Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The Krampus League Europe

Here are seven different mythical characters that I decided to research and design on my own (originally showcased at my sketchblog). These delightfully nefarious characters have been ignored in our nation (save for the Appalachians - via Appalachian History ) ever since we developed that Santa Claus character for Coca-Cola. I understand why they never were brought overseas to the land of the marketing dollar. I mean, unless there was strong investment demand in the early 1900's for birch twigs and whips (I'm pretty sure there wasn't).

List of names and geography:

• Krampus (Austria or Hungary)

• Black Peter (Zwarte Piet) (Netherlands and Belgium)

• Knecht Ruprecht (German)

• Belsnickle (Appalachia via Southwestern Germany)

• Kallikantzaros (Greek)

• Perchta or Berchta (Southern Germanic and Alpine region)

• Le Pere Fouettard (The Whipping Father) (French)

I will be designing, at least, two more mythical characters from the old world some time in a future post (notably: Gryla from Iceland and Namahage from Japan). For now, I hope you will be happy with these splendid freaks of whimsy*.

There were even more of these characters, but some were so similar in location and description that I didn't bother to design. I also didn't have enough information to feel comfortable in depicting them accurately. If there are more characters you would like to see that you know of from YOUR little corner of the world, please feel free to contact me with the information and I'd be happy to add them to the list for next year's pinup.

HAPPY NEW YEAR, followers! Be good.

*most of the information was obtained through Wikipedia unless otherwise noted.