Taking a lighter turn on the holiday, with a slightly morbid twist is “Christine and the Yuletide Monster,” a short story comic written and drawn by Mimi Nakamura. The story centers around a young, Christmas-loving girl named Christine, who is bullied for her belief in Santa. That night, she is visited by the Yuletide Monster – a reindeer beast with a skull for a head – and they set out to have revenge on her bullies.
Nakamura admitted tentatively that the comic is semi-autobiographical – with Christine sort of representing her younger self. “As a child I was utterly obsessed with Santa,” explained Nakamura. “I used to – every year, probably up to the age of ten – I would draw pictures for him on loose leaf printer paper and make like a hundred page “For Santa,” Christmas-themed gift book.”
The monster theme, on the other hand, came from Nakamura’s personal preference for the bizarre and spooky mixed in with the right atmosphere. “I’m sort of a fan of the spooky, creepy, monster-y things and I just decided that maybe Christmas needed a little dose of creepy that wasn’t the “Nightmare Before Christmas,”” said Nakamura. On top of that, Nakamura was unable to return to her hometown for Christmas that year, which left her lonely. In turn, she gave herself a project – finish a short story comic in a week.
While Christine’s story is a short one, Nakamura expressed her desire to write a sequel in coming years. “Christine will be older, possibly in college, and actually good friends with the rat-tailed kid,” Nakamura said. “It’s not only just to see the progress… it would just be nice to see Christine get into some shenanigans again with a monster.”
Christmas comics are a delight and no matter what spin they take, they always reflect the feel of the season, which sets them apart from the rest of the comic world. Perhaps this feeling can best be described in the words of George Broderick Jr.: “Christmas is not a day on the calendar; it’s a state of mind.”