Tag Archives: grant morrison

Review: Klaus #3

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Have you ever wondered why Santa Claus started doing what he does? What motivated him to bring joy to thousands upon thousands of children every year? 

Grant Morrison‘s Klaus is giving us an entirely new look at the jolly old fat man in a red suit, and it is abso-bloody-lutely incredible.
Grant Morrison is the kind of writer that has some pretty high expectations that tend to follow him and his work around, and with his distinctly Norse flavoured take on Jolly Saint Nick, he has delivered on every page. That Dan Mora‘s artwork plays a large part in that deliverance is beyond a shadow of a doubt; the way he conveys the absolute depression of the town’s people without even showing their faces through the use of bleak and muted colours and the physical expression is perfectly suited to the writing.

Just as the town’s people look genuinely lost and full of despair under Lord Magnus‘s iron fisted rule with the men being worked to the point of exhaustion, and beyond; anything even remotely resembling a toy has been banned and confiscated; the incredible sense of poverty, both monetarily and emotionally, is palpable on every page.

Every page, that is, where Klaus doesn’t appear.

Klaus, the man that will be Santa, is more of a hero in this series than many other spandex clad characters around right now. He is the very embodiment of hope, a beacon shining against the darkness; not unlike a certain red caped character from Krypton. There’s a warmth about the character, not only because of the colours used around him, but because he feels like when your grandpa would tell you stories before you fall asleep, or when your uncle would talk to you about his garden. Klaus may not be Santa yet, but he’s already got some magic about him.

Despite the at times incredibly bleak and cold art from Dan MoraKlaus is a comic that has a good feeling about it. No matter how dismal things looking right now for the town’s people, there’s a genuine sense of hope given to both the reader, and the oppressed citizens under Lord Magnus‘s rule by the man who will become Santa. It’s an almost tangible thing that reaches beyond the printed page; no matter how bad things get, they can get better.

And isn’t the entire point of Santa Claus to inspire hope and goodwill?

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Dan Mora
Story: 9 Art: 9 Overall: 9 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided a FREE copy for review, but I’ve been buying the individual issues anyway.

Review: Klaus #3

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Klaus continues to develop into an exceedingly interesting and nuanced world. More than the conflict itself, the imaginative interpretation of folklore is fascinating.

If the story of a winter ghost visiting children one by one every year was somehow not engaging enough for you, Grant Morrison has a new Santa story that may catch your interest. Here Santa is a wild man trying to save the sorrowful town of Grimsvig from the joyless rule of Magnus, who has outlawed Yuletide celebrations under the guise of trying to increase output from the coal mine the town’s men work in. Santa, or rather Klaus, has known the town in better days and seeks to return happiness and celebration to it.

Klaus began as really interesting concept released close enough to Christmas to really make the book fun. After the first issue, it seemed a shame that it was only part of a six-issue miniseries and that the story would not conclude until well after Christmas came and went. It seemed to be a real missed opportunity. However, with each issue the story unveils more and more of itself and further piques interest. Though everything continues to be an assimilation of Christmas iconography, it is done in such a way that that it expands the interest in the world beyond simply a passing seasonal investment. At this point, the tragedy is not that the story didn’t finish in time for Christmas, it’s that the story will end at all when such an interesting setting continues to unfold each issue.

The characters are obviously familiar. Not simply Klaus in his representation of Santa but relationships like the romantic connection between Klaus and Magnus’s wife, Dagmar. However, the way this world continues to set itself apart from expectation and traditional folklore prevents anything from cliché or tired.

The story works the imagination, trying to anticipate what goes on beyond the pages. The living toys that Klaus creates, are they related to the living wood he cut from a dead tree? Is the dark spirit dwelling within the coal mind the story’s version of Krampus? Seldom is a reader given so much in a story that they care to ask what lies ahead. It’s that suspense and curiosity that makes this book such a strong seller.

Keeping up with the great Grant Morrison, Dan Mora does a marvelous job creating the visual aesthetic for this book. From the hulking yet approachable Klaus to the beauty of the woodland spirits, Mora continues to prove to be a fantastic choice developing this character and creating this world.

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Dan Mora
Story: 8 Art: 7 Overall: 7.5 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review

Preview: Klaus #3 (of 7)

Klaus #3 (of 7)

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora

Klaus is caught delivering presents to the town’s children and must fight his way past Lord Magnus’s guards to avoid imprisonment.

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Preview: Klaus #2 (of 6)

Klaus #2 (of 6)

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora

As the downtrodden people of Grimsvig struggle under totalitarian rule, Klaus stealthily evades the guard and slips magical, living toys into the poorest of homes to lift their spirits.

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Sell-Outs and New Printing Roundup

Here’s some of this week’s announced sell-outs and new printings. BOOM! Studios has announced that Santa has checked his list twice, and now he needs a third printing to meet the demand for Grant Morrison and Dan Mora’s Klaus #1! Klaus, the comic series that details the epic origin of the one and only Santa Claus, has sold out through two printings at the distributor level. The publisher has rushed to a third printing to fill demand.

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.”

Comic book fans should bear in mind that first and second printings of Klaus #1 may still be found at the local comic shop nearest you.

Klaus #1 third print ships with a new cover by Mora and carries a retail price of $3.99 under Diamond Code OCT158556. Orders close on December 7th, and copies are anticipated to be in stores on December 23rd.

Klaus #1 3rd Print Cover by Dan Mora

Review: Klaus #1

Klaus_001_A_MainHave you ever wondered why Santa Claus started doing what he does? What motivated him to bring joy to thousands upon thousands of children every year?

Well Grant Morrison is here to give you an answer with Klaus #1. The start of a six issue miniseries that reinvents Santa Claus with a distinctly Viking flair promising to be one of the best origin stories you’ll read this year.

This is one of those comics that you’re either going to buy, or not, based entirely on how the premise strikes you, and myself I knew I wanted to read Klaus when I first heard about it. Grant Morrison has a reputation of being one of the best comic book writers currently writing comics for a reason, and while it would be foolish to think that everything he writes is great, telling a story of the origin of Santa that is steeped in an Old Norse flavour with a healthy dose of fantasy and magic added in ranks pretty highly for me.

Dan Mora‘s art work feels cold. Which, considering that the tale is set in the midst of winter, is a very good thing. Not only did his back grounds give off a sense of the desolation and cold of winter it also reminded me of what I have to look forward too with the coming Canadian winter, and the battle with the snow plow. I also really enjoyed the layouts of his panels, and the way in which his scenes worked so well together with Grant Morrison‘s lack of spelling things out which really encourages you to pay attention to both the art and the text as a whole so that you don’t run the risk of missing the subtleness embedded within the pages. 

To say that Klaus #1 was a comic that I was looking forward to is utterly fair, and I really wanted to love the first issue purely based both on the premise and on the creative talent involved. Because my expectations were high, I was secretly expecting the comic to fall a little flat. To be good, but not great. To let me down just enough and to not quite be as good as I hoped it could be.  Thankfully, it didn’t. The first issue of Klaus was brilliant, Grant Morrison is as brilliant as I hoped, but Dan Mora is simply superb here. What he has done with a limited colour palate is, frankly, wonderful.

If the idea of a reinvented origin for Santa Claus seems even remotely interesting to you, then pick up this comic. It’s awesome.

Story: Grant Morrison Art: Dan Mora
Story: 8.5 Art: 9 Overall: 8.75 Recommendation: Buy

BOOM! Studios provided a FREE copy for review, but I also bought the comic because, well, Grant Morrison and Santa.

Also posted on Ramblings Of A Comics Fan.

Review: Klaus #1

Klaus_001_A_Main“He’s coming to town”

Anyone every had a burning to know the untold origin of the greatest holiday icon of all time: Santa Claus?

No, you say?

Well you’re getting one anyway. From the normally brilliant and wonderous mind of the Mad Scotsman himself, Grant Morrison.

As a humongous fan of Grant’s I feel absolutely comfortable by telling you that this was in fact.. just ok. It didn’t have all the zaniness and creativity that I’ve come and known to love from Mr. Morrison. His runs on Batman and X-Men are among my favorite in comics ever. He certainly is no stranger to handling literary icons (that’s right, comics are literature in my opinion) but something was just missing here.

Given a subject matter with no wrong answer, the famous scribe goes in a surprisingly pedestrian direction with it. Klaus (our future Santa) appears to be a vagabond traveling from town to town, selling pelts and materials to sell and make money to survive. Now Klaus is a rather hulkish man sporting a large beard and of great physique. Certainly he is no Kris Kringle here.

He arrives in Grimsvig Town (interesting enough name) for a pit stop to keep warm and have a drink. He is not well taken to by the local bar keep and notices that the attitude of this once peaceful town has become, well… grim.

The bar keep tells him it’s best not to ask questions and to keep on moving. Being of peaceful nature, Klaus obliges. On his way out the tavern he sees that all his stockpiled goods have been pilfered by the local authorities. He is upset and asks for payment or returning of the goods but the guards laugh at him. They poke fun of him and ask if he’s a wizard. He replies no.

Deciding it’s not worth the fight, Klaus begins to exit peacefully until he sees a young boy playing with a small stone and one of the guards strikes the child. Klaus will not stand for that!

He engages in battle with all the guards as they taunt him. The odds are to great though as he is forced to flee while injured by an arrow. He leaves a trail of blood and the guards begin pursuit.

The remainder of the issue is a confrontation with the guard brigade in the winter wilderness and the introduction of Lord Magnus, a character who appears to be the ruler of Grimsvig Town (far cry from Christmas Town) , as well as his bratty son Jonas who is never satisfied and obsessed with having good toys. (Hmmm I have an idea where this might be going but I’m hoping Grant goes left with it) Also we are left with a trippy cliffhanger which was the only Morrison-like part of the issue for me.

Overall: Not terrible, but not the fantastic paradigm altering epic I was hoping for. Sure it’s only the first issue, so there is lots of room to ramp this up, but it better hit the pedal fast. On the plus side the art by Dan Mora was great. As I read this all too quick read, I couldn’t help but think how great this could be if done in animation or a grander format. I think it suffers from being constrained to the normal 32 pages as it is not enough time for the master writer to stretch his pen. The cliffhanger was good, so I’m cautiously optimistic. Perhaps it’s the lack of yuletide spirit in me at this moment (it isn’t even Thanksgiving yet) but I can’t help feeling a bit like Jonas here, not yet satisfied and just wanting more.

Story: Grant Morrison  Art: Dan Mora
Story: 6 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7 Recommendation: Read

BOOM! Studios provided Graphic Policy with a free copy for review

Preview: Klaus #1 (of 6)

Klaus #1 (of 6)

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Dan Mora

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.”

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Grant Morrison Unleashes the Definitive Santa Claus: Year One in Original Series Klaus

He is a man with many names: Sinterklaas, Kris Kringle, Saint Nicholas. He has international fame, but only ever appears once a year to defy physics and commit the greatest act of breaking-and-entering known to man. Santa Claus is one of the oldest and most beloved icons around the world, but he’s rarely thought of as a “superhero.” This November, Grant Morrison teams up with homegrown BOOM! Studios artist Dan Mora to change the way we view Jolly Old Saint Nick in the original limited series Klaus.

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 “SantaClaus: Year One.”

Klaus #1 (of 6) arrives in comic shops on November 4th with a main cover by series artist Dan Mora for the price of $3.99 under Diamond order code SEP151100. Also available in a limited quality is a 10 Years incentive cover by Felipe Smith, a Jackpot variant cover by Frazer Irving, and a retailer incentive cover by Chris Burnham.

Klaus #1 Incentive Cover by Chris Burnham Klaus #1 Jackpot Cover by Frazer Irving Klaus #1 Main Cover by Dan Mora

SDCC 2015: Grant Morrison Reveals Multiversity Too and Batman: Black & White

multiversity 1 coverDuring his panel at San Diego Comic-Con, Grant Morrison revealed Multiversity Too, a line of original graphic novels based on his groundbreaking and bestselling titles from The Multiversity series of monthly comics and his Multiversity Guidebook. Fans will experience stories from throughout the 52 (or more?) worlds that make up Morrison’s Map of the Multiverse and whether it’s the further adventures of Earth-4’s Pax Americana, the New Reichsmen of Earth-10, the female-led Justice Guild of Earth-11 or even one of the seven “unknown worlds,” everything is fair game!

The series begins in 2016 with Multiversity Too: The Flash. But from which earth is anyone’s guess!

Morrison also provided early details on another series of graphic novels featuring everyone’s favorite Dark Knight in Batman: Black & White. This continuing anthology series pairs Morrison’s original Batman stories with a rotating cast of some of the biggest art talents in comics, that will only serve to highlight Grant’s one of a kind perspective when it comes to comics in general and Batman in particular.

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