The Buyer's Guide to Geek Parodies of Goodnight Moon
Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon has captivated and led children into slumber for more than half a century. It's a great book, but for the modern geek there are plenty of other options than the standard text to read to your children.
As the Houston Press' resident geomancer, ultrasound tech, and goth expert, the first thing I can heartily recommend is Michael Rex's ghoulish take on the classic, Goodnight Goon. It's honestly a little bit overdone, lacking the simple mantra-like quality that makes Goodnight Moon so effective as a bedtime selection, but the pulp art is fantastic. Perfect for the more macabre-minded among us.
More in keeping with the spirit of the original is Julia Yu's Goodnight Dune, which we've had the pleasure of covering before. Currently it's only available online, but tablet bedtime stories can be just as fun as the hardcopy versions. Yu makes sure to incorporate much of David Lynch's contributions to the Frank Herbert sci fi novel, and it makes the book both unnerving and fun. Make sure you practice the pronunciations before you dive into it.
If you prefer Star Wars over Dune, and when it comes to kids that's probably a safer bet, Goodnight Forest Moon by Noah Dziobecki is an excellent choice. The image of Emperor Palpatine quietly watching over a sleeping storm trooper is almost too adorable for words. It's not Darth Vader and Son cute, but it's pretty damned close. The book is available as a free PDF download only, but you can find a fairly easy way to make your own hard copy thanks to the folks at Dzignspace.
In 1986 Alan Moore and penned what was called the last Superman story with Whatever Happened to the Man of Tomorrow? Neil Gaiman followed suit with the Dark Knight in 2009 with Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader? The book is a brilliant look at the psychology of Batman as he mentally attends his own funeral. The ending contains a version of Goodnight Moon where Bruce Wayne says goodnight to the Batcave, his enemies, and Gotham. If you're raising a young Batman fan, and if you're not then you're doing it wrong, feel free to skip to the end for a lovely bedtime story. The adults just get a great comic book.
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By far the best geekification of Goodnight Moon comes from Leila Miyamoto and James Hance with their Doctor Who-themed Goodnight Pond. It recounts the night a young Amelia Pond waited in vain for the Eleventh Doctor to come take her on an adventure, only for him to miss the mark by 12 years. Later, after Pond is left stranded in the past The Doctor visits her in childhood, sleeping outside on her suitcase waiting for him, and takes her upstairs to tuck her in.
Miyamoto and Hance do an incredible job of name-checking the best of the Eleventh Doctor's adventures while also putting together a wonderful, playful flow that makes this book a three-time-at-least story in my house at 8 p.m. It is, unfortunately, the most expensive of the all the choices, but you cannot put a price on helping your child fall in love with Doctor Who in time for the 50th anniversary.
Finally, here's a little something for the adult gamers out there just for fun. Dorkly used old-school SNES graphics to parody The Legend of Zelda: Majora's Mask as a Goodnight Moon tale. Considering that the Termina Moon is hellbent on obliterating the world it doesn't turn out well. The video ends with cursing and death, so it's not really the kind of thing that makes for a good bedtime. Funny as hell, though.
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