Review - Klaus LIfe and Times of Joe Christmas (@boomstudios)

"2001. 71 years old."

The definition of a rich and exciting life changes from person to person. It's likely few have lived a life as rich and exciting as Joe Christmas has, with many of his exploits on display in Klaus LIfe and Times of Joe Christmas from BOOM! Studios. The issue is written by Grant Morrison and illustrated by Dan Mora.

Abandoned as a baby, Joe Christmas is taken in by Klaus. In this holiday calendar-inspired comic, experience 25 all new short stories of Klaus teaming up with Joe Christmas over the years!

Considering the issue is rife with silence, Morrison still manages to pack quite a narrative punch in the gorgeously rendered illustrations. Each page of the comic is essentially a snapshot of where Klaus and Joe Christmas were during that year and some of the scenarios are quite entertaining. For instance, in 1963 the duo are shown helping a massively famous band with a flat tire while in 1981 they're embracing some of the biggest pop culture franchises of the 80s. Morrison's approach is very entertaining as it moves from putting them in scenarios that range from incredibly comedic to dramatic and everything in between. The approach is extremely impactful as Morrison leans on the adage "a picture's worth a thousand words."

Speaking of pictures, Mora's illustrations are amazing. There's a level of craftsmanship in the exquisite linework that makes each page feel like a pin-up as Mora seeks to tap into some of the zeitgeist for the relevant year. There are also some nice homage covers (1984 and 1954 are very well-played) that allows Mora to convey to the reader that these two characters have been at the epicenters of quite a few major events. Honestly, every page is a full-panel piece of artwork that gives Mora plenty of room to be creative. The colors throughout the issue pop in all the right places, with quite a bit in the way of shadows adding a tinge of darkness to the artwork.

Klaus LIfe and Times of Joe Christmas is alarmingly enjoyable considering it's really just like looking through a photo book. Sure, some of the pages represent tales that are a bit far-fetched, but there's a sense of truth in some of the pages that tap into the lore of the characters. Morrison's approach is well-thought out and provides an avenue for some fairly outlandish scenarios. Mora's artwork is phenomenal in its renderings of the aforementioned scenarios. Klaus LIfe and Times of Joe Christmas is just really, really fun.

Klaus LIfe and Times of Joe Christmas is available December 18.