Movies tend to make the past look better than it was. History tells a different story about London in 1843. For the poor, life was a struggle — some children worked many hours a day, many were hungry, their homes were cold.

Scrooge saw none of that. He was a rich, stingy, mean bully. It isn’t until the ghosts show him the tragedy of his life that he experiences his first human emotion — he’s terrified.

I went to the library and studied the illustrations in every 19th century edition of “Christmas Carol.” Then I took pen to paper and began drawing. At home, I used watercolor, acrylic and oil paints, pens, markers and crayons to give texture and depth to these rough sketches. Some of the illustrations are dark and macabre, some are raw and simple. Then the light of awareness bursts forth, and the horror story ends in joy.

— Paige Peterson