I have been aware of Ted Naifeh's artwork for quite some time but had not given any of his titles a try until last year when I came across a copy of the first collection of Princess Ugg at my local library. After reading this one volume I was hooked on Naifeh's storytelling. It didn't take long before I had read through Princess Ugg Volume two, all of the volumes of Courtney Crumrin and both volumes of Death Jr. Naifeh did both the writing and artwork on Courtney Crumrin and Princess Ugg. Death Jr was a collaboration with Gary Whitta and various artists contributing covers.
You may be wondering why I have focused so much attention on Ted Naifeh when the recommended read of the week is Gloom Cookie. The answer to that is actually fairly simplistic. Ted Naifeh was the whole reason that I wanted to check this series out in the first place. That being said it was a bit of a let down when he left the series with issue #6. After issue #6 the art in this series stays consistently good but it is missing something by no longer included Naifeh's storytelling ability. The story remains tight though as each issue is written by Serena Valentino.
While reading the first issue it appeared that this comic was simply about relationships and goth culture but that is just its surface. Gloom Cookie is about relationships and goth culture but it is also about ancient curses, gargoyles, monsters and a traveling circus that serves as the central connection to all of these elements.
If any of this sounds entertaining I highly recommend giving Gloom Cookie a try. It can be found in your local 50 cent and dollar bins with a bit of digging or it is available in 5 graphic novels. They are, unfortunately, out of print but can pretty easily be found online. I will be tracking them down this year as I am eagerly anticipating the conclusion of this storyline.