Monday, January 19, 2015

Krampus!


Christmas may be over, but it's never too late to enjoy some KRAMPUS!

 Every once in a while, I'll get a review copy that looks like it's going to be a dud, when it's really a delightful treat for my crabby old eyes. KRAMPUS!, by Brian Joines & Dean Kotz, is such a book.

 For those not in the know, The Krampus is (Cue Wikipedia....): a horned, anthropomorphic figure. According to traditional narratives around the figure, Krampus punishes children during the Christmas season who had misbehaved, in contrast with Saint Nicholas, who rewards well-behaved ones with gifts.

 The story opens with the theft (Via Sugarplum Fairies) of the bones of St. Nicholas. With the bones missing, the powers of The Secret Society of Santa Clauses, a group of Santas from various nations, begin to lose their powers. How can a helpless group of bearded old men hope to reclaim the missing bones and get their powers back...?

Release the Krampus!!!!

 Freed from his North Pole prison and outfitted with a "Naughty Bomb", which will detonate and kill him if he tries anything even slightly naughty, our horned anti-hero sets off astride his flying wolf, Stutgaard, in search of St. Nicholas' remains....

 Krampus! is not a laugh-out-loud book, but it is a consistently amusing one, especially if you read The Krampus' Nightcrawler-esque dialogue with Werner Herzog's voice in mind. Writer Brian Joines has cobbled together a surprisingly deep mythology, and he lays the groundwork for future Krampus adventures, which I, for one, would welcome. Dean Kotz's artwork has a look that reminded me of a scratchy version of DC's BATMAN: THE ANIMATED SERIES comics, and it fits the deviant feel of the book perfectly. (The book has a few curses and a little bit of violence, but overall, it's fairly family-friendly...Give a copy to the kid in your family who loves Christmas but can also appreciate a good Horror film.) I'm really hoping we haven't seen the last of The Krampus, especially after the last page reveal...Don't leave me hanging, guys!!!!

 Image Comics provided a review copy.