A Christmas Carol - The Graphic Novel
Adaptation: Sean Michael Wilson,
Pencils: Mike Collins, Inks: David Roach.
Published by Classical Comics, 2008.
My best selling book so far, having sold around 20,000 copies and still going strong, plus foreign editions. It was selected as one of the 'Top ten graphic novels of 2008' by The Sunday Times, and very well received by teachers and readers, as the reviews below show.
'I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.' This classic Christmas tale is probably Dickens’s most popular story. First published in 1843, the story has never been out of print since, and has become synonymous with Christmas itself. Like all of our titles, this production remains true to the original novel, featuring breathtaking artwork that will engage any reader. Coupled with a potted history of the author and how the Victorians came to celebrate Christmas.
Our version highlights the social realism of the book, mixed with the very engaging characters that relay the moral in the story. The artist on A Christmas Carol is Mike Collins, who has been a professional artist for more than 25 years. He has worked on many well known books, such as Batman, Judge Dredd, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Harry Potter. He was kind enough to say these nice things about me in an interview:
"The script for A Christmas Carol is by Sean Michael Wilson who is better known for manga strips. A Scot living in Japan writing an English classic. It doesn't get any better than that! For me, I found the way Sean had paced the story was a revelation. I'm used - particularly on Doctor Who - to compressing storytelling but here Sean allowed sequences to spread over many panels or even pages. It was liberating to stretch my artistic muscles on this." Nice!
"The adaptation is borderline excellent --- one of the finest novel adaptations into comic form I've ever read. Not nearly as good as the (as yet) untouchable City of Glass, but far above every other example I can think of at the moment."
"This graphic novel version of A Christmas Carol brings amazing energy to the story with outstanding illustrations, set against Dickens' full text. Marley's ghost is a translucent blue that seems to vibrate off the page, while the ghost of Christmas past glows like the sun. Readers will feel completely immersed in Scrooge's journey from bitter tightwad to joyful celebrant. Back matter includes a comprehensive overview on Dickens and the Victorian era, as well as an artist's note and teacher resources." - School library journal.com
"I purchased this book to use with my fifth grade class while we read "A Christmas Carol". The stave summaries, questions and illustrations really helped my students with understanding the text. I would highly recommend this book." - S.Silva, US teacher.
"Who says British comics are dead? They're alive and well and in a new format as this excellent adaptation of Dickens' most famous work proves. Superb artwork from Mike Collins on this his 25th year as a professional comic artist. Great value for money. Would make an excellent Christmas present or a gift at any time of the year." - Lew Stringer.
"This graphic novel is beautiful I recommend to all not just for Christmas, the artwork is amazing and the colours are brill, a great way to learn one of Charles Dickens's amazing stories in a visual medium. " - B. Sayer, Amazon UK.
"As far as I can tell, Classical Comics' A Christmas Carol leaves nothing out. The artwork aptly brings Dickens words to life--especially the Ghosts. The backgrounds and framing give the story a dark wintry feel, which then brightens after Scrooge's epiphany, which mirrors how I've always felt when reading the text. It was a very enjoyable presentation of the novel... At the end of Dicken's work this graphic novel edition includes background articles on Victorian life and Christmas, a short biography of Charles Dickens, and a family tree and time line for Dickens as well. A Christmas Carol is also available in a 'Quick Text' edition, which uses modern English with less complicated grammar, and a Teacher's Guide is available for those who want to use this book in the classroom. I highly recommend Classical Comics' A Christmas Carol "Original Text" to anyone who wants an easy way to introduce their reluctant readers to Dickens, to middle school teachers, and to Dickens lovers everywhere. " - C.J Reno, Amazon review
"The work that went into this graphic novel is very impressive. The time and exquisite detail in preserving the feeling, tone and even nuances of illustrating the spirits in the scenes - bravo. I had purchased a few cheap illustrated versions of A Christmas Carol for Kindle and was let down. This version had me glued to every page to enjoy again this Dicken's classic in a graphic novel format. " - M. Toro, Amazon review
As well as being in the 'Top ten books of 2008' of THE SUNDAY TIMES newspaper, the book also won an award in 2012. It got a gold medal in the category of books for 'Adolescent and Adult: Intermediate' from the 'Language Learner Literature Awards' of the: "The Extensive Reading Foundation (ERF), an unaffiliated, not-for profit organization that supports and promotes extensive reading in language education."
Below is a pdf sample of the book, and some other bits and bobs in the slideshow underneath. It's nice to be nice!