One of my stranger Christmas finds was during a visit to the Howard County Library in search of cartoons drawn by Al Hirschfeld. I was in the graphic novel section and came across Christmas Classics Volume 19. in addition to the standard Dickens’ Christmas Carol and The Night Before Christmas, this collection had illustrated classic Christmas tales by Willa Cather, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Arthur Conan Doyle.
After I read the book, I came to a number of conclusions. First, I had never heard of these short stories. Since each is written by a famous author, I’m interested to read the full text of the stories. Some of the plot seemed nonsensical in cartoon. Is this because the story itself is lacking or because of the way it is told through art?
Second, I admit I do not know enough about graphic novels. I did not enjoy some of the illustrations because of their different styles. I often skip over the cartoons in the newspaper based on their illustration style, and for me, weird is not necessarily better. I read a review on Amazonand all it did was confirm that I am not the best audience for graphic novels.
Despite my “bah humbug” attitude, the book was an unexpected gem–something worth purchasing and gifting to a young reader who maybe ranks the horror of Halloween above the sugar-coated tales of Christmas. The macabre is refreshing!