Friday, December 26, 2008

Easter Krampus?

This postcard design is from an artist in a recent post in this here blogsite. I searched through my krampus postcard book and realized I have a number of this particular artist's cards. I find his/her style to be the most original, as I hinted to in my previous post. I plan on researching more on this artist to be able to reveal their name and origin.
What I find the most interesting after studying this design is the use of pussy willows as the bundle of sticks that the Krampus would use. Also note the crafty way of using catkins as ligaments for the mini-krampuses. Methinks that this postcard may come from the Ukraine or Poland but most likely Bavaria, since they still celebrate this nefarious looking mythical creature. Albeit more modern (Southwestern Bavaria also recognize a character much like the Krampus called Wilde Mann which is Krampus sans horns). The reason is due to the fact that numerous East European folk would carry pussy willows instead of palm branches on Palm Sunday since palms didn't grow that far north.
Also, since the krampus is more of a pre-Christian Alpine symbol (representing the first 2 weeks in December and accompanying St. Nikolaus), the use of pussy willow may lead me to believe this is depicting the character Perchta (Slovania) because this character, although similar in creature-like features and may or not come from the Nordic goddess Freyja, was recognized from the last week of december into the first week of January*. This would suggest that the removing of the catkins from the branches to make a birch rod (not necessarily made of birch wood) hints of the coming of Winter. Although this can also be described in the Krampus mythos as well since pussy willows could have lost their kitty characteristic by the first of month as well.
So, it is hard to come up with the region of where this postcard originated. I think I've narrowed it down some, though. kinda/sorta?

*The Krampus and Perchten "monsters" eventually shared the limelight in many cultural events in this area of the world which lead to the loss of distinction of the two. Although there is more romantically supernatural reasoning behind the Perchta, it is definitely not as memorable of a character from the ancient days.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Krampus the Beer

So, I'm celebrating the Christmas season with my wife, her parents and her Uncle Bob. Great guy. Gets really thoughtful gifts. So, knowing that I appreciate this European story of the Krampus and all things related to the BAD side of Santa, Bob the Uncle has given me this 22 oz. bottle of Imperial Helles Lager from Southern Tier Brewery. This combines 2 of my favorites things: Beer and Krampus. So, of course, he gets me a bottle since I make and send out these Krampus Kards every year. It helps that I like micro-brew beers and most European-style brewing. I am looking forward to trying this out, but I feel compelled to share it with Bob the Uncle and my Father-in-Law. We all enjoy all sorts of brew. Funny things is, it would be naughty of me if I didn't. Which would make sense considering the theme...

stay tuned...

Check out the zoom of the beer label here. Enjoy responsively.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I like your style.

This is one of my favorite designs that is actually one of the most surreal of the Krampus postcards that I own. I love the gingerbread looking Krampus with bites on his feet from rats. And the smoke/clouds in the background bring such an ominous tone to the entire thing. I think what I like most about it is the simple approach which seems to have more style than any postcard of this type. I have a couple more that I will show by this artist.
I have also designed a new one inspired by this image that I am in debate with my wife about. More to come on that.
I am not sure where this originates from but the artist did sign or stamp his/her work with a cool signature. not sure what it says or stands for. It's in the right side of the banner in this scan if you can see it.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Krampus Kard series 2 EXPOSED!

Here is the series 2 of Krampus Kards. If you buy a pack of series 1 by clicking the link to the right (the one that says, you will get an added FREE single series 2 including envelope. Limit one per customer. All this for your nefarious pleasure.

to recap: buy on package of Krampus Kards, get a single of the new kard with your order.

This offer lasts from now until the 20th of December. After Xmas, the full series 2 will go on sale as well. complicated? I didn't think so.

Grus vom Krampus und Nikolaus

top "Krampus and Nikolaus pull through the city! Sore that, that did evil!"
bottom "Grus of the Krampus and Nikolaus"

This particular postcard is either from Austria or Germany. I translated it using so if there is someone that knows better, please feel free to inform me.

The artist signature on the bottom right says G. Milan.

This entry shows a more obvious tone that Nikolaus worked together with Krampus rather than the two being enemies. Directing me in my theory about the origin in reverse concerning the Americanization of Krampus that I believe exists here today but we know of it in different manifestations. More to come on this topic in a later entry. Stay tuned.

and be good

Wednesday, December 10, 2008


These are 3 Krampuses lined up for a future postcard. I illustrated these guys and colored them from a sketch and found i liked the style better with less color. (from L to R: Cute Krampus, Tallman Krampus, Body Krampus). Time will tell when and if these guys will see print. I am currently thinking about a female krampus for next year. Could be fun. I'm thinking about approaching it in a pinup girl style and then as a villainous Loki style (from the current Thor funny books from Marvel). we'll see.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Helper Krampus

Another originated from the Czechoslovakian part of the world. This one is one of the most confusing that I own. What's interesting is that the Krampus seems to be actually helping St. Nik instead of causing mischief. Which leads me to hypothesize that the elf concept stems from the Krampus origin. Possibly. I am not sure, but after we Americanized Santa he seemed to lose many things in addition to a staff and the yellow robes. I wonder if the Krampus concept was too scary for our sensitive American eyes and we devolved the Krampus character into the elf helpers we know now? Anybody?

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Krampus model

My mother-in-law is an ex-art teacher with a crafty edge. 2 years ago, after she learned of my fascination with all things Krampus, she crafted me a 16-18" resin-type stuff around an old doll skeleton and other artifacts to bring that genuine devilish persona to life. Needless to say, I was thoroughly impressed. We do our best to showcase this sonofabitch along with a proportionately sized St. Niklaus. I may take another photo of him in his current home atop the mantle in the living room. This photo was taken back when I first received the bugger.

Friday, November 28, 2008

KrampusKard '08 -scan

This is the pre-colored sneak-peak of the 2008 Krampus Kard. It is currently awaiting shipment to my P.O. Box. In all its evil glory. It's the same horizontal format of the last one but with more narrative. I wanted to incorporate children in this one since most of the depictions of krampus postcards show him accompanied by them.
This scan just shows the elements that I have used, but in no way exposes the impact of what will be coming down the chimney this season.

Friday, October 31, 2008


This old postcard has no information on it. Just a Czechoslovakian comment on the front and a JKO trademark on the back. My wife found this on the internet. I'm still researching as I go. If anyone has information please feel free to comment. thanks.

oh, and BOO!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Krampus v. Devil

These are old die-cuts are from Austria. Found on Ebay. Year unknown. This is an unusual depiction of the Krampus. I have never seen one where he is holding a trident or weapon of any sort. The reason that this is definitely a Krampus and not the Christian devil, is that he also has a bundle of sticks and his long tongue is sticking out. Not that the devil doesn't stick his tongue out on occasion.
I will say this: Satan does have more control over his grooming. Krampus is a filthy bugger.