Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Harlequin Valentine” as Want to Read:
Harlequin Valentine
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Harlequin Valentine

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  2,201 ratings  ·  71 reviews
In this modern retelling of a classic commedia dell' arte legend of tomfoolery and hopeless, fawning love, creators Neil Gaiman (Sandman) and John Bolton (Manbat: Batman) update the relation of Harlequin and Columbine. A buffoon burdened with a brimming heart, Harlequin chases his sensible, oblivious Columbine around the streets of a city, having given his heart freely. Co ...more
40 pages
Published (first published November 1st 2001)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Harlequin Valentine, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Harlequin Valentine

Watchmen by Alan MooreV for Vendetta by Alan MooreAll-Star Superman by Grant MorrisonThe Sandman, Vol. 1 by Neil GaimanThe Sandman, Vol. 3 by Neil Gaiman
Who's Afraid of Comic Books
14th out of 71 books — 28 voters
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra ClareSilence by Becca FitzpatrickClockwork Prince by Cassandra ClareBloodlines by Richelle MeadPassion by Lauren Kate
Books I Must Read In 2011
294th out of 345 books — 457 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Airiz C
Jun 25, 2011 Airiz C rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: readers who like weird romances, readers familiar with Comedia dell'arte/Brit Pantomime
Would you give your heart to someone for Valentines’ Day—literally? Neil Gaiman’s buffoonish Harlequin certainly will. In this romantically twisted re-imagining of Comedia dell’Arte and the British Pantomime, Gaiman once again proved that he is a wizard of storytelling. Couple that with John Bolton’s adroit hands with a palette of colors and what you get is a little literary treasure that will leave a lingering feeling in you after you turn the last page.

Harlequin Valentine follows the story of
L. Alexandra
This comic came at an ironic time for me, that is to say, two stories before I would've read its original story in Fragile Things. At the tail-end of my Neil Gaiman binge, I was alternating between some of his comics, and the short stories in the aforementioned collection. I was unaware that Gaiman had transformed more than a few of his short stories into graphic novels. It was interesting reading the graphic novel first. Insofar as I can tell, there are no changes between the short story and th ...more
Valentine is a time for lovers, yet set in the one of the coldest months of the year in many climes. How is happiness and romance supposed to bloom in a time when no one is in the mood to take off their clothes? A certain Harlequin has no concern for that, only his oblivious Columbine, whose feelings of love may not be the same as his… Gaiman gives us a tale of surprises, changes and trickery where nothing is as it seems and love itself can be taken off balance. In muted, colored backgrounds, sh ...more
Harlequin Valentine is a bloody and romantic short story later rewritten into a graphic novel by Neil Gaiman & illustrated by John Bolton, based on the old Commedia dell'arte and Harlequinade pantomime. The short story has been republished in Gaiman's collection of short stories in "Fragile Things."

The story takes place on February 14 with the Harlequin giving Missy his heart, literally speaking, by nailing it to her door. The story follows the Missy as she tries to discover who gave her thi
Nov 11, 2008 Ceci rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: people interested in art, tradition, history and weird but wonderful stories
Harlequin Valentine is such a delightful cocktail of quirkiness, oddity and romaticism that one cannot help but love it. I have always enjoyed pantomimes and the harlequinades (which I've only seen on film and in classib British tv series) and this is a charming re-telling of the old tale of the Harlequin and Columbine in the best Commedia dell'Arte tradition.

At first, I wasn't sure if I liked Bolton's illustrations, as beautiful and eerie as they are since they looked so much like eighties' fa
Harlequin is searching for and trying to seduce his new Valentine in this graphic novel from Neil Gaiman. Since his seduction starts with him pinning his bleeding heart onto her front door you know you are not in for a regular seduction. The story is a bit gruesome, but entertaining. I enjoyed the history of the Harlequin story that Gaiman included at the back.
I just finished this today. While I've always loved this short story, I found that I didn't like it as much when adapted to a visual format. I think it's mostly because I'm selfish when I've already read certain stories long before and have a specific image of all the characters in my head. I didn't picture Missy the way the artist of this graphic novel did, nor Harlequin for that matter. The atmosphere overall fit the tone of the story, but again, I think I preferred it when there weren't pictu ...more
Aaron Chandler
Thou i haven't read this story on this comic book, i have read it in one of his other works. This interesting and a weird and truly interesting love story, i had to just sit back and enjoy this. Got me interested in the Harlequin legend, i mean this is truly and great story about love and obsession. I mean this is funny it was in a way what you need to get thou love. This was something golden, i mean i loved it. there is simply nothing else to say. i wanna get the comic cause well i love that st ...more
Paul Eckert
Great short story in which a Harlequin roams the streets in a city, trying to win the affections of a particular woman. In a short space, Gaiman does a great job of introducing the mythical background of the Harlequin and playing it into the story. The ending was a welcome surprise and brought the story full circle.

The illustration complimented the story well, and told its part of the story very effectively. The Harlequin was well-realized, and the soft focus of the drawings gives the story a d
3.5 stars

This very short, 40-page graphic novel tells the story of a harlequin who falls in love with a woman, Missy, on Valentine's Day. To exhibit his affection, he nails his heart to her door with a hat pin. The story progresses from there as the harlequin follows Missy about her day, her carrying his heart along. The plot is drawn from the tropes used in old Commedia dell'arte, with some of the style of English harlequins thrown in.

The art style, comprised of digitally enhanced photos that a
Once again, Neil Gaiman has written a heart-melting modern fairy tale and blended it with a contemporary point of view and a sprinkle of fairy dust.

After literally giving his heart, Harlequin the pantomime chased his heart desire on a Valentine Day. Later on in the city, he found such a charming surprise in town. It's a story of hopeless love. Strange but romantically gorgeous. Just perfect for the ones who found that spending Valentine Day alone as something hard to swallow.

It's poetic and has
Amé esta historia y las ilustraciones tan bellas. Sin duda quedo entre mis favoritos.
Frans Karlsson
A book about how Harlequin gives away his whole heart to Missy (Columbine).
Katrina Des
This was my first ever Gaiman read; based on the Commedia dell'arte and Harlequinade pantomime, Gaiman retells the story of Harlequin and Columbine.
"Ahi, sventura, Arlecchino innamorato è una triste creatura"

Può capitare che si usi l'espressione "io le ho donato il mio cuore, e lei se lo è mangiato". Gaiman ha pensato bene di scriverci un fumetto.
E così, qui troviamo un Arlecchino tristemente innamorato che regala il suo cuore alla donna che ama, glielo inchioda alla porta. Ma lei, indifferente, preferisce mangiarselo.
Un'altra fiaba dark, pensata per la festa degli innamorati.
Se questo non è genio, è una forma di follia tanto vicina alla g
Harlequin sets out to win the heart of his next valentine, but with Harlequin there's always a trick. Also includes a brief history of Harlequin character.
Marco Mérida
Una de las historias de Gaiman más raras que he leido, pero conmovedora finalmente, lo más perturbador es el estilo de los dibujos, en ocasiones me hicieron sentir incómodo pero creo que de eso se trata, transmitirle una sensación al lector y en ese punto no defrauda.

Extremadamente corto pero entretenido y revelador, el arlequín, invisible que busca a su valentín es un personaje triste más allá de su ostentosa imagen y vemos lo que debe lidiar hasta encontrar a la indicada.
Federiken Masters
Mar 05, 2010 Federiken Masters rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Fans del autor y de los delirios
Recommended to Federiken by: Val indirectamente
Este libro lo leí antes de regalárselo a una gran amiga porque como es muy impresionable, no sabía si iba a poder tragarlo sin problemas. Resulta que creí que sí pero al final no. Aun así, su lectura (para mí) fue bastante entretenida y el dibujo, rico y expresivo, adapta bastante bien la prosa de Gaiman, ya que si no me equivoco esta historieta está basada en un cuento. Cuando lea el relato y relea el comic luego, seguro lo rerreseñe un cacho.
I realized after I had steeped it that I had chosen St. Valentine tea (the box is decorated with the portrait not of Saint Valentine but of Czar Nicholas). Power of suggestion! Box a lighter, gentler red than the darkly bleeding hearts of this story: cut from breasts, nailed to doors, shown to strangers, devoured. Not bad things! There's nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so. But these tricks are not for kids...

This short story was published in Gaiman's collection of short stories, Fragile Things. I learned it first through this graphic novel which I started but didn't finish right away because the art and the illustration of the Harlequin sort of freaked me out and the way it dances and stalks Missy is waaaaaaaay too weird and really really creepy for me.
Niya B
For everyone who has ever spent Valentine's Day alone, this delicious little tale will probably result in a smile, and a surprisingly heartwarming feeling - but transformative tales about gifts unasked for and differently appreciated tend to do just that. Save this for that chilly February evening when you're tucked under blankets.
This is classic Gaiman: a story that twists and bends and gives you exactly what you want while still surprising you with the fact that you wanted it. The story was recently released as part of Gaiman's Fragile Things collection, but (biased as I may be from having read this version first) I find that the art really adds to it.
One of the short stories from Gaiman's FRAGILE THINGS, HARLEQUIN VALENTINE is set to illustrations in this graphic novel. The whole story is hauntingly spectacular, the dialogue is bittersweet and the feel of it makes you want to pick it up and read it all over again just to savor the moment. Bravo, Gaiman!
John somers
Nice art and an interesting story. Cool section at the back on the historical development of the various harlequinade/commedia dell'arte characters who later became the english pantomime stock characters. Not even close to Gaiman's best work but definitely worth a look and a must read for any serious fan.
A really, really great story. Lots of detail, pleasant, unique characters, good dialogue and it perfectly told the Harlequin and Columbine story in a modern fantasy setting. Although, that one scene--you know what I'm talking about--I just can't....
Ming Siu
Story is good, as it was in prose. But doesn't really work as a comic. Not much point in putting pretty much the entire story in chunks of tiny text (REALLY tough on the eyes, by the way) on the page and calling it an "adaptation", is there?
Very pretty but empty. As always very impressed with the artwork, the story was just so so. Which is tough since I love this background story etc. But Gaiman is just lying down on the job here. Pretty but uninspired.
Ague Romacho
Supongo que por mi poco, prácticamente nulo, conocimiento sobre la Commedia dell'Arte no he podido disfrutar demasiado la obra. Además de por el pésimo trabajo de John Bolton como dibujante, cabe decir.
Jan 21, 2012 Hobbes rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Hobbes by: Devin Murphy
A very interesting Neil Gaiman telling of the story of the Harlequin-ade. Delightfully devious. The artwork is fantastic, more like a collection of still frames telling a story drawing the actions.
This was a cute, quick read with romance and quirkiness based on the play, Commedia dell'arte. I'm not familiar with the play and maybe would have enjoyed the book more so if I was.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Books of Magic, Volume 4: Transformations
  • Delirium's Party: A Little Endless Storybook
  • The Book of Ballads
  • Fables: 1001 Nights of Snowfall (Fables)
  • Hanging Out with the Dream King
  • Cages
  • Finder, Vol. 04: Talisman
  • Crossing Midnight, Vol. 1: Cut Here
  • The Sandman Companion
  • Destiny: A Chronicle of Deaths Foretold
  • X-Men and Philosophy: Astonishing Insight and Uncanny Argument in the Mutant X-Verse
  • Courtney Crumrin and the Coven of Mystics (Courtney Crumrin, #2)
  • Who Killed Amanda Palmer?: A Collection of Photographic Evidence
American Gods (American Gods, #1) Coraline The Graveyard Book Neverwhere Stardust

Share This Book

“I watch my heart disappearing into her rosebud mouth. My Valentine's jest somehow seems less funny.” 20 likes
“That's the joy of a harlequinade, after all, isn't it? We change our costumes. We change our roles.” 5 likes
More quotes…