This month for the Galactic Comics and Collectibles Book Club we read Naughty List from writer Nick Santora (Reacher, The Sopranos, Law & Order, Prison Break) and artist Lee Ferguson published by Aftershock Comics.
Forget every preconceived notion you have about Santa Claus because Naughty List takes a completely different approach. This is a gritty, dark story that will have you rethinking everything you thought you knew about the man in red.
The story of Naughty List revolves around the stolen naughty list, which leads to Santa Claus, or Nicholas Sinterklass, seeking revenge on those who took it. The plot is simple, but it’s well-structured, and it moves along swiftly, never losing momentum. The world created by the creative team is immensely entertaining, and the characterizations are excellent. The book club agreed on this aspect of the book.
The characters themselves provide the most significant strength of the book. Sinterklass himself is an enigmatic figure, driven by a sense of purpose that has consumed him for centuries. He’s unlike other incarnations of Santa Claus – brooding, determined, and armed to the teeth. The supporting cast is also fascinating, and each supporting character has a unique voice that sets them apart from everyone else.
The artwork of Lee Ferguson works and serves the story very well. The character designs are distinct and well thought-out, and the action scenes are dynamic and easy to follow. Francesco Francavilla’s cover is particularly striking and effective in capturing the tone of the story.
One of the book’s flaws is the unsatisfying ending. The climax feels abrupt. This was the sentiment for most of the book club members.
Naughty List is a very entertaining read that I enjoyed thoroughly, although it’s not quite perfect. This book is an exercise in storytelling that manages to bring freshness to a character most of us know so well that we thought we’ve known for years.
Naughty List is available at local comic shops and bookstores everywhere.
Join The Book Club
Galactic Comics and Collectibles hosts a book club each month to read and discuss one trade paperback. Each month a group of individuals reads the same book and meets to discuss. Follow along as we discuss these books here as well. Next month we head back into the world of Independent Comics with Eight Billion Genies from Image Comics by writer Charles Soule and artist Ryan Browne.
In previous months the group has discussed Frontiersman, A Legacy of Violence, Trojan, Flashpoint, Wynd, Nailbiter, House of M, The Recount, Superman: Last Son of Krypton, Something is Killing the Children, I Hate Fairyland Vol. 1, Thanos by Donny Cates, Wytches, and Batman: The Long Halloween.