Holiday Fun with Santa’s li’l elfin granddaughter!
Writers: Shawn Vincent Wilson, Dennis Mallonee, Wilson Hill
Pencils: Mark Propst, Sam Payne, Gordon Purcell, Rob Jones, Franchesco!
Inks: Avis Nash, Terry Pallot, Dick Giordano
Colorist: Dick O’Malley, Mike Estlick, John Heebink, Erik V. Lehmann
Letterer: Thomas Luth, Albert Deschesne
Cover Artist: Franchesco!
Publisher: Heroic Publishing
Chrissie Claus is Santa’s granddaughter, a typical college student during the year, an elfin-powered helper of all things Christmasy come December. Chrissie has had an unusual publishing history as well, appearing first in her own special in 1991, and a second in 1994, which ended on a cliffhanger. That cliffhanger, though, wasn’t followed until 2006, when she appeared in Flare #30. Even that didn’t end the story – it finally concluded a year later in Flare Adventures #18, with a one-off follow-up in Flare Adventures #19. These stories, comprising most of Chrissie’s appearances so far, are collected in this paperback.
In the first story we meet Chrissie, Santa’s granddaughter, who spends her Thanksgiving break coming to the North Pole to help her “Grampie” get ready for his big day, and inadvertently stumbles into a labor dispute. In the three-part adventure (which included two different writers and three different art teams), Chrissie takes a group of her magical friends to Florida for Spring Break, transforming them into humans for the trip. One of them is mistaken for Chrissie by an orange dragon, who kidnaps her and forces Chrissie to rush to the rescue against her wanna-be “Daddy,” Cernunnos. Fortunately she has an ally of her own: Cernunno’s son Sigma-Chi, master of Claus Fu!
Some times I can’t believe the sentences I have to type to recap these issues.
In the final story, Santa is running low on his special enchanted wood, so Chrissie sets out to get him some, only to run afoul of a (apparently lonely) giant. Which means that none of the stories in this book, technically speaking, are Christmas stories. Hmm.
Well, regardless, there’s a lot of fun to be had in this collection. Granted, the stories are more than a little insane, and seem a little odd when juxtaposed against the usually more serious superhero universe of Heroic Publishing’s catalogue (of which Chrissie is, in fact, a part). The stories are kind of wild, and I wonder how much of that is due to the decade-long gap between Holly Holiday’s abduction and her rescue. (Ten years being the captive of an orange dragon has got to suck.)
The artwork fluctuates wildly. The first issue seems like standard 80s-era indy comic art (keep in mind, this is a story from 1991), and it improves a bit with each chapter. The last one, by cover artist Franchesco!, looks particularly good.
I liked this book more than makes any sort of logical sense. It’s Christmasy, but still feels more like a silver age superhero book than anything else. And I suppose that’s what I’m looking for.