Writers: Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn
Artists: Rick Remender (p), Hilary Barta (i)
Publisher: Image Comics
It is safe to say that The Last Christmas is the all time best post apocalyptic zombie Christmas story comic with a suicidal Santa. It is also safe to say it is the only post apocalyptic zombie Christmas story comic. That doesn’t change that this is a great book.
You can judge the book by its cover with issue #3: a somber looking Santa standing in front of a tombstone. This issue can hook anyone right off the first couple of pages where Santa’s elves defend the north pole with shotguns and splatter a zombie whose remains are shoveled up by a snowman person. Meanwhile, Santa is in a human stronghold in San Francisco’s China Town where the last boy to believe in him is living. He plans to kill the boy, because the only way for Santa to die is for everyone to stop believing in him. Santa is suicidal. He and his accompanying elf meet the kid’s mom, who is a caricature of a hot comic book lady, which crosses the line from, “Oh, wow…how’s it physically possible for someone so thin to move, much less fight villains,” to grotesque. She discovers one of the humans in the stronghold is an agent for the marauders who plan to attack them.
Santa goes hunting.
Kills a black bear.
With his hands.
In downtown San Francisco.
While he’s hunting, The Kid opens his present which is a murdering saw (not a gift saw) and with the saw is a poorly drawn picture of Santa shooting The Kid while saying, “Ho Ho Ho This’ll Sleigh You.” Santa assures him, “I can explain—I was drinking for years when I put this together for you—I just wanted to end it and you were keeping me here…but I could never do it…you’re a nice last kid. / I wrapped this thinking you were some grunting mess that I needed to put out of its misery…here, sit on Santa’s lap—kids always love that.”
I’ve left out what I believe to be some of the best parts of this comic. Though I would like to spill the beans all over the place like a child who doesn’t want to eat them, I think it’d be unfair to ruin all the jokes and great story in this book. Even the childish picture of Santa shooting The Kid in the head has more to it than I’m going to say here. It does say why Santa is on the cover standing in front of a grave. Mrs. Claus died in a tragic accident. Doesn’t say what the accident was, but it is the reason for Santa’s depression.
The art by Rick Remender isn’t going to win any awards, but it is perfect for the story. It is all cartoonish, with the elves and The Kid looking like characters from those 60’s Christmas cartoons and claymations. All the zombies and marauders look like the typical zombie spoof characters, the marauder agent and The Kid’s mom are over the top caricatures, and the people in the background look relatively realistic. Santa himself looks like a crazy old drunkard, and there is a panel showing the Tooth Fairy with Santa saying, “The truth about the tooth fairy: twice my size. Big lady…I think she was eating the teeth,” and there she is in her fat joy, eating the teeth of some kid who is crying in bed.
Gerry Duggan and Brian Posehn the writers and creators of The Last Christmas provide a hilarious issue. Aside from coming up with an amusing story and memorable characters, they fill almost every panel with a great one-liner.
Personally, I am going to advocate The Last Christmas win an Eisner award. It is one of the funnest stories I have read in a while. Plus it’s greatly executed. I give it because while I think it is perfect and deserves , my editor might not think so, especially after he starts receiving hate-emails directed towards me, describing my retardidity and calling for my immediate dismissal.
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