Disclaimer: I received a compliementary copy of this book from Diamond Book Distributors via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
In Austria, while Saint Nicholas rewarded good children with presents, Krampus punished the bad. Times and beliefs changed, and in the 1950s the Secret Society of Santa Clauses had Krampus imprisoned at the North Pole. There he remained until the Santa Clauses found they needed his help and set Krampus free to roam the earth once more.
The first trade paperback of Krampus! collects together issues 1-5 of the comic together with some bonus material. As promised in the introduction, Krampus! is pure escapist fun, as Krampus rides across the globe with his flying wolf getting into fights with other figures from folklore including Old Man Winter and The Nutcracker. There are even evil fairies, creatures I have something of a soft spot for.
The illustrations, by Dean Kotz, whose other work includes The Mask of the Red Panda and Poe, tend more towards the comical than scary, which fits with the tone of the story.
Krampus! is an escapist tale of adventure and silliness. It would be great to read during the holiday season as an antidote to the stresses and commercialism that go with Christmas, but it's fun at any time.