All of a sudden I’ve been drawing krampuskarten for four years. It still feels like a new tradition (my drawing them, that is). I’m clearly in the time-flying-by faze of life.
Anyway, here’s last year’s model. Maia and Robby got to star in the inaugural 2015 card, Beth and Lisa took 2016, so that left Todd and me. And here we are. Pretty obvious “plot,” really, given that this whole nonsense started over the annual pouring of Southern Tier’s Krampus Helles Lager.
Unfortunately, we’re near the end of that component of Krampusnacht. We noticed a sharp decline in the availability of liquid Krampus last year, to the point where Todd called Southern Tier and learned that they will no longer be brewing it. (In my mind’s eye I see a frantic, tearful Todd making this call, but I doubt that’s how it went down and I’m certain he wouldn’t appreciate that.). I managed to get my hands on a couple of bottles of Krampus (deeply discounted in Total Wine’s annual post-Krampusnacht sale)(no, not really), so we’ll be able to toast Krampus this year (and maybe in 2019).
As for this drawing, I once again employed what is perhaps my favorite computer-aided cartooning trick: blowing up an area where fine detail is needed, then shrinking it back into the original drawing. Unfortunately, as is so often the case, it’s too hard to see the fine detail once the drawing has been shrunk.
Here’s my Krampuskarten from last year. As always, nobody comes out looking especially like themselves, though I think my version of Krampus himself is pretty consistent from Krampuskarten 2015.
Taking Krampus in a bit of a different direction here. As I understand it, he’s really about punishing the bad kids. Here he’s just lech-ing out on the womens. But that seems like something he’d do. If and when Krampusnacht catches on in the US—I still can’t believe it hasn’t—you can bet that this will be added to Krampus’s MO.
Quick housekeeping note: I’m going to start tagging people by first name only, and I may even go back and change the tags of my previous posts. I got some unwanted attention/feedback when tagees from previous posts came up in Google searches (but I’ll admit to being pleased that my blog posts showed up in the search results!).
Spurred largely by Todd Whann’s tradition of breaking out bottles of Southern Tier’s eponymous helles lager right about this time of year, there’s been interest in and amusement over the idea of Krampus (very loosely: the Christmas devil) among some of my friends. For the most part, the interest has manifested in nothing more than seasonal downing of liquid Krampus.
It mystifies me that Krampus hasn’t caught on in the US. Austria and Bavaria celebrate Krampusnacht (as near as I can tell, this is basically Christmas Mardi Gras) and Krampuslauf (described as an alcohol-fueled run of celebrants dressed as Krampus); all we in this country can come up with is Krampus: The Christmas Devil, a regrettable, plot-less, budget-less, badly acted “film” that didn’t even feature Krampus (note this is NOT the 2015 movie that got a theater release). (Though, to be fair, the writers of Venture Brothers—one of the funniest shows on TV, by the way—did drop Krampus in their Christmas special a couple of years ago).
Last year I took matters into my own hands and made a small effort toward establishing the proud tradition of Krampuskarten, the exchanging of (wait for it) Krampus-themed cards. How did Hallmark miss this?
Because my Krampus-mania was set into motion by Todd, and because most of my own “observances” of Krampusnacht have been at his and Beth’s house, it seemed only right that Krampuskarten should feature a Whann. So here, riffing on the tradition of Krampus hauling off wicked children, is Krampuskarten 2015.
Robby and Maia aren’t wicked, per se, and it’s rather easy to imagine that they would handle such treatment in the way depicted here.