Grant Morrison’s mind-bending, alternative take on Santa Claus returns this week with Klaus and the Crying Snowman, with art by Dan Mora and letters by Ed Dukeshire.
About the issue:
Klaus (Santa) teams up with Father Frost and Master Yule-Goat to stop the Nightborn, giants who defeated the Norse Gods and brought about Ragnarok 1500 years ago. Along the way, he also picks up an amnesiac man-turned-snowman and helps him learn an important Christmas lesson.
BOOM! Studios is billing this series as “the best holiday tradition in comics,” and they’re not wrong. Morrison’s Klaus stories are epic tales of magic and action, and the fact that they only come once a year makes them all the more special. They’re Christmas treats, like the TV specials you wait all year for. But where Rudolph and Frosty are going to tell you the same stories every December, Klaus has new ones for you.
Think of Klaus as the story of Santa Claus on acid. It’s exactly the kind of Santa story you would expect from Grant Morrison’s mind, complete with aliens, time travel, dragons, and more. And while all of that is badass and cool, what truly makes these stories special is the spirit of Christmas that’s injected into each one.
Dan Mora’s art is a huge reason why Klaus is so wonderful. That’s not “wonderful” in the simple, cliched way either; these comics are literally full of wonder. Mora’s colors are bright, vibrant, and at times trippy, creating the series’ otherworldly, magical atmosphere. His line work is more cartoony – which makes the story more fun and lighthearted – and yet incredibly detailed. The action scenes are full of explosive energy, and the emotional moments only land because Mora is able to execute them so well. Morrison may get top billing and the “created by” credit on Klaus, but Mora is the reason it’s worth the purchase.
Crying Snowman is admittedly pretty light on plot. Santa has to stave off Surtr’s forces and save Christmas. The way he does it is through some pretty convenient dues ex machina means, and even Klaus himself agrees, calling it “cheating.”
That’s not the point, though. It’s more about the journey, and the lessons learned than the actual plot. Heck, Morrison basically tells you how the story ends on the first page so that you can focus on the deeper parts. The ultimate message is beautiful and heartwarming. This is a story about kindness, understanding, and second chances. The holiday season is a time to reflect on what’s important in life, and Klaus and the Crying Snowman allows you to do just that.
Plus, the premise is absolute gold, even if the plot itself is somewhat basic. Santa Claus fighting back Surtr to prevent another Ragnarok? Ideas like this are why Klaus is one of the most fresh and original titles out there, despite only coming once a year.
Preview Klaus and the Crying Snowman: