Klaus and the Crying Snowman

Writer: Grant Morrison
Illustrator: Dan Mora
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Cover Artist: Dan Mora
Publisher: Boom! Studios

Review by Stacy Dooks

Happy Holidays everyone! It’s the season for giving and of anticipating the arrival of that magical fellow in the sleigh who, broadsword in hand and dire wolf companion at his side, not only finds the time to deliver toys to the children of the world but also defends it from horrors beyond space and time. I refer of course to Klaus, the  inspiration behind the popular figure of Santa Claus as revealed to us by Grant Morrison and Dan Mora in the pages of the excellent Klaus and its sequels (Klaus And the Witch of Winter and Klaus and the Crisis in Xmasville). Morrison and Mora return to their take on Santa as superhero in Klaus and the Crying Snowman. Is it a festive treat fit for the stocking or a lump of coal?

Sam is having one surreal Christmas, what with suddenly finding himself transformed into a snowman and all. That and meeting up with Santa, who turned out not to resemble the guy from the Coca-Cola ads so much as Chris Hemsworth’s Thor. Santa himself is on the trail of what appears to be an alien invasion from a comet that passes Earth every 15 centuries or so, and the last time it swung by it led to Ragnarok and the fall of the Norse gods. Can Santa stop the invasion in time? Will Sam remember just how he became a snowman in the first place? And are the aliens truly marauding horrors, or is there more to it than meets the eye?

What’s weird about Klaus and the Crying Snowman (the broadsword, the sleigh pulled by eight powerful direwolves, Santa as a seasonal Superman — those are entirely normal) is just how easily Klaus has become a holiday tradition for me. For a science fiction or fantasy fan, Klaus is the natural choice for a take on Santa. The reason he can get all those presents around the world? He’s a superhero. What does he do when he’s not delivering toys to children? Fighting evil and making sure the world is safe. It’s one of those ideas that just seems so obvious you’re astounded no one ever did it before. Morrison’s writing is a delight: if you enjoyed his take on Clark Kent in All-Star Superman, then Klaus is right up your alley. Dan Mora’s art is sublime: a mix of fantasy, fable, and frenetic superhero action. There is a piece of his art I am dying to spoil for you, but then I’d lose my place on the Nice list. Needless to say it made me laugh in delight. Ed Dukeshire’s letters make every character feel distinct, from the normal people of Sam’s world to the fantastical creatures and alien beings we meet over the course of the story.

The Verdict: Buy It.

In a cynical world, a comic about someone who helps people because helping people feels good, and who is genuinely kind and decent, is like a warm cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s night. Treat yourself to Klaus And The Crying Snowman; it’s just the thing to bring you some much-needed holiday cheer. Recommended.

Stacy Dooks
Stacy Dooks is a writer and assorted pop culture fanatic whose childhood fixations on the works of Jim Henson, George Lucas, and DC Comics laid the groundwork for his current status as a pop culture junkie chatterbox. He currently resides in Calgary, Alberta while he waits for his TARDIS coral to finish growing. For more of his observations on popular culture, check out The Fanboy Power Hour: http://tfph.libsyn.com/

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