Review: The Last Christmas (Graphic Novel)

Posted by Peter Hall - March 20th 2007 @ 4:00 am

Created and Written by Gerry Duggan & Brian Posehn, 2006

The Last Christmas Paperback Cover

I love everything about the concept of The Last Christmas.  The earth’s inevitable zombie apocalypse hits, bringing death to every corner of the globe – including the North Pole.  When a band of marauders puts a bullet in Mrs. Claus’ brain, Santa loses it.  Christmas is dead to him.  The only thing he now holds close to his heart is a bottle of scotch. 

Perpetually drunk, Santa decides to end it all in a swan dive from the sleigh, but lives.  He sets himself on fire, but lives.  Turns out, as long as one child on earth still believes in Santa Claus, the Jolly man is immortal.  But Santa doesn’t decide to use his new found invulnerability to fight the undead hordes, oh no, he packs his war sleigh and shoots off to find that one kid who, even in a post-apocalyptic world, still believes.  And he plans on cutting that kid in half with a chainsaw, just so he can finally punch his own ticket.

Brilliant.

The artwork in The Last Christmas is bold, detailed and just plain wild.  There are panels here which, if made large enough, would sell for thousands.  I’ll not even pretend to know the ins and outs of the comic business – not even close since I read very few graphic novels – but Rick Remender, Hillary Barta and Michelle Madsen are names I’ll definitely put energy towards remembering.

I’ve always liked the humor of Brian Posehn and while I don’t know who this Duggan fellow is, their mixture of comedy balances the yuk-yuks with the brain splatter.  However, while I realize how odd it is to make this claim in reference to a plot that is truly original, some of the comedy is a little stilted and cliche.  The script here, as it were, goes for as many chuckle points as possible, abandoning depth entirely.  But hey, it works wonderfully and images of Santa going on a hangover binge, fighting bears and putting his fist through skulls just begs for a big screen adaptation.

Sorry this review was so short, but I think a mental picture of Santa Claus fighting zombies is more beautiful than any words I could write about it.


rss 4 comments
  1. March 20th, 2007 | 10:18 am | #1

    “…And he plans on cutting that kid in half with a chainsaw, just so he can finally punch his own ticket.”

    … LOL this sounds really good I might have to pick it up.

  2. Adrian
    March 21st, 2007 | 12:08 pm | #2

    This is the most amazing plot ever.

  3. March 21st, 2007 | 3:23 pm | #3

    It really is. So much so that the book itself doesn’t take advantage of nearly as much of the potential as it should.

    Think of it this way, it’s a lot closer to say, Family Guy than Arrested Development in terms of its humor. Plot though, this thing is more divinely inspired than the Bible.

  4. March 28th, 2007 | 9:06 pm | #4

    Hello Peter,

    I must say, I quickly ran to my local comic book shop before all the other nerds who didn’t know what a girl was to pick this up. Super fortunate for me, I got all of the 5 single issues instead of the graphic novel.

    I loved the offbeat dark humor, the dialogue, and the overall plot. And with Brian Posehn as the writer, I knew I was in good hands.

    And your review was spectacular- made me want to buy it at least.

    And for the record, here’s my favorite cover to single issues:

    http://images.comicbookresources.com/previews/imagecomics/thelastchristmas/LC_03_cover.jpg

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