By Dustin Cabeal
I’m going to clarify three things: I love Halloween, I love Thanksgiving, and I love Christmas. I’m no more of a fan of Christmas starting right after Halloween than anyone else, but the solution is simple. Spend more money in Q3 and then retail wouldn’t have to rely on Q4 to save their portfolios.
That said, The 512th Day of Christmas is a scenario in which Santa Claus has decided not to share the rest of the year with the other holidays and takes over the world making it Christmas every day. Good kids get new toys every night, and all there is to eat is a ham dinner. It’s a clever idea, to begin with, but then we quickly follow two kids. One smokes and swears and complains about her mom being a drunk. The other is her friend. The bad one eventually gets taken by elves to make the good kids their toys. Eventually, they have to fight Santa Claus and stop Christmas.
Love the premise. I instantly thought of a lot of great gags and hoped that the book would be funny. It attempts humor, but the reason it doesn’t succeed is that the characters are weak and one-dimensional. Just having a little girl smoke and swear isn’t funny. Also giving her a troubled past to explain her behavior, without showing the troubled past… seems like a lie more than a backstory. Especially when we start with the same little girl having a lovely evening with her mom. Next time we see her she’s like “my mom’s a drunk, Christmas can suck my snatch and like your taint.” Only without it being that funny. God, I wish she had actually said that. As the reader, I could understand what type of character they were going for so it was almost as if the writer was asking me to fill in the blanks for them. I could easily do that, but then it doesn’t make me like your characters.
The plotting wasn’t bad. The story follows a predictable path, but it’s the only one it can follow giving the set up of the story. The dialogue is choppy, not very believable and at times not even necessary to the story. There’s no character development, which is mainly absent with the villain of the story Santa Claus. It's on the cusp of being good but needed more polish and even more to be great.
The art is decent. It has room for improvement, but overall it’s consistent, and the artist illustrates a wild range of objects from Santa, to cars to different locations. It’s not rushed, but it looks like the artist could have spent more time with it given the opportunity. The designs for characters could have been a bit better. Particularly the other holiday characters. They were very generic and uninspired which hey… so are the holidays they represent.
If you hate Christmas, especially since it’s barely November and we just threw out our pumpkins, then you’re not going to care for this story. I get it. Typically they’re Halloween people, and Christmas people and everyone hates Thanksgiving because of their family. That doesn’t bother me, but what does is a story missing its potential which is what happens with The 512th Day of Christmas. It had something, but in the end, it misses the mark.
The 512th Day of Christmas
Writer: Jack Wallace
Artist: Reinaldo Lay
Colorist: Chris Allen
Publisher: Disposable Fiction Comic