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.
If you'd like to see John Wick as Santa Claus, check out The List.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
Sal is an alcoholic Santa Claus (the real kind, not the kind you find in a mall) who protects abused kids with a personal, deadly brand of justice. This season, he’s off the booze...but is he better off because of it?
And when another Santa Claus, Cedrick, wants to take Sal out because he thinks Sal’s a liability, our hero has more to worry about than falling off the wagon.
Can Sal stay on the wagon, and stay alive, long enough to make it through another Christmas? Or will the endangered children all over the world be without a savior this year?
I've said it before, but it's worth repeating: the idea of a gun-toting Santa Claus who saves threatened kids by any means necessary and elves helping prepare grenade launchers and sniper rifles is a captivating one.
Recchione pays attention to little things that build up the story, the characters and the world. A Santa hat draped over the branch press bar. Jesus's halo turning orange when he's angry. It shows her care and concept come to life.
Liana Recchione colors her own line art with cool, even cold colors using little pops of Christmas red and green. It’s an interesting contrast, the hard world vs the Christmas spirit, and ties everything into the holiday theme.
Seeing the leves bring Sal’s guns and tech for this mission gives The List a holly jolly James Bond movie vibe, and I am here for it.
Sound effects use pre-made fonts, but work with them in ways that evoke the sounds they're trying to convey, which is great for creators who aren't primarily letterers.
Stimpson finds a happy medium between a noir tone and over-the-top action dialogue. Some moments, you'll get this rough-and-tumble internal monologue about Sal's struggle with alcoholism and the next second, Santa's shooting Russians in the head and saying "NOICE."
Favorite line: "Tis the season to kick some ass. The bad guys are getting bullets in their stocking, and by 'stockings,' I mean 'bodies.'"
Makes the perfect stocking-stuffer!
WHAT DOESN'T WORK?
I don't want to re-tread the call-outs from our review of issue #1, but they're still present here (though this goes for the positive bullets, too). That being said, my only new bullet for this section is that you might need to re-read the first issue to remember everything that happened and give significance and context to this issue's events.
WHY SHOULD I READ IT?
It's Santa with a gun, beating up bad guys and helping kids, all while maintaining a noir theme. If you don't like The List, you're a cop.
And honestly, if you liked the first issue, issue #2 is more of what you loved.
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:
Risenfall by Liana Recchione
Death or Glory, Vol. 1 by Rick Remender & Bengal
Heart of Steal by Fraser Campbell & Katie Fleming
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?
The List issue #2 recently was successfully funded on Kickstarter. It's not available to everyone just yet, but click one of these to keep an eye out for it:
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