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Marvel’s Zombies Christmas Carol (graphic novel)

December 30, 2013

zombiesCharles Dickens’s horror story, “A Christmas Carol,” has seen countless adaptations in movies, stage, television, and radio.  But inevitably, those adaptations focus on the heartwarming aspects of the Dickens tale, rather than the sheer fright of his masterful ghost story.

I recently came across Marvel’s graphic novel Zombies Christmas CarolThe hardcover edition was being remaindered at Half Price Books – if I recall correctly, I paid under $5 for it, suggesting that the publication was not particularly successful.  And if so, it was a pity, because this creative adaptation manages to bring horrific aspects of Dickens to the forefront through our age’s proxy for ghosts:  the zombie motif.  (Remember the opening paragraph of “A Christmas Carol”?  Here, that is turned on its head as Ebenezer Scrooge is visited by the undead Jacob Marley)

While the idea of adapting 19th century stories to include zombies has become rather clichéd ever since the mechanical Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, this graphic novel rises above the usual dross through the terrific (albeit gory) artwork by David Baldeon and Jeremy Treece, and the story is genuinely scary.  (From Daniel Kraus’s review at Booklist:  “The glossy, spectacle-laden art is uniformly fine and plenty disgusting. If you’ve ever wanted to see Tiny Tim devour his own father, you’re in luck.”) 

The book is clearly commercial art, and not particularly innovative, but if you want an easy read that is free of the typical maudlin presentations of the December season, this nasty little graphic novel may be a palate cleanser.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. December 30, 2013 8:37 am

    Author McCann’s amazon.com bio (http://www.amazon.com/Jim-McCann/e/B0034Q22O4) gives only just a bit more on this work than does his own blog (which mentions nothing about it it seems http://www.jimmccannonline.com).

    Marvel comics sells the book in digital format for a mere $1.99. And it would seem they’ve worked with author and artist to sell a 5-work e-book series:

    http://comicstore.marvel.com/Marvel-Zombies-Christmas-Carol/comics-series/5877

  2. December 30, 2013 8:47 am

    David Baldeon says in his blog:

    It is, without question, the US work I’m most proud of so far. Jim McCann’s OUTSTANDING writing (this last issue is simply beautiful) was a pleasure to illustrate, and the work of Jordi Tarragona and Ferran Daniel at, respectively, inks and color has been equally magnificent. Me, I just hope I’ve been able to follow suit as decently as possible and feel awfully sorry that I don’t get to draw Scrooge in page action again. In all honesty, go pick the book or the collected edition soon to be released. One of the best adaptations to comic book form and, may I say, the best and most faithful to the original version of A Christmas Carol ever. Even with the zombies.

    And then he says, to boot,

    Es, sin lugar a dudas, el proyecto del que más orgullo so me siento por haber participado. Ilustrar los EXCELENTES guiones de Jim McCann ha sido un placer (este último numero es una belleza), y el trabajo de Jordi Tarragona y Ferrán Daniel en las tintas y los colores respectivamente han sido simplemente magníficos. Yo me doy con un canto en los dientes si les he podido seguir el ritmo mas o menos decentemente. En serio, no duden ustedes en hacerse con el cómic o con la recopilación que aparecerá en breve. Una de las mejores adaptaciones literarias a formato cómic y, ya me perdonaran ustedes, la mejor y más fiel versión del clásico de Dickens hasta la fecha.

    I wonder why he qualifies in English that is is only “the US work I’m most proud of” but in Spanish he clearly proclaims “es [...] el proyecto del que más orgullo so me siento por haber participado.”

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