I discovered this book a couple months ago when I was reading another blogger’s review of it and immediately I had to put it on my TBR. Although I rarely enjoy comics in general, I happen to love modern, darker twists on classics, whether it is the gruesome Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or the humorous Ella Enchanted (based on Cinderella).
Forewarning, I will be addressing a lot of twists within this book, so if you haven’t read it, Spoiler Warning!
This fully-colored graphic novel follows most of the happenings of the original Christmas classic, but unlike twisted retellings like Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, the zombies in this book play an imperative role in aiding Scrooge to become a better person. In PPZ, the zombies were more like a background to the nearly unchanged story of Pride and Prejudice. This fact aids this story as much as it harms it.
The first thing I cannot criticize is the art itself. It is absolutely beautifully drawn and a pleasure to read. The artist did an amazing job at using shadows to make characters seem more intimidating at times. For example, when we first meet Scrooge his face his highly shadowed, but as he becomes a better person, the shadows on his face are less apparent. It certainly isn’t a book for the faint hearted, as it certainly employs graphic imagery in the zombie attacks.
The three ghosts, in my opinion, or interestingly reimagined. All of them mostly stay true to their book counterparts (save for perhaps the Ghost of Christmas Past, who turns out in a twist to be the zombie of Scrooge’s ex Belle). Christmas Present is as he is described in the original, as is Christmas Yet to Come.
However, there were some issues with the plot with had me scratching my head and really having difficultly enjoying the story, especially having to do with the ending.
First, the ghosts were never connected to Scrooge personally in the original because they were generic ghosts, so it makes no sense that Christmas Past is Belle. Also, why was she in a wedding dress (at least, it looks like a wedding dress and she even has a veil)?
Second, from the beginning we see that Scrooge caused the zombie apocalypse, being first bitten by his sick horse and then breaking the skin of several other people who soon turn into zombies (his old partner, Belle, etc.).
The most confusing part was how the people were inflicted by this disease. Scrooge got bitten by his sick horse, and then he broke the infected several people, turning them into zombies and causing them to attack others thus spreading the disease. So did the infection come from the horse (if so, how did Scrooge not turn into a zombie), or did Scrooge’s hatred infect the horse and everyone else?
And, in the end, all it took to save the world from zombies was to…give zombies food and gold to get rid of their hunger? I mean, seriously? First, that makes no sense as it’s proved throughout the book that zombies have insatiable hunger. You can’t quench it.
The last absurd twist was that Scrooge did not keep Christmas well…he just died. Died on Christmas day after partying too hard.
While the art of this book is great, the plot left a lot to be desired. I just wasn’t buying the science (or lack thereof) of how the zombie infection worked. Plus, the ending was just plan disappointing.
I’m curious: what do you guys think of all these darker retellings of old classics, bringing horror into the mix? Also, if you’ve read this book, what are your thoughts about it? Let me know down in the comments, follow my blog for more madness, and, as always,
Best wishes in your life full of adventure,