Review: A Fine and Private Place #1

Peter S. Beagle (The Last Unicorn) gets a comic adaption of his beloved novel.  While the elements of the story may seem cliché in light of such examples like the movies Ghost and The Frighteners, keep in mind that the novel was first published in 1960. Jonathan Rebeck lives in a cemetery.  His caretaker, a raven, brings him cold cuts and takes his laundry away for cleaning.  Not only can Rebeck speak to the raven, he can also talk with the dead. Michael Morgan, a recently deceased, befriends Rebeck.  After a brief flashback to understand Morgan’s situation, the story shifts to Rebeck tutoring the ghost on being dead.

A woman walking by to visit her husband’s grave interrupts the bonding time between the two.  Rebeck can’t have his choice of living space discovered, so he deflects her interest.  Nevertheless, Rebeck pursues her much to Morgan’s chagrin. Rebeck leaves the widow at the gate to return to his cemetery home.

AFineandPrivatePlace_01Beagle’s work shined through in all the intricacies of the story.  The only real reason to make a comic adaptation would be to add something visually to the story.  Unfortunately, that doesn’t happen.

Francisco’s art is wonderful and pleasing in relation to the tone of the story.  Yet the artist doesn’t take any risks or make and bold interpretations of the characters that impress.

One could purchase the novel for around $10 on  That is the equivalent of buying the abridged comic book adaptation’s first two and a half issues.  You will enjoy the book more.  If you know the book well, then this will be a pleasant addition to your Beagle collection. But do yourself a favor and buy the novel.

Score: 3/5

Original Story: Peter S. Beagle Adapted by: Peter Gillis Art: Eduardo Francisco Publisher: IDW Publishing Price: $3.99 Release Date: 9/26/12