Title: Christmas Classics
Based on stories By: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Clement Moore, Arthur Conan Doyle, O. Henry, Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Fitz-James O’Brien
Adapted By: Anton Emdin, Alex Burrows, Micah Farritor, Florence Cestac, Rich Rainey, Hunt Emerson, Tom Pomplun, Cynthia Martin, Evert Geradts, Simon Gane, Rick Geary
Cover: Micah Farritor
Publisher: Eureka Productions
The Graphics Classics series is pretty cool – they take classic works of literature and present them in comic book format, much like the Classics Illustrated series of old. Past volumes have focused on individual authors, like Mark Twain, Edgar Allen Poe or H.P. Lovecraft, or on themes such as Adventure or Science Fiction. This volume, obviously, is a collection of illustrated versions of Christmas tales.
Things kick off with a letter from Mark Twain to his daughter, illustrated nicely by Anton Emdin, before the book moves into the full-length adaptations. Two of the stories in here are certainly to be expected – Alex Burrows and Micah Farritor adapt A Christmas Carol, and Florence Cestac does a marvelously whimsical version of A Visit From St. Nicholas. These are, to be fair, probably the two most famous literary works about Christmas outside of the Bible itself, and the adaptations in this book are wonderfully done.
Rich Rainey and Hunt Emerson are up next, with an adaptation of the Sherlock Holmes Christmas mystery The Blue Carbunkle. Adaptations from one medium to another are always tricky, and especially so with something like a mystery, where nuance in the prose may be lost in the translation. These two do an effective job at telling the story, though, and they have some rather devilish interpretations of the Doyle characters.
The rest of the stories in here are less well known, but really well done. O. Henry’s A Chaparral Christmas Gift is a fantastic tale of Christmas in the old west, with a trademark O. Henry twist at the end. I’m surprised they didn’t go with the more obvious O. Henry choice, Gift of the Magi, but I’m glad. Willa Cather’s The Strategy of the Werewolf Dog is just… strange, while the F. Scott Fitzgerald short A Luckless Santa Claus is a deliciously funny story. The book ends with a solid, creepy adaptation of Fitz-James O’Brien’s The Wondersmith, a story I’ve never heard of, but really enjoyed.
This book really is a great series of stories, with fantastic artwork and solid adaptations. I’ll be looking for more of the Graphics Classics books in the future.