KRAMPUS! Delayed -- Is It a Christmas Conspiracy?

December 8, 2014

New in-store date for graphic novel about Christmas' most famous demon

KRAMPUS! writer Brian Joines talks about Santa's sinister counterpart

Every holiday season is fraught with risk. Will flights be delayed? Will an undercooked goose poison your entire family? Will faulty lights send your Christmas tree up in flames?

Will a labor slowdown delay the release of a book that exposes the secret lives of the Santa Clauses and makes a hero of Father Christmas’s sinister counterpart the Krampus?

The answers to the other questions are still up in the air, but the answer to the latter is Yes.

The trade paperback collection of KRAMPUS! by Brian Joines and Dean Kotz, originally scheduled to be in comic book stores on December 3 and in bookstores on December 16, will now be in comic book stores on December 17. Some online bookstores will have stock before Christmas — please check availability and ship dates.

To tell us a little more about KRAMPUS! in the wake of this new development, we talked to Brian Joines, the book’s writer. Is a Krampus conspiracy behind the delay?

IMAGE COMICS: First, a little primer — who is the Krampus and what is he getting up to in Dean Kotz's and your comic, KRAMPUS!?

BRIAN JOINES: The Krampus is a figure from Eastern European Holiday lore, a demonic creature who punishes wicked children on Christmas Eve, even as Santa rewards the good ones. In our book, the Krampus has been locked up for a few decades due to his inability to change with Secret Society of Santa Clauses' views on punishing the naughty. He's content sitting in his cell, watching Downton Abbey, until the Santas come to him with an offer: journey to man's world and recover the skeleton of St. Nicholas, the source of the Santas' powers, and they'll set him free. The Krampus, naturally, takes the offer.

IMAGE: Given his history, do you think the Krampus may have been responsible for the dock slowdown that delayed the book? What motivates him?

BRIAN: I wouldn't be surprised if the Krampus played a role in the dock slowdown...the elves at the North Pole are unionized, after all, and anything related to the Santas' operations is a bad thing in the mind of the Krampus. Besides, the Krampus has been locked up for so long, he just wants to get away from the Santas and their rules and explore the world on his own terms, see what's changed since he's been away. The last thing he needs is an illustrated tell-all coming out, increasing awareness of him.

IMAGE: KRAMPUS! features several versions of Santa Claus from around the world, from the original Sinterklaas to newer iterations, like Japan's Santa Claus. Who is your favorite?

BRIAN: Ooh, that's tough. I really like the angry old nutcase Santa, Sinterklaas, and the American Kris Kringle, who just can't stop eating. I will say I regret not using the Mexican luchador Santa, El Santo Clos, more than I did.

IMAGE: The Krampus has become something of an icon for people outside of the culture where he originated. Why do you think he's growing in popularity?

I think that there's a greater awareness of how commercialized Christmas has become and that's bred a lot of cynicism in people, if not for the holiday itself then at least a number of attempts to capitalize on it (everything from Black Friday sales to terrible Hallmark Channel films). The Krampus feeds into the cynicism and helps to undercut the overblown nature of the season. Plus...Christmas Demon. What's NOT to love?

IMAGE: And, finally, are you and Dean going to be wearing ugly Krampus sweaters this Christmas?

BRIAN: First, I take offense at the idea that any sweater with the Krampus will automatically be "ugly." Second, yes we will...a single sweater. Though whether we trade it off or just wear one giant sweater at the same time, conjoined twin style, has yet to be seen.

Read more about KRAMPUS! in the news release.

KRAMPUS! by Brian Joines and Dean Kotz, colors by Ron Riley

  • ISBN 978-1-63215-182-7
  • Diamond Comic order code SEP140624
  • 136 pages, paperback, full color
  • $12.99
  • In stores December 17
  • Rated Teen Plus
  • Collects KRAMPUS! #1-5
  • Retailers, librarians, and reviewers may request a PDF galley from Jennifer de Guzman, Director of Trade Book Sales,