Comic Book Review – Krampus! (2014)


Writer – Brian Joines

Artist – Dean Kotz

Are you just as shocked as I am that Christmas is almost two weeks away? Where did the year go?

If you are looking for a comic series to help get into the holiday spirit, I recommend Krampus! by Brian Joines and Dean Kotz.

The bones of St. Nicholas have been stolen and the fate of Christmas is in jeopardy as the magic that helps fuel the Secret Society of Santas, elves, and reindeer starts to slowly dwindle with each passing minute. The Santas decide to use their secret shame – Krampus – to help solve the mystery of who took the bones and help restore the magic of the season.

This five-issue miniseries is funny, irreverent, and a good palate cleanser after reading so many graphic novels with serious tones and themes over the past year. I remember the first issue coming out around Christmastime back in 2014 because I gave it to my friends as gifts that year. I never finished reading it but I nominated it for the TO Comic Book Club and it was chosen unanimously for December’s slate of discussions.

I liked how Joines incorporated the Santas of different cultures and countries that make up the Society. There are a few I knew about and ones I got to learn about during the course of the series. My favorite is the representative from Mexico, decked out in a luchador mask.

I also liked the characterization of Krampus and how he is forced to help the Society, even though they have treated him badly for 50 years. Father Christmas, the head of the Society, locked him up and kept him prisoner at the North Pole because they didn’t need his services in punishing boys and girls for being naughty any longer. Can the Santas trust Krampus to get the mission completed or will Krampus find a way to screw over the Society and make a new life for himself now he is a free creature?

Much like DC Comics Fables, the world of Krampus is populated by creatures and individuals associated with Christmas and other holidays throughout the year. My favorite scene is when one of the Sugar Plum Fairies goes to a bar in search for help to stop Krampus from finding the bones of St. Nicholas. There are a bunch of familiar faces that populate the watering hole and it’s hilarious to see them all there.

Krampus gets three candy canes out of five. I liked the mystery that surrounds the story. As Krampus searches for clues on the whereabouts of St Nicholas’ bones, he discovers that there is a traitor in the Secret Society of Santas. As he works to find the culprit, there is also the mystery of who has been pulling the strings all along in the plot to destroy Christmas. You’ll be surprised and shocked when you discover their identity.

If the holiday season has you stressed or depressed, pick up Krampus to help brighten your spirits. I borrowed the graphic novel from Hoopla. Check your local library to see if they have it in stock. If not, the series is available on ComiXology.