Santa’s less-jolly partner, Krampus, was once confined to German folklore but is now making a huge resurgence here in the States. For the unfamiliar, Krampus steps in where the jolly fat man won’t in hopes of whipping those naughty kids into shape. I love the concept because children these days need a Krampus in their lives. Good behavior is reinforced for the sake of being GOOD rather than doing it for presents. Children who need encouragement get some quality time with a birch rod (or worse).






This graphic novel is meant to pave the way for the new movie, Krampus, by director Michael Dougherty’s Trick ‘r Treat (which was fantastically fun). There are no spoilers in this book because it thankfully isn’t a straight novelization of the film. I’m seeing the movie this weekend after the RVA Krampusnacht. Afterwards I may do a writeup with comparisons between the two.


The book follows a similar format to Trick ‘r Treat with an anthology-styled story that ties together in the end. Using this method served as the saving grace for the graphic novel because none of the stories had enough strength to stand alone. I wish they’d embellished the individual stories enough to double the length of the full book. Each one could have used a bit more girth to form attachment with characters and to really enjoy the devilish shenanigans.


My favorite portion is with the drunken, Vietnam-vet mall Santa. This was the most likeable character so it was fun to watch his character arc take as many turns as it did in such a short period. The other stories aren’t bad, but they certainly didn’t ‘wow’. Overall the artwork is quite appropriate for the style. There was a nice balance between detail and whimsy to drive the pages.


In the end the book finds a healthy medium in between horror and holiday fun. Although it is still a few steps above kid-friendly, I was pleased that it didn’t embrace the horror side enough to be in bad taste. It’s a decent enough book that is an enjoyable, quick read.


My rating of KRAMPUS: SHADOW OF SAINT NICHOLAS by Michael Dougherty is 6.5 out of 10.


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Now please enjoy the best appearance of Krampus EVER from American Dad’s Minstrel Krampus episode.


1 Comment

  1. […] KRAMPUS: SHADOW OF SAINT NICHOLAS by Michael Dougherty […]

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