By d. emerson eddy -- Grant Morrison, Dan Mora, and Ed Dukeshire's Klaus began life as a mini-series in 2015, introducing a take on Santa Claus that was more evocative of old Germanic mythology as filtered through a kind of superhero meets fantasy lens. I'd almost say it's similar to what Marvel did originally when they reimagined Thor, but somewhat more magical and heartfelt. That series outlines his origin, humanity, and path to immortality as he fought for his friends and family to keep light and joy in the world. Since that original series, the creative team have been delivering a present of a new Klaus one-shot every year, (that can be enjoyed on their own without having read anything else), Klaus and the Crying Snowman now being the third.
Grant Morrison is probably best known for throwing big ideas, outlandish eccentric and hitherto unthought of propositions, out in his comics as if they were candy. His larger-than-life epics tend to get a lot of the spotlight, but personally I find when he's quiet, he's most compelling. When he mixes a childlike sense of wonder with heartfelt adversity and the human condition, I've found he's created his best works in All-Star Superman and Joe the Barbarian. That spirit is what typifies Klaus and again in Klaus and the Crying Snowman. There's the bombast and action of Klaus and Sam taking on the Tree-Clops and the terrors of Titan, to capture the imagination, or the idea of a number of Santa-themed heroes representing different cultures powered by belief, but the heart of the story is Sam's struggle. Of being a snowman created by a son who misses his father.
Bringing the magic to life is Dan Mora, who is criminally unheralded in the industry as of yet. His artwork is gorgeous, his layouts and designs phenomenal, and use of color amazing. He has a style that has hints of the Kuberts, some Stuart Immonen, Sean Murphy, and Russell Dauterman, even a little bit of Walt Simonson, but combines into a look all his own, both detailed and refined. The design for Sam the Snowman alone is wonderful, keeping a simple core body and traditional face, but adding a flair with his scarf and unique visual when it comes to his arms made from branches. And he draws the best wolves.
Ed Dukeshire rounds out the team, providing some great lettering work. The fonts and word balloons for Sam, the Yule-Goat, and Surtur all get a unique appearance, giving an appropriate feel to their voices. Sam's white on blue narration boxes are also a nice touch.
Overall, Klaus and the Crying Snowman captures what I feel is the spirit of the Yuletide. Not the crass commercialism of modern society, nor the overly religious trappings of an observing Christian Christmas, but a sense of wonder, a sense of family, and belonging. It appeals to the kid in all of us that just wants to be safe and warm, surrounded by joy and wonder. That's magic.
Klaus and the Crying Snowman #1
Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora
Letterer: Ed Dukeshire
Publisher: BOOM! Studios
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d. emerson eddy is a student and writer of things. He fell in love with comics during Moore, Bissette, & Totleben's run on Swamp Thing and it has been a torrid affair ever since. His madness typically manifests itself on twitter @93418.