are to be scorned and ignored and only expensive things matter. Cruella strives again and again for her glamorous mother’s fleeting attentions but Lady De Vil is often absent, wounding her daughter’s heart repeatedly. Cruella’s already selfish personality becomes warped as Anita abandons her to gain a living, Cruella’s handsome but feckless husband perishes and Cruella is left with no one to fall back on to center her rapidly deteriorating mental faculties. The plot makes it obvious how Cruella got her distinctive look: the two-toned hair, the ghastly paleness and scrawny body. We also come to understand how it is that she is friends with the sweet, gentle, poor Anita, a girl who is the polar opposite from Cruella in temperament, morals and societal values. The graphic leads us to the beginning of the animated Disney film, when Cruella shows up at the Radcliffe’s house, ready to claim Perdita’s new puppies. It’s a very convincing story, filled with remarkable minor characters, believable plot points and a central figure both pathetic and terrifying. Cruella ends locked in her own madness, unknowing of how futile her plan is. She is bloody but unbowed, and ultimately more to be pitied than hated.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Mrs_R_Librarian

    I have had Serena Valentino's Villains series on my To Read list for a long time. This graphic novel version of Evil Thing is the first one I have been able to read. I LOVED this story and cannot wait to read all the Villains novels. The illustrations are fabulous and I loved the story. I have had Serena Valentino's Villains series on my To Read list for a long time. This graphic novel version of Evil Thing is the first one I have been able to read. I LOVED this story and cannot wait to read all the Villains novels. The illustrations are fabulous and I loved the story.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Carrie Adair

    I was willing to go with that Cruella had a bad relationship with her mother, but it doesn't work for connecting her backstory to wanting to turn puppies into a coat. I don't buy it. The story makes the mistake of saying she loves puppies and then never shows why she hates dogs or a believable reason to be so fur obsessed. The book is fine until the puppy shows up, but it is another unbelievable villain back story. Also, Cruella loses everything she has in the book. Then we never find out how she I was willing to go with that Cruella had a bad relationship with her mother, but it doesn't work for connecting her backstory to wanting to turn puppies into a coat. I don't buy it. The story makes the mistake of saying she loves puppies and then never shows why she hates dogs or a believable reason to be so fur obsessed. The book is fine until the puppy shows up, but it is another unbelievable villain back story. Also, Cruella loses everything she has in the book. Then we never find out how she makes money to survive, so I can't fathom how she thinks she can afford all those puppies.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Doll

    Beautifully illustrated! Story was a bit dull and a felt a bit ”hurried” but I loved it still. Cruella is my forever fave.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth Chandler

    The ARC of this graphic novel was an absolute delight to read! It was great to see this series come alive and with illustrations to really blend in the story we know with the story behind the scenes. I also thought it worked well by itself if you haven’t read the others in the series. You won’t catch some Easter eggs but it was still just a great backstory.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    Solid 3.75. I thought this was going to be an alternate history to the classic villain like Once Upon a Time's take (which I LOVED), but it was really an expanded history of the classic Disney Villain from the 101 Dalmations movie. Cruella has always been a favorite villain of mine because of her pure evilness and sassy streak (a la Once Upon a Time and of course Glenn Close's Cruella) but I still enjoyed this history of Cruella and seeing evil being made, not born. I also enjoyed how this was t Solid 3.75. I thought this was going to be an alternate history to the classic villain like Once Upon a Time's take (which I LOVED), but it was really an expanded history of the classic Disney Villain from the 101 Dalmations movie. Cruella has always been a favorite villain of mine because of her pure evilness and sassy streak (a la Once Upon a Time and of course Glenn Close's Cruella) but I still enjoyed this history of Cruella and seeing evil being made, not born. I also enjoyed how this was told as a biography and in Cruella's "own words."

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ruth

    Was it me... or was that... kinda gay? Like as gay as Disney will ever let any of its Classic Villains be, but, uhhhh, yeah that was kinda gay. I liked that, unlike the recent movie, this never attempted to soften the bad things she did. I gave some context and told you her reasoning, but at no point did they change the whole stole-puppies-in-order-to-kill-them-and-make-a-coat. She is clearly A Bad Guy, even in her own story, and they don't try and "fix" her. She is mentally disturbed and needs s Was it me... or was that... kinda gay? Like as gay as Disney will ever let any of its Classic Villains be, but, uhhhh, yeah that was kinda gay. I liked that, unlike the recent movie, this never attempted to soften the bad things she did. I gave some context and told you her reasoning, but at no point did they change the whole stole-puppies-in-order-to-kill-them-and-make-a-coat. She is clearly A Bad Guy, even in her own story, and they don't try and "fix" her. She is mentally disturbed and needs some serious therapy, but she did very much do those things. I also really liked the art.

  12. 4 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    I really enjoyed this graphic novel adaptation of the Villains novel Evil Thing by Serena Valentino. So many students love that series and Disney origin stories are such a hit with readers. I loved the red/black/white color scheme throughout the whole book. It was a bit text-heavy on certain pages that could intimidate some MG readers, but overall I loved it. 4 stars

  13. 4 out of 5

    Diana-christie Biancardi

    Loved it.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Ellen Deckinga

    Admittedly I wasn’t thrilled with it at the start. The character development took some time to happen. But, I liked where it went.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Liberty

    I love the fact this book became a graphic novel but it felt very rushed to me

  16. 4 out of 5

    mell

    It’s heartbreaking to know the life cruella lived prior to the whole “I want to kill 101 Dalmatians”. It makes me feel more mad than anything, all she needed was one permanent positive change in her life and she would’ve been a completely different person. This graphic novel is good for anyone who loves cruella and would like to know where it all started or people who absolutely hate her, this novel can clear up some questions.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Emmelie

    Loved this! Especially since the drawing really matched my imagination (I read the novel first). Hope they’ll release graphic novels for the rest of the books as well!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    Author Serena Valentino has taken the world by storm with her New York Times best-selling Disney Villains novels and it appears that the traditional novel format is just the beginning for these Villainous tales. Valentino’s novels explore the backstories for Disney villains that readers know and love as well as introduce readers to new characters that operate behind the scenes of classic Disney plots. The novels seem to keep on coming with eight books having been released to date. The most recent Author Serena Valentino has taken the world by storm with her New York Times best-selling Disney Villains novels and it appears that the traditional novel format is just the beginning for these Villainous tales. Valentino’s novels explore the backstories for Disney villains that readers know and love as well as introduce readers to new characters that operate behind the scenes of classic Disney plots. The novels seem to keep on coming with eight books having been released to date. The most recent novel is Cold Hearted (based on Lady Tremaine) which was released on July 6th. Despite the continued fanfare and support for the novels, at least one of the Villainous tales is also taking on a stunning new format. Evil Thing: A Villainous Graphic Novel Evil Thing, which is novel number seven in the Villains series lineup, has been splendidly transformed into a graphic novel. Evil Thing is Cruella De Vil’s story told by none other than Cruella herself. With a swish of her fur coat and an appropriate amount of ‘darling!’, Cruella dramatically enters our hearts and minds in a complex and clever origin story of her own making. Before the car crash, before the dognapping, before furs became her only true love, there were best friends, lovers and daring dreams. Cruella bears all and in doing so reveals that nothing is as simple as black and white. Evil Thing brought about a new flavor to the series while employing the most effective storytelling tools from Valentino’s repertoire – even before it became a graphic novel. The Evil Thing graphic novel adds a new dimension to Cruella’s story Although the graphic novel is based on the same story told in the traditional novel, Arielle Jovellanos brings Valentino’s darkly captivating world to life with beautiful and haunting illustrations. Janet Sung adds appropriate depth to the chilling tale with a minimalist color palette. There is less written scene-setting in the graphic novel (I happen to love Valentino’s rich and inviting descriptions), however the images themselves add a new dimension to the story. Jovellanos beautifully translates Valentino’s characters with simple yet sophisticated illustrations. The style is reminiscent of graphic novels and comic books that I grew up with, adding an enticing nostalgia element to the story experience while still appealing to a modern audience. Valentino preserves the first-person writing style in the graphic novel which maintains its appeal as possessing a deeply character-driven approach to the tale. It profoundly thrusts the reader into Cruella’s childhood and early experiences. Coupled with the illustrations, Valentino returns to her graphic novel roots while Jovellanos dances onto the Villains series stage. It is sure to leave fans begging for more graphic novel adaptations of our favorite Disney Villains. The graphics also communicate story themes visually and powerfully. Valentino juxtaposes superficial happiness – wealth and status – with meaningful relationships. Cruella’s denial and distorted measure of ‘love’ is cause for appropriate angst throughout the story and we not only read about it but see it materialize with Jovellanos’ crisp, sharp and moving illustrations. The character exploration conducted in Evil Thing is unlike any Villains novel before it and now we can experience it in a whole new aesthetically engaging way. The Evil Thing graphic novel is a must-have for fans and provides a welcome introduction to the series for those who may be more inclined to pick up a graphic novel than a traditional novel. It is set to be released on September 28th, darlings.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Avary

    I quite enjoyed this graphic novel. It tells the origin story of Cruella De Vil, but not like the movie at all. It fits in more with the original animated movie. The best way to describe it is a prequel to the 101 Dalmation movie with some overlap. It describes how Cruella became crazy and why she came up with the idea to steal the puppies. The only content to cause concern is how she wants to murder puppies for their fur. Also, there is death and Cruella becoming mentally ill. That being said, I quite enjoyed this graphic novel. It tells the origin story of Cruella De Vil, but not like the movie at all. It fits in more with the original animated movie. The best way to describe it is a prequel to the 101 Dalmation movie with some overlap. It describes how Cruella became crazy and why she came up with the idea to steal the puppies. The only content to cause concern is how she wants to murder puppies for their fur. Also, there is death and Cruella becoming mentally ill. That being said, I would recommend it.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Whitley Ebner

    Serena Valentino has once again crafted an amazing novel, telling the story of Cruella De Vil. The graphics were detailed, vibrant, and beautiful to look at. I hope they make all of the Villian series into graphic novels!

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle

    Cruella DeVil's story in graphic novel form. Many sad and strange things for one person to go through and the results are Cruella DeVil. She was loved by some but the circumstances weren't right for it to have a more lasting affect on her outcome. Cruella DeVil's story in graphic novel form. Many sad and strange things for one person to go through and the results are Cruella DeVil. She was loved by some but the circumstances weren't right for it to have a more lasting affect on her outcome.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Dan Blackley

    An interesting tale of Cruella's side of the story. Faced with a terrible mother, Cruella tells her side of things and how she is the way she is. An interesting tale of Cruella's side of the story. Faced with a terrible mother, Cruella tells her side of things and how she is the way she is.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Josh Sanders (found_my_wondla)

    Thank you Disney Publishing for an advanced copy of this graphic novel. I am so thankful for an opportunity to review this advanced copy as I am a huge fan of Cruella De Vil and of course Serena’s stories! I have previously read Evil Thing by Serena so I knew the story going into this novel. However the illustrations are perfect. Everything I imagined reading the book was illustrated exactly how I imagined it. The story flowed very nicely in this format and it was a joy to read it! I am so thank Thank you Disney Publishing for an advanced copy of this graphic novel. I am so thankful for an opportunity to review this advanced copy as I am a huge fan of Cruella De Vil and of course Serena’s stories! I have previously read Evil Thing by Serena so I knew the story going into this novel. However the illustrations are perfect. Everything I imagined reading the book was illustrated exactly how I imagined it. The story flowed very nicely in this format and it was a joy to read it! I am so thankful I got an opportunity to read this I’m advance and am so excited for everyone to get their hands on this book! Very much looking forward to Serena’s next villain novel.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lucy I.

    I think this book excellently sums up how Cruella spiraled down into madness and villainy. Her personality is written perfectly, and from the beginning, you see her loyalty to her mother and love of all things expensive. I think that Jack(the love interest)'s presence in the book is too short. He's in for a page or two, then poof, he's gone. It would have been nice to see a bit more of his and Cruellas' relationship. Cruellas' perception of her mother is very......interesting. Their relationship I think this book excellently sums up how Cruella spiraled down into madness and villainy. Her personality is written perfectly, and from the beginning, you see her loyalty to her mother and love of all things expensive. I think that Jack(the love interest)'s presence in the book is too short. He's in for a page or two, then poof, he's gone. It would have been nice to see a bit more of his and Cruellas' relationship. Cruellas' perception of her mother is very......interesting. Their relationship is centered around money and presents, which played out over Cruellas' life and was very enjoyable to read. All in all, a beautiful book.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Melissa ~ Missy (FrayedBooks)

    This is more intense than I expected - in a good way! Even when we all know how Cruella's story is going to end, I always have such high hopes at the beginning of such origin stories. She's just a young girl who is lonely and trying to make her mama proud of her. Maybe she'll make different choices and the outcome will be different! But alas, it never is. This is such a heartbreaking story, but such a well told origin story of Cruella. This one was longer than expected and took me longer to read, This is more intense than I expected - in a good way! Even when we all know how Cruella's story is going to end, I always have such high hopes at the beginning of such origin stories. She's just a young girl who is lonely and trying to make her mama proud of her. Maybe she'll make different choices and the outcome will be different! But alas, it never is. This is such a heartbreaking story, but such a well told origin story of Cruella. This one was longer than expected and took me longer to read, but that just shows how in-depth this is. I really enjoyed this one and the artwork is fantastic! Loved the art and the coloring.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    This was a really cool story, and I always love hearing about the villains' backgrounds, their side of the story, and how they came to be. It actually will make you feel sorry for Cruella, as she has been dealt a very hard, tough life. It's true what they say about grief- it can change you. This was a really cool story, and I always love hearing about the villains' backgrounds, their side of the story, and how they came to be. It actually will make you feel sorry for Cruella, as she has been dealt a very hard, tough life. It's true what they say about grief- it can change you.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    I so wanted to love this graphic novel origin story of Cruella, she is one of my favorite classic Disney villains. Sadly this was almost a DNF for me. It just dragged on and on so slowly and while at times had some interesting bits, most of the time it felt dull. It being a relatively short volume is the only reason I pushed myself to finish.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Carol Williams

    Got this ARC from work, really enjoyed it and looking forward to more!

  29. 4 out of 5

    Yezi

    Loved the graphic novel!!

  30. 4 out of 5

    Christopher

    Serena Valentino has thus far written and published eight novels in her Disney Villains series of novels - Fairest of All (which gives us the backstory of the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), The Beast Within (giving us more of an understanding of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast), Poor Unfortunate Soul (which, as most people could probably guess from the title, is about Ursula from The Little Mermaid,), Mistress of All Evil (centered, of course, on Maleficent from Sleeping B Serena Valentino has thus far written and published eight novels in her Disney Villains series of novels - Fairest of All (which gives us the backstory of the Evil Queen from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), The Beast Within (giving us more of an understanding of the Beast from Beauty and the Beast), Poor Unfortunate Soul (which, as most people could probably guess from the title, is about Ursula from The Little Mermaid,), Mistress of All Evil (centered, of course, on Maleficent from Sleeping Beauty), Mother Knows Best (which delves into the story of Mother Gothel from Tangled), The Odd Sisters (focused primarily on Serena's original Odd Sisters characters), Evil Thing (which features Cruella De Vil - of One Hundred and One Dalmatians - narrating her own story), and Cold Hearted (which helps us better understand Lady Tremaine from Cinderella). A ninth novel is also soon on the way; centered on Captain Hook from Peter Pan, it is titled Never Never and is due to be released in the summer of 2022. Evil Thing: The Graphic Novel is a graphic novel adaptation of the seventh book of the series, and given that I loved reading the novel (with it being my second favorite, second only to Fairest of All), I totally expected to enjoy the graphic novel version, and I most certainly did. Arielle Jovellanos does such a great job of bringing the story to life, animating it in more ways than one, and I also love Janet Sung's muted coloring, which tints nearly everything in blacks and reds. (I love the style, but I will say that its only downside is that it makes Cruella's jade earrings and ring, which are supposed to be green, look black.) I also love Arielle's art because there is a panel in which she makes the resemblance between Jack and Lord De Vil all too obvious, thereby rendering Cruella's Electra complex also all too obvious. Seeing this story brought to life in graphic novel format was so rewarding for me, and given that the world that Serena has built over the duration of this series thus far has gotten to be very large and at times difficult to keep track of, I am really hoping for more graphic novel adaptations of some of the novels in the series, as it would make re-reading a lot more fun since it would be a different medium. (Given that the blurb on the back of the book identifies this as the first graphic novel adaptation of Serena's Villains series, I think that more coming out in the future is probably a safe bet to make.)

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