Klaus and the Witch of Winter
A review by Hafsa Alkhudairi
Last Christmas’ successful thematic comic is back with Klaus and the Witch of Winter. This one-shot has the same ideas of presenting an oppressive force that is trying to fight Klaus. However, the world has changed, since this takes place in the modern world. Christmas is not on the line and Klaus himself is no longer needed to bring joy to the world. He is needed to make sure the joy is continued and not destroyed by the Witch of Winter’s plans that include her minions.
There were many themes in this comic that made me think. The idea that Santa Claus is not a fictional being that sneaks into someone’s house to leave toys. He is every version of a person who makes and provides toys to the children, even the parents are considered extensions of the great man in Klaus and the Witch of Winter. It shows the most important factor of Klaus is bringing joy to the children through the toys rather, than reinforce an idea of consumerism.
Another theme that I found intriguing was the use of climate change as the motivation that produced the Witch of Winter. In the beginning, Klaus kept on commenting on how warm the winter is. Then he was not vicious towards the witch herself because he understood her. Although he still had to deal with a villain whose appearance was produced due to warmth, the story is warning that nature will not last and there will be hurtles that we will have to deal with in the future.
The last theme that impressed me was faith and the fact his power stems from it. It also exists in regards to his friendships. His appearance produced hope in many of the characters present and instigated their resistance to the production of evil. Hence, Christmas and the end of the year is a time of faith that the year following could become better than the one past and we need to keep faith in the power of goodness.
During all this analysis and reading of the genius of Morrison’s storytelling, I was mesmerized by the sheer beauty of Mora’s art. From the panelling to the sceneries, it was mesmerizing. For example, the opening scene functions more than a setting for the story, but a reflection of the lost snow, the beauty of the aesthetics of the season, the innocence of childhood, and the fear of a father. With the positioning of the panels, there is a flow both in the narrative and in the experience of the page. It is not stagnant but progressive, yet it is a moment frozen in time and a reflection of the many emotions the father is feeling. Funnily enough my favourite piece in the comic was the sleigh, the colourfulness, and the detailed nature of it is the basic representation of who Klaus is: joyful, faithful, beautiful, and inspirational. The art also ended up taking another fairytale-esque design with the representation of the evil characters as ugly and distorted. This helps emphasize the goodness of the more proportionate characters without consistently making them overtly beautiful.
Buy It! Klaus and the Witch of Winter is a great narrative made amazing with the art presenting an interaction of thematic ideas. The story presented in this contemporary environment gives a new view into who Klaus is and how he developed throughout the years we missed. To top it off, there are many lessons to be had and experienced. This includes the brilliance of taking advantage of comic elements to tell the best story you can develop without condensing a huge amount of visual or verbal elements. The art goes beyond that and presents a subliminal imagery that will mesmerize the reader.
Moreover, if you have NOT read the original Klaus mini-series, you have to because it is the brilliance presented here, but longer.