Sunday, December 22, 2013

Why Krampus?

c'mon...just look at him!
Everyone should have a Grampa Joe.  My Grampa Joe was a working class blue-collar man who worked himself to provide the best for his family and had a religious fervor that comes from living what he preached.  And he came from the culturally rich country of Slovakia.  I bring this up, because he is also the man who bought me my first comic books.  So, in my own way, I'd like to think I'm tipping the hat in his memory with this week's Why.

So Why Krampus?  The Krampus legend mostly crops up in Germanic and Northern European countries, and most often paired with Saint Nikolas.  Saint Nikolas would reward "Nice" children with toys and candy.  The Krampus, however, in the original legends, would kidnap the "Naughty", stuff them in his sack, take them to his cave, and eat them.  In the original pre-Christian legends, he was associated with the barbarian horned-god of witch covens, and ran free every Winter festival.  With the rise in popularity of St. Nick during the Middle Ages, Christianity could not suppress the legend, so the church incorporated him into the Christmas pageantry (although now sporting chains and irons).  Slovakia and Austria still boast incredible Krampusnacht festivals every 5th of December, the eve of the feast day of St. Nikolas.

Still relevant!
The Krampus legend is still popular today.  He doesn't do as much child abduction today, but he sure leaves a lot of coal in stockings for the wicked children.  He is still seen as the "Anti-Claus" to Santa Claus, and is a vital pop culture icon.  He's popped up in cartoons, was featured in a special Christmas episode on Supernatural, and this year got his own comic published by Image.  Not bad for Kris Kringle's older brother.

So that is my pick for ThoughtBalloon's annual Christmas Week.  If you have a Krampus story to tell, please share it in the comments below.  Make it big, and boisterous, and legendary...

Like Grampa Joe.


  1. Merry Krampus!
    by Arby Moay

    Panel 1
    We see the GRINCH in a sneaky position, looking down at a house from the edge of a low cliff. He looks like he's planning something sinister.

    BANNER: December 24, 2013
    BANNER: Christmas Eve.

    KRAMPUS (Off-panel): Hey, you!

    Panel 2
    GRINCH turns his head to look at the one calling him, KRAMPUS CLAUS. He is a tall muscly man, strong jaws, clean-shaven, and buzz-cut hair. He is wearing a GREEN sweater and/or jacket, a darker green pants, and steel-toe boots. He carries a huge sword sheathed at his back (Note: Krampus here is LEFT-HANDED), two pistols strapped on his chest, and hand grenades and flash bangs and all sorts of explosives (including a comical TNT, maybe some fireworks also) in his utility belt. He is smiling as he approaches the Grinch.

    KRAMPUS: You are the Grinch aren't you?
    GRINCH: Why, yes, I am.
    GRINCH: And who might you be?
    KRAMPUS: Doesn't matter right now.

    Panel 3
    Close-up on Krampus. Half-body shot.

    KRAMPUS: So, what's your plan to ruin this fine Christmas Eve?

    Panel 4
    Close-up on the Grinch. Half-body shot. He is pointing at the house below.

    GRINCH: Ah, a fellow NAUGHTY, I see.
    GRINCH: Well, you see that house over there? I am going to switch out one of the presents from a PS4 to an X-box... 360.
    KRAMPUS (Off-panel): Wow...

    Panel 5
    Back to KRAMPUS. He does not look impressed at all. He unsheathes his blade with his left hand.

    KRAMPUS: That is sad.
    GRINCH: I know! So maliciously sad! >:)
    KRAMPUS: No, not for them. For you.
    KRAMPUS: Your plan is terrible.

    Panel 6
    Back to Grinch. He looks confused, and his eyes scream pity. On the left side of the panel, we can see Krampus' SWORD swinging towards Grinch's thin neck.

    GRINCH: What?

    Panel 7
    On the foreground, we see the Grinch's detached bloody head and neck on the ground. Eyes wide open, tongue sticking out, and blood spurting from the neck. On the background, we see KRAMPUS on the process of sheathing his sword back with his left hand, while the right hand is playing with a grenade (tossing and catching it in the air). He is looking down from the cliff.

    KRAMPUS: My turn.

  2. Glad to see you back!

    That said, I can't say I'm a fan of this script, though it's a matter of not understanding what's going on with the Grinch's plan to ruin christmas by switching things around rather than just stealing christmas outright combined with not understanding/recognizing this version of Krampus you have here.

    It just doesn't sit right with me, personally, though someone else might like it better if they have a better understanding about what's going on here.

    Still, it's good to see you back and putting in an entry (You have been here before and I'm recognizing you, right? I'm not just imagining things?)

    1. Hey, thanks for the critique! And yes, I've been here quite a few times before. Heh.

      I put some expository stuff in an earlier version of the script explaining how Krampus is the older brother of Santa who lives in the South pole and stuff, but I kinda deleted that because I felt it made the whole thing too cramp. Sorry.

      Anyways, my Krampus here is what I see as pretty much the opposite of Santa. But, since they're brothers, I went away with the whole monster look and made him human-ish. Instead of being fat, he's fit and muscly. Instead of a glorious beard, he is clean-shaven. Instead of wearing red, he wears the opposite color in the wheel, green. Instead of giving joy, he... well, he massacres people. (And no, I'm actually not that familiar with the Krampus legend, so I made my own)

      Grinch's plan to ruin Christmas... well, I just wanted to make it very light and Disney Kids-ish. Just to contrast the gore at the end. :)


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If you want to play along at home, feel free to put your scripts under the Why? post for the week.