A Christmas Carol is one of the most well-known Christmas stories with its ghosts, redemption scene, and Christmas spirit. This graphic adaptation of Charles Dickens’ classic tale stays true to that original story.
Ebenezer Scrooge is a crotchety old man whose penny-pinching is legendary to everyone who knows him. The story starts with the death of his business partner, Jacob Marley, seven Christmases earlier and Scrooge’s attendance at his funeral. It then jumps to Scrooge’s present office where he proceeds to treat his clerk, his nephew, and some men collecting for charity with contempt for their Christmas cheer. But, when Scrooge goes home, he meets Marley’s ghost who warns him of the tortuous fate that awaits him if he doesn’t change his ways. Marley also warns of three ghosts who will visit Scrooge to help him change his fate before it’s too late.
The story has been trimmed to fit the 68 page graphic format, but all of the important plot points are there, as well as haunting details like Marley’s face on the door knocker. The combination of narration and dialogue works well and keeps the pace quick. Campfire always seems to include some bonus material, and this one is no exception. There is a short biography of Charles Dickens, as well as a couple pages discussing the scariest houses in England.
My only major critique would be the way faces are drawn. All of the other artwork is evocative and interesting, but there are moments when faces are quite indistinct and others where they are so scratched up with style lines, I could hardly tell who it was supposed to be. However, backgrounds set the tone for the scene with some beautiful depictions of details, such as the aforementioned door knocker.
Overall, I would say this adaptation is done well. It is accessible to readers who want to dabble in the classics without the commitment to a full text version. It also adds a whole new visual element that will draw in reluctant readers. With its on-target depiction of the original story, it even will please fans of the book. So, for all those looking for a bit of holiday magic or Christmas nostalgia, this might be a good fit, and “God bless us, every one.”
A Christmas Carol
by Charles Dickens, Scott McCullar
Art by Naresh Kumar