In Klaus, Grant and Dan Mora (Hexed) reimagines one of the biggest cultural myths in history, good ol’ Saint Nicholas himself. The amount of legends relating to Christmas, Yule, St. Nick, Krampus… FAR FAR outweigh the american version. Santa Claus mythology is deep in history and legends, that I am sure Grant Morrison will be playing with, in one form another in his hyper-fantasy way of comic book writing.
Have you ever heard of the legends and myths on Santa Claus? Like the crazy stuff about how he was a self resurrecting saint who dealt with murderous innkeepers and worked hand in hand with The Krampus? Krampus, who punishes the bad children…by whipping them, or in some cases kidnapping them to work for him. Have you ever wanted to know where ol’ Saint Nick came from? But not told to you in a childish pandering way? In history if you look deep and far enough, you’ll find Santa Claus is messed up! Hopefully Grant knows this and that will be what we get in his newest comic series from Boom Studios, Klaus.
What is Klaus?
Klaus, the comic book is set in a dark fantastic past of myth and magic, Klaus tells the story of how Santa Claus really came to be. Where did he begin? What was he like when he was young? And what happens when he faces his greatest challenge? Drawing on Santa Claus’ wilder roots in Viking lore and Siberian shamanism—taking in the creepier side of Christmas, and characters like the sinister Krampus—Klaus is “Santa Claus: Year One.”
What is not to LOVE here?! Grant Morrison is one of the most prolific and best-selling writers in comics, earning a reputation for his ability to effectively revamp superheroes like JLA, Animal Man, Batman, and the X-Men. His creator-owned titles are also highly praised, including The Invisibles, Nameless, We3, and Joe the Barbarian because no one tells mythical stories better than him.
I reached out to a few history buff friends of mine and here’s what they had to fill me in on, when it comes to the legends and lore of Santa Claus.
Santa is one messed up Wizard, God, Saint, Pagan witch dude. And in near every legend prior to Coca Cola’s reinvention, Krampus works with him, or some other dark spirit. Santa Claus in general is based off of St. Nicholas who was a Christian Bishop in Dutch figure of Sinterklaas. Whose name is a dialectal pronunciation of Saint Nicholas, the historical Greek bishop and gift-giver of the town Myra. In some legends Odin was Santa…Slepnir the reindeer. in some legends Krampus was the companion of Santa Claus, others he is his brother. In Norse lore, Santa, also Father Time – nearing Odin’s Yule Time Ride – would leave their boots outside and Odin and Slepnir would leave treats in their boots. Hence… stockings. Tying in with shamanism, the 9 reindeer, are actually a coven of witches. 9 is a significant number. It’s 8 reindeer + St. Nick for 9 souls in the coven. Great stuff for Morrison to work with!