Skip to main content

Neil Gaiman’s “Coraline” is a dark fantasy children’s novella centered around a young girl who discovers a secret passageway to another world while exploring her new apartment. Ignored by her busy parents, Coraline craves the attention she receives from her Other Mother, who showers her with gifts and treats. The Other Mother entices her to stay forever on one condition; she must sew buttons over Coraline’s eyes. Unwilling to accept the terms, Coraline fights to get back to her world, only to learn the Other Mother won’t give her up that easily.

Upon release in 2002, “Coraline'' was a hit with readers and critics everywhere, even winning the Hugo Award for Best Novella in 2003 and the Bram Stoker Award for Best Work for Young Readers in 2002—two of the highest honors in fantasy writing.

However, “Coraline” almost never saw the light of day due to Gaiman’s literary agent fearing the book would be too scary to be published. Knowing children would enjoy the story, Gaiman suggested she read the book to her daughters and get their opinions. After receiving glowing praise from the girls and assuring they were not terrified, the book was given the green light a week later. It was only a decade later when Gaiman met up with one of the daughters at an event that the girl revealed she lied to her mom about being scared, her desire to find out what would happen to Coraline next outweighing her fear. This just goes to show that sometimes lying can work in your favor.

In 2009, the book was brought to life with the release of the Academy Award-nominated stop-motion film directed by Henry Selick. Stop-motion is a notoriously laborious process with a week of filming only producing 1:30 of footage. The sets were all hand-built and one crew member's job was making the miniature knits the characters wear throughout the film with needles the size of a strand of human hair. In total, it took four years to bring “Coraline” to the big screen.

Fans of the book and its film adaption show their love for this timeless classic often by dressing up as their favorite characters for Halloween and conventions. Some fans go even further and get their favorite characters, symbols and moments tattooed to admire forever. Here are some of the best “Coraline” tattoos we could find to show our love for this spooky and enchanting work of art the whole family can enjoy.