Click here to return to the main site.

Graphic Novel Review

Book Cover

A Christmas Carol
Original Text


Author: Charles Dickens
Script adaptation: Sean Michael Wilson
Artists: Mike Collins, David Roach and James Offredi
Classical Comics
RRP: £9.99, US $16.95
ISBN: 978 1 906332 17 4
Available 31 October 2008

Ebenezer Scrooge is a selfish, miserable old miser. The only thing he cares about is making money and keeping it. He despises the poor and the needy; and he hates Christmas as much as he hates laughter and kindness... until one Christmas Eve when he gets a rude awakening to just how shallow and sad his life really is...

The timeless story that is A Christmas Carol was an immediate success for Charles Dickens when it was first published in 1843. Everyone knows, or should know, the basic plot behind A Christmas Carol.

This graphic novel is available in two versions: Original Text and Quick Text editions. The Original Text stays faithful to Dickens's original text, while the Quick Text brings the story up to date by presenting the text in a more simplified style so that the tale is accessible to all.

Unlike other Classical Comics releases, A Christmas Carol can be read in well under an hour. That's not a complaint though. Originally I intended to break up the reading of this graphic novel into two sittings. However, so engaging was the text and illustrations that I couldn't put the thing down.

What was a little worrying was that I identified with Scrooge completely. Revisiting this story's original text for the first time in ages Scrooge doesn't seem half as bad as some interpretations of the story have had us believe. He's simply a business man who is quite a sad, lonely soul. He's learnt over the years that when the chips are down people are nothing but a grave disappointment, and that in order to live a life where he won't be hurt again he shouldn't let anyone get close to him.

In truth, Scrooge comes across as a hard working man who is fed up with those that don't contribute to society thinking it's their right to sponge off it. In reality he's too sensitive a man who has been hurt badly in the past. It's clear to see that he's not a happy man, as he is eager for the spirits to show him the error of his ways and is more than happy to change in order to be a good man, once again.

Not only that, but Christmas as depicted here was a relatively new festival in the time the book is set. So, Scrooge would have grown up not celebrating Christmas and so the introduction of the holiday would have been seen as a frivolous fad - something that would probably not last, and certainly a waste of money. Therefore, Scrooge's choice not to celebrate Christmas is not as bad as people now think.

I've always thought that the ending to the original book was a bit weak - that Scrooge really shouldn't have been such a sap. Sure he could be a little more caring and generous, but the switch is so ridiculously huge as to leave the poor man open to abuse by those who will see his generosity as a free ride. See, I told you I was a miserable old Scrooge at heart didn't I.

Classical Comics certainly hasn't played Scrooge when it comes to the presentation. Yet again we get some of the best quality paper stock available, as well as lush art work.

There are also the usual extras. These include a guide to the main characters; a five page biography of Dickens; a Dickens family tree; Dickens timeline; an explanation of what it was like to live in the UK in the time of Dickens; a look at the reinventing of Christmas in the Victorian era; and the break down of the creation of a page for this release.

This is the perfect gift for a family member, or yourself, this coming Christmas. Go on, treat yourself.


Darren Rea

Buy this item online

We compare prices online so you get the cheapest deal
Click on the logo of the desired store below to purchase this item.

£6.49 (
£7.49 (
£9.99 (
£6.48 (
£6.49 (
$11.53 (

All prices correct at time of going to press.