Updated: Jun 24, 2021
Writer: James Stimpson
Illustrator: Liana Recchione
WHAT IS IT?
An action-packed, neo-noir holiday tale of the Santa of vengeance, a kind of twist on the idea of the Krampus.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
There are many Santas, and Jesus is their boss.
While most of those Santas deliver toys, Salvatore is a kind of Santa of vengeance, protecting the children who are abused and attacking, even sometimes killing, their abusers. But he can only do this one magical night a year.
One of the other Santas, Cedrick, doesn't trust Salvatore. He knows Salvatore has a drinking problem (but who in those same boots wouldn't?), and he's worried Salvatore will screw up and let the world find out about their existence. Cedrick is out to prove Salvatore is getting careless, even if he has to manufacture an incident himself.
Even if he has to go behind the back of Jesus, Himself.
There's a lot going down in the North Pole, y'all.
The concept is fun and original, and a really great read around the holidays
You might not think you could possibly blend noir and the holidays...and you'd be wrong. Very, very wrong.
Stimpson definitely hits the noir tone with dramatic internal narrative taking precedence over the limited dialogue
Recchione is clearly talented, doing all the line art and color herself, and I appreciate the manga influences
The cover alone would sell me this book in a heartbeat
Recchione's art reminds me a lot of French superstar artist, Bengal
You don't often get full color in indie comics, so it's a treat here
This comic was originally successfully Kickstarted, so you know it's good enough that a bunch of people donated money to make it happen
This first issue alone takes you on a ride and sets up a promising story
Stimpson & Recchione 's world-building is so much fun, with Jesus running the whole operation and the elves helping Salvatore with his operations
It's action-packed and one heck of a page-turner
Makes the perfect stocking-stuffer!
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
The audience for this will probably skew a little older, with violence, guns and child abuse being at the center of the story
While I personally like Recchione's art (as stated earlier), I think a grittier and more desaturated aesthetic would match the noir genre a little better
You get a little cognitive dissonance when the interior art and color palette looks so different from the cover
I don't want to hammer this point home too hard, since I don't think it really hurts the comic overall
I'm sure someone's going to get upset about Jesus
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's Santa with a gun, beating up bad guys and helping kids, all while maintaining a noir theme. What's not to like? Plus, it's a steal at under $3 on Comix Central!
WHAT DO I READ NEXT?
If you like the writing:
Klaus by Grant Morrison & Dan Mora
The Resurrected by Christian Carnouche & Crizam Zamora
Marvel Holiday Special (1991) by Scott Lobdell & Dave Cockrum
If you like the art:
The List issue #2 by James Stimpson & Liana Recchione
Risenfall by Liana Recchione
Death or Glory, Vol. 1 by Rick Remender & Bengal
ABOUT THE CREATORS
James Stimpson – Writer
Multitalented: His day job is a games designer for an independent games studio
New Face: This is his first comic!
Writes comics on top of working full time and being a father of 2!
Liana Recchione – Illustrator
Outlander: Hails from Italy
Teaches at the International School of Comics
Multitalented: Writes, draws and colors comics
HOW DO I BUY IT?
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