Marvel’s Zombies Christmas Carol (graphic novel)
Charles 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 Carol. The 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.