Klaus: The Life and Times of Santa Claus collects two issues: Klaus and the Crying Snowman #1 and Klaus and the Life and Times of Joe Christmas #1.
In the first issue, a self-aware snowman helps Klaus, Yule Goat, and Father Frost beat some aliens who were attempting to steal the heat of the sun? Something about a time clock and Norse gods, I guess.
This holiday themed comic collection promises heartwarming stories but delivers a chaotic compendium of rehashed plots including the absentee dad-turned snowman and averting Ragnarok.
Our story begins when the self-aware snowman begins to wonder his purpose when Klaus shows up promising him a gift. More hilarity ensues when tree monsters show up and Klaus is nearly defeated until Yule-Goat and Father Frost arrive from the Moon to help.
Tree monsters show up out of nowhere and Klaus is nearly defeated until Yule-Goat and Father Frost arrive from the Moon to help. The chaotic plot descends into more nonsense covering a lunar civil war and fear of the cosmic clock (time?) stopping.
The trio lapse into memory talking about when the Nightborn, aliens from outside the galaxy, showed up in 586 CE to battle the Norse gods for Ragnarok and the gods lost. (Isn’t the worlds supposed to end when Ragarok happens? The world has not ended.) What’s interesting about this plot point is that a great climatic shift did happen in the mid-500s CE when a volcano in South America erupted so intensely that the sun, moon, and stars were literally withheld from view. Because of this, it is thought at the time that the Vikings started to believe that Ragarok had happened and the startling idea that perhaps their gods were actually mortal after all.
Klaus and Sam decide go to Titan where they battle the Nightborn. Klaus tells Sam the Snowman that the temperature of Titan’s poles is around -290F so since Sam thrives in coldness, he’ll be super smart. He fails to mention how the citizens of Animatropolis survives.
Klaus lets loose an army of a thousand bagpipes that were created to protect the Cosmic Clock here at Animatropolis against the Nightborn. Then flames appear to be spreading after Sam the Snowman takes down Hyrm, the ruler of the Nightborn. Flames on Titan when it is hundred degrees below zero weather at the poles.The four heroes: Sam the Snowman, Klaus, Father Frost, and Yule the Goat broker peace between everyone. When they return to Sam’s house, we learn he was not a very nice man. It took his near death as a snowman, and team work to save Earth from the Nighborn for Sam to get it. There is more to life then himself. He is then REBORN a changed man as the snowman melts.
A plot where Sam finally understands the meaning of life, trust and honesty would have been fine. I think Grant Morrison made a bet with himself to see how much he could throw against wall content wise and see what would stick. Apparently everything stuck.
Our imaginations lead us to believe that so much is possible and could be possible like faster than light sleds and killer trees but in the hands of Morrison, it’s just a hot mess of convoluted tales that were lazily written with half-baked ideas.
The second half, Life and Times of Joe Christmas #1, is a sweet wordless tale told backwards and in widescreen format of the character of what we now accept as the modern version of Santa Claus. Dan Mora’s work is exquisite. His art is so detailed in both halves of the book where even the fairy lights in the boughs of pine trees look as if they are twinkling. Mora pays special attention to those kinds of details which makes his art a joy to look at. His artwork makes this book somewhat tolerable. I would love to see if Dan Mora also has the chops as a writer because I would snap his books up quickly.
In short, skip this book unless you’re a collector of everything Grant Morrison or Dan Mora.Have well circulating copies of other Klaus graphic novels.
Klaus: The Life and Times of Santa Claus
By Grant Morrison
Art by Dan Mora
BOOM! Studios, 2020
Publisher Age Rating: 13-18
NFNT Age Recommendation: Adult (18+), Older Teen (16-18)