Claus En­counter

Grant Mor­ri­son gets his claws into the Christ­mas spirit with Klaus

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

Grant Mor­ri­son’s Santa Claus comic Klaus ush­ers in the fes­tive sea­son.

“It makes sense to re­lease a book about Santa Claus around Christ­mas since read­ing about the frozen North in July isn’t nearly as much fun!” Pub­lished next month by Boom! and il­lus­trated by Dan Mora, the fes­tive sea­son is com­ing early this year thanks to Grant Mor­ri­son. De­scribed as “Santa Claus Year Zero”, Klaus de­picts Fa­ther Christ­mas as you’ve never seen him be­fore.

“The im­pe­tus for the book came more from think­ing about how I’d like to have my own big iconic char­ac­ter like Su­per­man or Doc­tor Who, and then alight­ing on the no­tion of mak­ing Santa Claus more ex­pli­ca­bly into a su­per­hero fran­chise,” Mor­ri­son says. “Ev­ery­one knows him but no­body owns him, so any­one can tell Santa Claus sto­ries.”

With many other aliases in­clud­ing Kris Kringle and St Nick, Santa boasts even more se­cret iden­ti­ties than Bruce Wayne. Com­par­ing the six- is­sue minis­eries to “Arthur Co­nan Doyle do­ing a Bat­man graphic novel,” Mor­ri­son draws links be­tween the Caped Cru­sader’s Bat­cave and Bat­mo­bile, and Santa’s Grotto and Sleigh. “I couldn’t re­sist the op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide ori­gin sto­ries for all of these things,” he says. “But Ru­dolph is a copy­right char­ac­ter and was out of bounds although we nod in his di­rec­tion.”

In­di­cat­ing that we can also ex­pect an ap­pear­ance from the Elves, Klaus delves into Santa’s mythic past rather than his in­creas­ingly mon­e­tised con­tem­po­rary in­car­na­tion. “I’m strip­ping the char­ac­ter back to his roots and re­build­ing him as an ex­er­cise in amus­ing my­self and en­ter­tain­ing my read­ers,” ex­plains Mor­ri­son, who is more in­ter­ested in Santa as an in­di­vid­ual fig­ure rather than the hol­i­day it­self. “This is a fan­tasy story, part Lord Of The Rings and part Bat­man Be­gins. Other than this comic be­ing a glar­ing ex­am­ple of the commercialisation of Christ­mas, it has very lit­tle to say about that as­pect of the fes­ti­val.”

Klaus # 1 is pub­lished by Boom! on 4 Novem­ber.

No­body has copy­right on Santa Claus, so the char­ac­ter’s up for grabs!

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