Santa Claws #1 Review

by Nick Devonald on November 11, 2020

Writer: Jeff Haas
Artist: Jo Wong

The first in a two-parter, Santa Claws takes a twisted, horror filled look at the Jolly Fat Man that kids all around the world wait for with gleeful anticipation each December. This comic paints Santa as the villain, abducting vulnerable children around the world after they’ve been hit with the devastating news that Santa isn’t real. At that moment Santa swoops in, on his reimagined for the 21st Century ride, in strict defiance of the horrifying reality that he doesn’t exist. What follows from there is a standard tale of temptation, with Santa relying on the greed of children, with their very soul at stake.

It’s a pretty good spin on the traditional Christmas story, and readers get little hints that something is very wrong long before our protagonist, Jeremy, does, it’s well done and works well to build the tension. Jo Wongs art is great, and there are plenty of little details in there which are sure to please readers. And his take on the reindeer, Blitzen in particular, are well done. It helps to build the stakes, and Wong does a great job at crafting a more demonic side to Santa.

Where the comic falls down however is in the final polish. It feels incomplete. It feels like all it needs is an editor to go over the flaws within and get them sorted. An example of this is the lettering. Letterers typically get glossed over when they do a good job, a good letterer quite often finds themselves invisible. Yet it’s no small task that a letterer does on a daily basis. Done write the letterer guides the reader through the story. Unfortunately the lettering isn’t great here, there are a few parts within the comic where the reader has to take a minute and reread the same section several times to understand who’s saying what, or the order in which people are talking. It’s a small complaint but it can be quite jarring and take the reader right out of the story. Similarly some of the dialogue feels a little clunky, it’s not bad, but feels closer to a first draft than a finished comic.

A comic with a lot of potential, it feels unfinished and that unfortunately stops it from being anything special. The art is good, the idea behind the comic is good, but the finished product doesn’t live up to its potential.

Our Score:


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