Sunday, December 06, 2020

“Another Idol Has Displaced Me” | Campfire’s A Christmas Carol (2010)

Scott McCullar and Naresh Kumar's version puts the break-up scene outside in a park unlike the other comics that have all had the scene inside in a house. There are only three-and-a-half pages for the scene, so even though it will cut out the vision of Belle's eventual family, the dialogue is still truncated. In fact, Old Scrooge himself does some expository work by announcing when he sees his younger self with Belle on a bench, "The years change people." He knows what's coming and adds, "I would prefer not to look at this."

No such doing though, of course, and the scene proceeds. Belle's bundled up for outdoors in the snow, but nothing she's wearing looks like mourning clothing. And no specific action of Scrooge's is mentioned as the reason for her breaking things off. Like the other adaptations, she just appears to have noticed a change in him and had enough.

Young Scrooge has a strange expression through most of the scene. His eyes look sad to me, but he's smiling. He gives me the impression that he's conflicted between regret and relief. When she walks away in the last panel though, it's sunk in what he let happen and he's fully sad, covering part of his face with a hand. 

Old Scrooge is angry about having to watch this and accuses the Ghost, which in this version saves him from having to see Belle's future family. She does defend herself though and I'm happy that we get another version that suggests the fragments of all the faces the Spirit had shown Scrooge. Like in the Classical Comics version though, they're just floating heads that share the panel with the Ghost of Christmas Past. There are only three in this version and one of them is covered up by the Ghost's word balloon so it's impossible to tell who it is. The other two are Young Scrooge and Belle though. 

Scrooge takes an extraordinarily long time to wrestle the Spirit into the extinguisher cap. He protests for a couple of panels, grabs the cap in the next, then takes three more panels to get it over the Spirit and down to the floor. And sadly, the narration doesn't always fit the visuals, so that it describes a struggle when Scrooge is completely turned away from the Spirt to grab her cap from where she'd apparently set it down.

And while the narration follows Dickens and talks about Scrooge being exhausted and immediately falling into bed, the art has him cap the Spirit downstairs and walk all the way upstairs to his room where he climbs into bed. 

1 comment:

Caffeinated Joe said...

I guess it gets the point across, but feels rushed to me. The harsh visuals might add to that, I suppose.


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