Everyone knows that Santa Claus delivers toys to all the good girls and boys and Rudolph’s red nose made him a misfit until it helped save Christmas. But for all its gay apparel and good cheer, Christmas has always had its share of villains, too. Ebenezer Scrooge was a lost soul until a few ghosts led him to redemption. Christmas’ biggest heel the Grinch wanted to steal Christmas away from Whoville, only to make a turn for the better when they welcomed him into their holiday celebration. But in recent years a cloven-hooved creature from Germanic folklore known as the Krampus has crept to the forefront of many Christmas celebrations. Despite his demonic appearance, Krampus is kind of like one of Santa’s helpers. While Santa rewards well-behaved children, Krampus punishes the bad kids by kidnapping and beating them. Events such as the Krampus Krawl (in which numerous costumed Krampii go barhopping through Little Five Points on Dec. 6, beginning at Manuel’s Tavern at 9 p.m. and ending at Java Lords) and Krampus Xmas (an absurd and depraved musical taking place at 7 Stages Dec. 18-20) have become hilarious annual holiday hooplas. But this year more than ever the Krampus has been creeping into my holidays in more ways than ever. In hopes of avoiding the wrong end of his switch, Wrestling with Pop Culture offers a few Krampus creations to get you into a different type of holiday spirit.
Krampus print by Artetak
Under her Artetak moniker, Kate Logan takes horror movie icons, comic book characters and mythological creatures and gives them a cute, yet somewhat sinister, makeover. In some cases, such as with Ash from Army of Darkness and House of 1000 Corpses‘ Captain Spaulding, that means changing the character’s gender. So it’s quite all right to behave badly in hopes that this pale-skinned, leather-and-spikes clad Krampus comes to visit on Christmas. Or, as Logan says, “Nothing is more metal than a demon that kidnaps and beats children for being naughty when they’re expecting St. Nicholas.”
Grimm Fairy Tales 2014 Holiday Edition
Zenescope Entertainment‘s Grimm Fairy Tales reimagines the morality tales of the Grimm brothers in a contemporary setting, replacing damsels in distress and knights in shining armor with buxom butt-kickers and their buff male counterparts. In this year’s holiday special, the Highborns put up Christmas decorations at Arcane Acre while learning of the Krampus’ origin. Meanwhile, Sela secretly protects the Highborns when she sneaks away to do battle with the Krampus. This story is an interesting take on the Krampus legend, ending in a cliffhanger that will conclude in next year’s Christmas issue.
Gruss von Krampus by Noel Saabye
Noel Saabye specializes in sexy pin-up interpretations of Nosferatu, the Creature from the Black Lagoon, Mars Attacks! Martians and other monsters. “Obviously I fit in really well with Halloween stuff,” he says. “So I was trying to come up with a Christmas bad guy that I could make into a pin-up girl.” The Grinch was the first thing that came to mind, then he remembered Krampus. “I had never seen a female Krampus drawing before, so I found a bunch of Krampus art and took bits and pieces of the clothing, features, skin tones and made it work within the style I’ve been drawing.”
Krampus mask and magnets by BonesArt
Andrew Bones of BonesArt creates monstrous sculptures of Predators, Cthulu, Jason Vorhees and other monsters that he then turns into small magnets, medium-sized wall plaques or full-sized masks. In addition to making Jack Skellington Christmas ornaments, Bones has also created Krampus magnets in various colors and grotesque Krampus masks ready to devour the worst-behaved children. “I feel like he is the perfect character for me to sculpt and fits well in my body of work due to his demonic appearance,” says Bones. Bones will have these and other creature creations at the Jekyll Island Comic Con on Dec. 13 and at Crafty Feast on Dec. 14.